Report: Walsall 1-2 MK Dons
Walsall succumbed to a disappointing first game defeat this afternoon against MK Dons.
The game began with neither team able to get into their stride and created few chances.
The Saddlers look disorganised and were unable to string many decent passes together. Brain and Smith were called into action on 33 mins to clear as a strong chance for the MK Dons beckoned, but the ball was thankfully scrambled clear.
A promising opportunity for the home team came as a free kick was awarded on minute 38, but Taundry blasted the ball high and left of the post from 20 yards away.
Just 3 minutes later, the Dons went ahead. Goalkeeper Brain failed to secure the ball to him, spilled the ball and Baldock pounced to make it 1-0 ahead.
At the break, the Saddlers were struggling to find their stride, with the promises of pre-season looking distant.
However, as play restarted, it took Manny Smith just 2 minutes to level the score. A Julian Gray corner swung in for the defender to tower a header into the back of the net. Smith also scored in the MK Dons tie in the final game of last season. So the Saddlers were back in the game!
The Saddler fans held their breath that the team could sneak a draw or win out of the match, with some good play that ensued. At least, they were starting to retain the ball a little longer than before.
But, in true fashion, the Dons went ahead again with 59 minutes gone. A low corner came in for Woodwards to head the ball home.
Matt Richards took an attempt on goal on minute 66, but the shot was easily saved. Steve Jones also saw the ball go just wide as the game neared its end.
As the game wound down, so did the players, and the game ended in disappointment for Hutchings and his men.
Overall, the Saddlers could not quite get going. The MK Dons looked strong and deserved to get what they did out of the game. We have to wait until just Tuesday night for more Saddler action, as round one of the Carling Cup gets underway at the Banks's against Tranmere.