Our new junior reporter Ryan Humphries gave us his match report following last nights 5-1 defeat to Aston Villa.
After a panicky opening five minutes, the Saddlers were the first to concede, and the villa players started to kick into gear.
Just minutes later, a second, well crafted goal beat Roberts at his near post, sending the Saddlers players into a shell.
At this point, the game started to calm down, with Villa in control, with Walsall staying firm in defence.
A few chances came for the Saddlers, including a break from Adebayo that narrowly went wide of the far post, but Walsall saw no clear cut chances.
As the Saddlers were starting to find their stride, a soft penalty for Aston Villa sparked a comeback mentality within the Saddlers, trying to push on to get a goal back.
Minutes later it came in the form of Stuart Sinclair, who rifled the ball into the back of Kalinic’s net, getting the Walsall fans on their feet for the first time in the game.
However, Villa soon used this as an opportunity to take back control, as Walsall’s defenders started to switch off at the end of the half, and a simple through ball set Diogo Jota off to score his first of the night, making it 1-4 to Villa, and it stayed that way at half time.
The second half started with the surprise return of Saddlers striker Morgan Ferrier, after not too long of it being revealed by manager Clarke that he would prefer to leave the club. Quickly, Villa took control of the second half with an early goal, once again from Wesley Moraes for his second of the evening.
The game was quickly growing dull, and on the 70th minute Aston Villa made ten changes, leaving just Kalinic on the field. The introduction of midfielders John McGinn and Birkir Bjarnnason saw Villa take a strong foothold in midfield, but with Wesley Moraes, Grealish and Jota’s creativity taken off the field, Aston Villa lost the threat that they showed in the first half. Alfie Bates and James Hardy created flair for the Saddlers in midfield, but Adebayo at his best efforts could not convert any attacking play, and neither could Ferrier.
The game played out to a boring end, with Aston Villa running out winners of a game that could be said to reflect the correct winner, but a harsh scoreline.