Date: 25th November 2019 at 4:19pm
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Another clean sheet, but another game with missed opportunities, but we will take the point to keep the momentum going.

Walsall made three changes to the starting line-up with, Facey, Scarr and Bates all starting, with Norman, Sadler and Liddle all making way.

The starting line-up was pretty much as expected. The only surprise for me was that Mat Sadler was dropped to the bench after a good couple of displays. However Dan Scarr had a fantastic match, and I’ll happily be proven wrong.

In the first half, the Saddlers were unable to gain any control of the game. We struggled to move the ball around well, and did not get the ball into many threatening areas. 

Stevenage, who started the match the brighter of the two teams, had a couple of chances in the form of a Cowley header that went into the side-netting, and a Carter shot that forced a save out of Roberts after a good run.

Our only chances of note, came from a loose ball forward to Josh Gordon, and a Rory Holden corner. Gordon, as he normally does, worked hard and battled to get control of possession and worked the ball into the box. His ball in found Lavery who teed up McDonald. McDonalds blocked shot rebounded to Kinsella, whos powerful drive was also blocked. Later on, Holden’s corner in was met by Scarr, who nodded wide.

At half-time, Clarke made two changes, with Guthrie and Hardy replacing Kinsella and McDonald.

Guthrie’s introduction really did change the game. His creativity and calmness on the ball is something we have missed. Although we didn’t have many clear cut chances, we did begin to work the ball into better areas, and it was only a matter of time before we really started banging on the door. Our best chance of the game came on the hour mark, when Rory Holden headed towards goal from a Gordon cross. The header looked destined for the top corner, but Paul Farman reacted quickly to tip the ball out for a corner.

This sparked the Saddlers into life, and we saw a whole host of chances wasted. Gordon and Scarr both missed headers, and Adebayo, who replaced Holden, had a shot blocked after controlling the ball well, and cutting in. 

Stevenage weren’t without chances themselves, a header in the box caused a melee which ended with Scarr clearing off the line, and the Saddlers preserving their clean sheet. .

The final chance of the match came in the 92nd minute. The Saddlers won a free kick on the edge of the box. Danny Guthrie stood up to take it. His rasping shot cannoned back off the cross-bar. 

This ended as frustrating afternoon for the Saddlers who will have felt they had done enough to win the match and claim a valuable three points.

Walsall: Roberts, Facey, Clarke, Scarr, Cockerill-Mollett, Holden (Adebayo 75), Bates, Kinsella (Guthrie 45), McDonald (Hardy 45), Lavery, Gordon.

Unused Substitutes: Rose, Norman, Sadler, Gaffney.

Stevenage: Farman, James-Wildin (Fernandez 56), Stokes, Carter, Cowley, Vancooten, Nugent (Digby 26), Lakin, List (Sonupe 83), Mackail-Smith, Timlin.

Unused Substitutes: Bastien, Soares, Husin, Guthrie.

Attendance: 4,938 (inc. 201 away supporters).

 

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