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Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: Walsall 2 - 1 United

Report from the Emirates FA Cup second round fixture

26 November 2022

Match Reports

MATCH REPORT: Walsall 2 - 1 United

Report from the Emirates FA Cup second round fixture

26 November 2022

United were in Walsall for their FA Cup second round fixture on Saturday afternoon.

Hamstring injuries from last weekend for Fin Back and Morgan Feeney meant Corey Whelan and Jack Ellis were back in the eleven, and an illness bug sidelined Callum Guy, with Jordan Gibson once again in the fold.

Pace from Gibson helped him turn defence into attack with just four minutes on the clock as he raced past Kinsella to get to the edge of the area. Charters asked for it, but he was closed down. A half clearance went as far as Armer, and his lobbed delivery brought a challenge from Dennis as Evans leaped. The keeper got enough on it to punch it away.

Walsall responded with good work in midfield from Maddox. He slowed things down before putting Knowles on the overlap. He managed to wriggle his way past Mellish but Armer raced in to provide the cover.

Mellish was moved into midfield as Simpson looked to combat the lively threat from Maddox and Comley, but it was right back White who caused the next problem when he got his head down to run at the back line. He bundled his way through two challenges and his cross on the run had to be put behind by Ellis.

It was a good spell from the hosts and Whelan had to take care to make sure he got rid of a low drive from Johnson. Monthe picked it up and he fed Hutchinson, who had his cross charged down.

United broke at pace from the corner when Holy caught it before rolling it to Armer. Mellish was on the sprint to receive it, and he had Edmondson in support as he checked inside the box. Moxon kept it alive, and Edmondson threw a boot at it as Gibson popped it into the ruck of bodies. Moxon also looked for a gap, but his effort was nodded clear by Daniels.

Holy had to show safe hands when a deflected effort from Knowles came his way, but the momentum was still with the Blues as Armer and Moxon probed with crosses. The Saddlers did enough to see the period through, with a header from Mellish looping high and wide.

Carlisle thought they'd done it as they picked the pace up again on 25 minutes when a moment of magic from Gibson took him past Daniels. Dennis connected with a firm strike from the low cut back but Evans was down smartly to palm the goal bound grasscutter away. 

The goal that had been coming was thanks initially to Jon Mellish as he made a 50:50 ball his own deep inside the home half. He had to stop it from going out, and he spun on it once he'd done that to see Armer in space. The left back wasted no time with the cross, and Ryan Edmondson said thank you very much as he calmly side footed it into the net to register his fourth of the campaign.

There was an incredible scramble on the visiting line on 33 minutes as the Saddlers looked to respond. Daniels had done well to beat two and his pass then took three ricochets, with just about every blue shirt throwing themselves in the way. Jack Ellis restored order with a hacked clearance.

Hutchinson will feel he should have done better when he got on the end of a whisked free kick from Knowles. He had the goal at his mercy but he nodded it wide.

More skill from Gibson brought another corner for the away team, after he nutmegged Gordon, but it was high and deep from Charters and the moment was gone.

There was a huge shout for a Carlisle penalty after Dennis had showed strength before flicking the ball towards the six-yard box. Edmondson got there first, and he appeared to be clipped as he then tumbled to the ground. The referee didn't even look like he'd seen the incident with not even a wave of the hands to show that he felt it hadn't been a foul. 

Holy did well to drag a cross from Johnson out of the air at the start of the second period, with the Blues kicking into a very strong wind.

There were a series of almost moments for both teams as it stayed tight, and Gibson searched for  a spark as he robbed possession before striding onwards. He was closed down as he tried to jink his way into the area.

Holy had to be at his best on 58 minutes when Hutchinson found the ball at his feet on the angle of the area. It was fierce, but the glovesman was up to claw it away from the roof of the net.

Walsall started to send more men forward as they went for attacking substitutions but resolute defending made clear cut chances difficult to find.

Moxon was timely with a header as Hutchinson sent a dangerous one in, and there were home hopes of a penalty when Ellis edged Gordon out of it as he dropped a shoulder to chase one down. The whistle didn't blow.

There was an opening created from nowhere when Monthe angled a run at the byeline. He took everyone by surprise with a teaser of a connection that went like a bullet across the face of the target.

The Saddlers kept throwing everything forward and Hutchinson was left with his head in his hands when a powerful thunderbolt edged the wrong side of the upright.

Hutchinson out two shots straight at Holy in quick succession, and the keeper was off his line to clear a potential hazard as a neat touch had Allen interested. Whelan felt the full force of the no-nonsense swipe.

Whelan went to ground for treatment once again as he continued to feel the after effects of the Holy follow through, and that signalled more movement from the bench as Barclay and Sho-Silva came on.

There was another mass scramble in the United box after Allen, Hutchinson and Monthe all found a spinning ball on their boots. It was excellent defending that made sure the final shot of four swirled off into the crowd.

The equaliser, when it came, was a gift as Monthe cleared his lines with a massive punt. Holy decided to come out of his area, and he misjudged the bounce, with the ball squirming free off his stomach. Substitute Andy Williams battled for it and he was left with the simple task of poking it over the line.

Into time added on and a dipping cross had to be put behind, but it was a temporary reprieve as the Saddlers sliced their way through once again. James-Taylor had just Holy to beat, and he made no mistake as he slid it under the stopper and into the bottom corner.

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Goals

Walsall - Williams (88), James-Taylor (90+3)

Carlisle United - Edmondson (29)

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Bookings

Carlisle United - Mellish (40), Armer (90)

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Teams

Walsall - Evans, White, Gordon (Williams 72), Daniels (c), Monthe, Kinsella (Cashman 76), Knowles (James-Taylor 59), Comley (Allen 46), Maddox (Earing 46), Hutchinson, Johnson. Subs - Barrett (gk), Wilkinson, Mcentee. 

Carlisle United - Holy, Whelan (c) (Barclay 82), Huntington, Mellish, Ellis, Gibson (Harris 76), Moxon, Charters, Armer, Dennis (Stretton 63), Edmondson (Sho-Silva 82). Subs - Kelly (gk), Hilton, Devitt, Idehen.

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Match officials

Referee - Scott Oldham
Assistant Referee 1 - Ollie Williams
Assistant Referee 2 - Paul Stonier
Fourth Official - Neil Pratt
Observer - Paul Rejer
Coach - Keren Barratt

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Attendance - 3,499 (418)


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