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Match Reports

Report: Walsall 1-1 Iron

17 August 2021

Alfie Beestin's late leveller secured a hard-earned 1-1 away draw at Walsall on Tuesday night.

The Iron made three changes from the side that drew 0-0 at Rochdale heading into the game, as Jai Rowe, Mason O'Malley and Beestin came in for Alex Kenyon, Lewis Thompson and Ryan Loft.
 
The home side had the first chance of the game two minutes in when Brendan Kiernan sent a cross in from the left wing, which was met by Kieran Phillips but his looping header went wide of Rory Watson's right-hand post.
 
Soon after, Devarn Green burst down the left flank and sent a cross in that was almost connected to by Tom Pugh, rushing into the six yard box, but the hosts managed to get the ball clear.
 
With eight minutes gone, O'Malley played the ball to Harry Bunn on the left side of the area, who looked to fashion a cross but it was cleared away by the Saddlers.
 
Just a minute later, Phillips advanced down the right side for Walsall and his cross was played back to Watson by Emmanuel Onariase, who got his boot to the ball before it could reach a home attacker.
 
With 12 minutes gone, Beestin, Bunn and O'Malley linked up well down the left before the latter's cross was gathered by Walsall goalkeeper Carl Rushworth.
 
Two minutes later, O’Malley and George Taft did enough inside the six-yard box as a curling cross came into the area, with Conor Wilkinson unable to make contact with the ball.
 
Kiernan then advanced down the left and got inside the area before seeing his shot blocked by Davis, and then the Iron had bodies back to block two shots from range before O’Malley got back goal side to stop Phillips’ right-winged cross to give the Saddlers a corner.
 
Wilkinson connected with the resultant corner, but sent his effort high over the bar.
 
The 20th minute saw a chance for the Iron as Beestin was slipped into the area on the right. The cross then found O’Malley on the other side who checked back to Taft. The cross into the area was then headed wide by Rowe.
 
Beestin was played down the left side with 24 minutes gone, and his cross was blocked before his cutback to Bunn saw his goal bound effort turned behind for a corner.
 
Bunn’s corner was headed away, with O’Malley then feeding Pugh. He angled a cross towards the back post, which Rowe headed towards goal, with Rushworth gathering.
 
On 33 minutes, the Iron broke from a long throw from Walsall, with Green getting goal side of Hayden White. White climbed all over Green and brought him down, but there was one covering defender, so it meant just a yellow card for the Saddlers defender.
 
United came close to going ahead four minutes later when Bunn’s shot was deflected, but Pugh read the loose ball and beat the goalkeeper to it, with his header cannoning off the bar and landing a yard away from goal before being stabbed clear.
 
In the 38th minute, there was a chance for the Saddlers at the other end as Wilkinson saw a free-kick charged down by the wall, before his follow-up volley skipped just wide of Watson’s right-hand post.
 
Just before the break, Stephen Ward blazed an effort over the bar for the home side, as a right-wing cross was cleared into his path on the left of the area.
 
Then, in the minute of added time at the end of the first half, Ash Taylor powered a header just over the crossbar after a right-wing corner.
 
However, just two minutes into the second period, the home side took the lead when Phillips stabbed home from close range after a mis-hit shot by Kiernan from the edge of the area fell into his path.
 
With 56 minutes played, the Iron won a free-kick down the right side which O'Malley sent in to the back post and was headed wide by Taft.
 
Then, Pugh won the ball down the right side of the box and sent a low cross in which was cleared just as Bunn looked to connect.
 
On the other flank, O'Malley then sent the ball into the area and Green clipped the ball wide.
 
With 65 minutes played, Cameron Wilson came on for Rowe as Scunthorpe made their first change of the night.
 
After 70 minutes, Beestin got in on the right and sent a low cross across goal, with the ball hooked clear as Bunn ran into the area.
 
Scunthorpe made two final changes with 76 minutes gone as Harry Jessop and Thompson came on for Taft and O'Malley.
 
Beestin tried a speculative effort from range in the 80th minute as the ball was cleared into his path by the home goalkeeper, following pressure from Wilson, but his effort went wide.
 
With six minutes left, Bunn sent a cross into the box and Wilson managed to get a shot away which was deflected into the path of the goalkeeper. Green tried to reach it but couldn't.
 
Then, moments later, a smart forward move by United culminated with Perry playing Thompson in down the left, but his low cross was gathered by Rushworth.
 
After a left-wing corner was cleared into his path, Wilkinson drew a save from Watson with an acrobatic effort from the edge of the area.
 
The Iron got their deserved equaliser just before stoppage time as Pugh got in down the right side and slipped in a cross. The ball landed at Beestin’s feet and he stabbed the ball into the net.
 
Deep into the five minutes of added time, Wilson's right-wing cross tried to find Jessop but it couldn't quite reach him or the advancing Thompson in the area.
 
Pugh won a late corner but the Saddlers managed to get it clear after Bunn's delivery.
 
Scunthorpe return to action on Saturday when they host Sutton United at the Sands Venue Stadium (3pm kick-off).
 
WALSALL: Rushworth, White (Mills, 88), Ward, Taylor, Kiernan (Osadebe, 81), Kinsella, Wilkinson, Phillips, Earing, Perry, Menayese.
 
WALSALL SUBS NOT USED: Rose, Monthe, Bates, Leak, Willis.
 
IRON: Watson, O'Malley (Thompson, 76), Taft (Jessop, 76), Onariase, Green, Beestin, Rowe (Wilson, 65), Bunn, Pugh, Davis, Perry.

IRON SUBS NOT USED: Balme, Shrimpton, Gallimore.

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