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Match Reports

Walsall v Northampton Town

4 February 2017

Walsall v Northampton Town

SKY BET LEAGUE 1      
Saturday February 4th, 3.00pm      
Banks's Stadium

 

WALSALL 2

Matt Preston 64

Erhun Oztumer 69


NORTHAMPTON TOWN 1

John-Joe O'Toole 23


Attendance: 4,965 (941 Cobblers fans)


Walsall: Neil Etheridge, Joe Edwards, James O'Connor, Jason McCarthy, Adam Chambers, Florent Cuvelier (sub Scott Laird 85), Erhun Oztumer, Isaiah Osbourne (sub George Dobson 79), Matt Preston, Amadou Bakayoko (sub Simeon Jackson 62), Eoghan O'Connell

Subs not used: Craig MacGillivray, Kieron Morris, Will Randall, Andreas Makris


Cobblers: Adam Smith, Neal Eardley, David Buchanan, Zander Diamond (sub Rod McDonald 49), Lewin Nyatanga, Hiram Boateng (sub Harry Beautyman 76), Matt Taylor, John-Joe O’Toole, Luke Williams, Keshi Anderson (sub Michael Smith 68), Marc Richards

Subs not used:  Paul Anderson, Jak McCourt, Aaron Phillips, David Cornell

 

Referee:  Robert Jones


Booked:
Walsall: Michael Dobson (90)  
Cobblers: Marc Richards (36, 4th of the season), David Buchanan (88, 6th)


10 cautions on or before 11 April; 2 match suspension       

15 cautions at any time in season; 3 match suspension


Sent off:
Walsall: none      
Cobblers: none


Sendings off: 2 cautions in one game; 1 match suspension but cautions do not count towards above totals. Other sendings off; 1 or 3 match suspension. Extra match ban for additional sendings off.


New loan signing, Portsmouth striker Michael Smith, had to be content with a place on the bench as boss Justin Edinburgh named an unchanged starting eleven for the trip to Walsall. Gabriel Zakuani, back from the African Cup of Nations with DR Congo, was ruled out with a hamstring injury.


Referee Robert Jones turned down an early penalty appeal from the Cobblers following what appeared to be a push on Marc Richards. The first opening for Walsall came on 14 minutes, Eoghan O'Connell’s low shot beating Adam Smith but not the post.


John-Joe O’Toole broke the deadlock midway through the first half, O’Toole providing the final touch after Walsall’s goalkeeper Neil Etheridge failed to claim Matt Taylor’s crossed free-kick from out wide.


Walsall upped the tempo as the game approached half-time but the Cobblers defence stood firm and Adam Smith remained untroubled.


Justin Edinburgh was forced into making a change with the second half barely under way, Rod McDonald replacing the injured Zander Diamond.

Walsall were back on level terms on 64 minutes, Matt Preston stabbing in from a corner.

Marc Richards went agonisingly close to restoring the Cobblers lead with a header that went just wide but before long it was Walsall who were in front, Erhun Oztumer turning the ball in from close range.

The Cobblers response to falling behind was a good one, O’Toole seeing a shot deflected behind and Lewin Nyatanga denied by a fantastic save from Etheridge on the goal line. Very much on the back foot, Walsall survived another goalmouth scramble following a Matt Taylor corner with O’Toole’s effort somehow kept out. Substitute Michael Smith, looking for a debut goal, then headed just over.

Edinburgh’s side continued to press and had a chance to equalise in stoppage time when Marc Richards was felled in the area. Richards himself stepped up but put his penalty over the bar and Walsall held on.

WALSALL MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)     

SHOTS ON TARGET: (2)  5
SHOTS OFF TARGET: (3) 6
CORNERS: (2) 4          
FOULS: (7) 15        
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (2) 6


COBBLERS MATCH STATS (first half in brackets, match total out of brackets)       

SHOTS ON TARGET: (2) 9 

SHOTS OFF TARGET: (0) 5
CORNERS: (1) 5
FOULS: (7) 11
CAUGHT OFFSIDE: (2) 3


The above stats are recorded by club staff. The stats shown elsewhere on this page are recorded by Opta



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