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Match Reports

Report: Notts 1-2 Walsall

Second-half turnaround leads to defeat

9 December 2023

Match Reports

Report: Notts 1-2 Walsall

Second-half turnaround leads to defeat

9 December 2023

A double from Oisin McEntee earned Walsall all three points on a disappointing day at Meadow Lane.

Aden Baldwin had given us the lead in a cagey first half with very little goalmouth action.

But the visitors capitalised on a sub-par performance after the break to earn victory.

Aidan Stone continued in goal and was protected by a back three of Kyle Cameron, Aden Baldwin and Lewis Macari.

Sam Austin kept his place in midfield following his impressive performance against Shrewsbury in the Emirates FA Cup, lining up alongside John Bostock and behind the more attack-minded duo of David McGoldrick and Dan Crowley.

Out wide, Jodi Jones and Aaron Nemane were deployed to provide extra ammunition for top scorer Macaulay Langstaff.

After a cagey start to the game in tricky conditions, Walsall tried their luck with a quickly-taken free-kick near halfway. Stone looked worried as he backpedalled but the ball drifted wide.

It was proving to be a first half of very few chances but we took the lead on 33 minutes when a typically well-worked set-piece saw Jones dig out an excellent cross from the right, with Baldwin rising highest to head the ball home in the area.

The game opened up a little more for us thereafter, Crowley seeing a near-post shot well saved by Jackson Smith before Priestley Farquharson showed excellent anticipation to turn McGoldrick’s goalbound effort behind with the final big moment of the half.

We emerged for the second period unchanged but failed to build on our lead in the opening exchanges.

And we were punished on 56 minutes as McEntee got a leap on Nemane to head the ball goalwards, with Stone unable to parry the ball away from his goal.

Williams made a triple change shortly afterwards as Richard Brindley, Dan Gosling and Jim O’Brien replaced Macari, Bostock and Austin.

Shortly afterwards we carved out a good opening as McGoldrick’s perfectly judged flick-on sent Jones into the area, only for his cut-back to be well blocked by a defender.

But within a minute we were behind as the visitors exploited space down our right and supplied McEntee once again. This time he fired the ball into the top corner with an excellent one-touch finish.

Crowley, who had been dispossessed in the lead up to the second goal, made way for Morias five minutes later but a poor second-half display continued, with Farquharson spurning a golden chance to make it three with a free header before the referee called time.

STARTING XI: Stone; Cameron, Baldwin, Macari (Brindley 59'); Jones, Nemane; Bostock (Gosling 59'), Austin (O'Brien 59'), Crowley (Morias 70'), McGoldrick; Langstaff

UNUSED SUBS: Slocombe, Chicksen, Randall

BOOKINGS: Cameron 78', Baldwin 85'

ATTENDANCE: 11,040 (1,059)


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