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Match Reports

REPORT: Walsall 0-1 Barnsley

23 March 2019

The Reds return to winning ways as our star man strikes during injury time to give us a huge three points in the promotion race!

A last-gasp Jacob Brown goal sent the Reds five points clear in second position ahead of the 3pm kick-offs!

The Reds' Head Coach, Daniel Stendel brought the returning duo of Cameron McGeehan and Jacob Brown back into his starting XI for the game. German midfielder Mike Bähre was also back in, operating just behind Cauley Woodrow up front. And there was a first start of 2019 for goalkeeper Jack Walton who was deputising for captain, Adam Davies who is away on international duty with Wales.

The first half at the Banks's Stadium was a competitive if somewhat scrappy affair with neither side able to claim any dominance in fairness.

An Alex Mowatt effort inside the first five minutes was comfortably saved by home 'keeper Liam Roberts, before Walsall did have the ball in the net but Isaiah Osbourne's sumptuous volley from the edge of the box was dubiously ruled out by the officials. 

Ben Williams was flattened inside the box on 15 minutes but the referee only gave a corner before the hosts broke on the Reds at speed with Josh Gordon firing over just inside the box. 

Zeli Ismail was proving a real handful for the Barnsley backline, terrorising Williams at left back but the home side couldn't find a way through and the best opportunity of the opening period fell to the Reds, 10 minutes before the break.

Some scrappy play in the Saddlers' third eventually saw Mamadou Thiam into the box and his powerful snapshot was expertly palmed over the crossbar by Roberts to ensure the scores were still level going into the half time interval.

HALF TIME: Walsall 0-0 Barnsley

The second half went very similarly to the first 45, with little quality and lots of scrappy challenges with the home side the closest to breaking the deadlock.

Blackett-Taylor was clean through on goal around the hour mark and after his shot beat Walton in goal, Williams raced to hook the ball clear off the goal-line.

Bähre made way for Callum Styles on 68 minutes as Stendel looked for an answer to the questions posed by the hosts.

But Walsall were close again when Gordon shot from inside the area only to be thwarted by Walton's legs.

McGeehan was replaced by Victor Adeboyejo as Barnsley went with two up front for the final stages, but moments later another huge Walton save as he again denied Walsall with a superb reaction stop point blank.

Finally at the other end the Reds tested Roberts. In the 79th minute Woodrow took two men out inside the box with some footwork but his low shot was well stopped by the Walsall 'keeper.

The final change saw Jordan Green introduced in the 84th minute taking a spot on the wing with Thiam the man withdrawn.

In a game bereft of magic, we had to wait until the 91st minute for the pivotal moment, and what a moment.

Some intricate football from Dimitri Cavaré outside the box saw him slide the ball into Adeboyejo, he slipped it in for Mowatt whose footwork and pass allowed Brown to shoot, his first effort was blocked but he didn't mess about with his second attempt, firing low into the bottom corner to send the 1,000 Reds fans behind the goal into raptures!

FULL TIME: Walsall 0-1 Barnsley

Walton, Cavaré, Pinnock, Lindsay, B.Williams, Brown, Mowatt, McGeehan (Adeboyejo), Thiam (Green), Bähre (Styles), Woodrow.

Unused: Greatorex, J.Williams, Jackson, Fryers.

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