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Match Report: Walsall 1-3 AFC Wimbledon

23 September 2023

Club News

Match Report: Walsall 1-3 AFC Wimbledon

23 September 2023

10-man Walsall fell to their first home league defeat of the season at the hands of AFC Wimbledon on an eventful afternoon at the Poundland Bescot Stadium.

Connor Lemonheigh-Evans opened the scoring after just six minutes and it got worse for the Saddlers when Taylor Allen was sent off.

Freddie Draper equalised moments after a vital penalty save by Owen Evans but further goals from Jack Currie and Ali Al-Hamadi saw the visitors take home all three points.

Mat Sadler made two changes to the team that started at Swindon Town last weekend.

Joe Foulkes came in for the suspended Tom Knowles while Danny Johnson was restored to the team in place of Ross Tierney who dropped to the bench.

The Saddlers got off to a poor start and fell behind after just six minutes when a blocked shot fell to Lemonheigh-Evans on the edge of the box and his powerful strike beat Evans to give the visitors the lead.

Sadler’s men suffered another setback on 22 minutes when Priestley Farquharson went down with an injury and was subsequently forced off. Joe Riley replaced him as Oisin McEntee moved into defence.

It got worse for Walsall on 37 minutes when Allen was dismissed for a challenge on Omar Bugiel and the Saddlers were reduced to ten-men for the second game running.

Moments before the sending off, Isaac Hutchinson had crashed a free-kick off the underside of the crossbar in a first half that seemed to go from bad to worse for the hosts.

Sadler made two changes at the break as he introduced Harry Williams and Aramide Oteh who replaced Johnson and Foulkes.

The visitors were given a glorious opportunity to double their lead 11 minutes after the restart when they were awarded a penalty after Ryan Stirk was adjudged to have handled in the area.

Armani Little stepped up but Evans dived low to his left and made the save to keep the Saddlers in it.

That spurred Walsall on and the equaliser came almost immediately when Draper received the ball in the box, turned neatly and powered in his third goal of the season.

Parity didn’t last long for the Saddlers though as the Dons hit back straight away when Currie’s deflected strike found the back of the net.

Walsall continued to battle hard but clear cut chances were hard to come by.

The Saddlers suffered another injury setback as McEntee was forced off and he was replaced by Jamille Matt.

The Dons put the result beyond doubt on 83 minutes when Ali Al-Hamadi was played in down the left, shifted the ball onto his left foot and rifled it into the corner of the net and the visitors claimed all three points. 

 

Evans; Foulkes (Williams 45’), Farquharson (Riley 22’), Daniels, Allen, Gordon; Stirk, McEntee (Matt 80’), Hutchinson; Johnson (Oteh 45’), Draper
Subs: Smith (GK), James-Taylor, Tierney

Attendance: 5,318 (514 away)


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