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Match Reports

Match Report: Gillingham 1-1 Walsall

3 February 2024

Match Reports

Match Report: Gillingham 1-1 Walsall

3 February 2024

Isaac Hutchinson scored his 12th goal of the season as Walsall picked up a point away at Gillingham.

After a goalless first half that the Saddlers largely dominated, the midfielder gave the visitors the lead from the penalty spot just after the hour mark, his 20th goal for the Club.

The Gills fought back and levelled through Conor Masterson and both teams had to settle for a draw.

Mat Sadler made one change to the team that started against Sutton United last weekend.

Josh Gordon came in for his first start since his return in place of Douglas James-Taylor.

The Saddlers started brightly and had a succession of corners in the opening exchanges. The third of those was met by Donervon Daniels at the near post who hooked the ball wide from a tight angle after three minutes.

Mo Faal also had a decent opportunity but his powerful strike was blocked on nine minutes.

After Walsall dominated the opening 20 minutes, Gillingham grew into the game with Remeao Hutton delivering a dangerous ball to Oli Hawkins but the striker headed wide.

The Saddlers had a good opportunity four minutes before half time when Jack Earing clipped the ball into the box and Hutchinson was there to meet it but his looping header dropped into Jake Turner’s hands and that proved to be the last significant chance of the half.

After soaking up some pressure from the hosts, Walsall had an excellent chance to take the lead on 58 minutes when Faal slipped it through to Earing who crossed it towards the back post where Hutchinson collected the ball, took a touch and let fly with a shot but Turner did well to make a fine save down low.

The Saddlers were presented with a glorious opportunity to open the scoring when they were awarded a penalty on the hour mark after Shad Ogie was adjudged to have handled Hutchinson’s shot.

It was Hutchinson who stepped up and he coolly squeezed the ball into the bottom corner and Walsall got their noses in front.

Sadler made three changes at three separate points as the second half wore on. Jamille Matt, Ryan Stirk and Ross Tierney were all introduced in place of Faal, Earing and J. Gordon.

Gillingham responded well to falling behind and equalised when Masterson powered home after a long throw into the box on 77 minutes.

Masterson almost turned provider five minutes later when his header across was met by Ogie but he blazed over from close range.

The game became a bit end-to-end in the closing stages as both sides tried to win it but it ended honours even.

 

Evans; Knowles, Okagbue, Farquharson, Daniels, L. Gordon; Earing (Stirk 72’), Comley, Hutchinson; J. Gordon (Tierney 76’), Faal (Matt 66’)
Subs: Smith (GK), Matt, James-Taylor, Allen, Stirk, Tierney, Adegboyega


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