Wednesday wave off Walsall
The Saddlers succumbed to a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Sheffield Wednesday tonight.
Walsall battled hard throughout the game but the injuries to striker pair Macken and Reid shone through in the final third.
The team was unchanged from the weekends win and the game started positively for the visiting side.
The Saddlers started strongly as they managed to string together some decent passes and maintain possession but went behind 7 minutes in. In the first Owls attacks, the defence was in disarray and Darren Potter was able to get a stinging shot on goal and score. Walker perhaps should have done a little better but the damage had been done to allow him in. 1-0
The first half continued as Walsall enjoyed alot of the ball from midfield but came short in front of goal. The Saddlers lost Macken midway through as he limped off with a calf injury. Liam Dickinson was hurriedly installed as his replacement.
Reid did well on 34 minutes as good play involving Richards, Marshall, Taundry and Dickinson saw the ball come back to the 22 year old but the shot was saved.
Jimmy Walker made some excellent saves throughout the game and strong work by Westlake and Butler in the opening 45 minutes gave the Saddlers everything to play for.
The second half started quietly as neither team got their hold on the game. Reid went down injured as he had a chance on goal and was promptly replaced by Will Grigg. The young lad got a hold of the game and made the most of the 30 minutes he was given.
Matthew Richards had a fine chance on 70 minutes as he was set up by Grigg and Marshall, but the shot was cleared away.
Sheffield Wednesday got their second on 73 minutes. Mark Beevers claimed the goal as the Saddlers failed to clear an Owls danger and Walker did not quite get a strong enough hand to the ball to save it. 2-0 A blow for the visitors who just needed a break to reignite the game for them.
Saddler fans were riled up on 79 minutes as Butler was clearly pushed to the ground in the Wednesday box but no penalty was given.
The nail in the coffin came on 82 minutes when the Owls got their third goal. The home side won a corner and Clinton Morrison whipped it onto the net without too much fuss. 3-0 A blow for Saddler players and fans alike who deserved more from the game.
Grigg had a excellent chance in the dying minutes to reduce the deficit, but the Owls held out for a clean sheet.
A disappointing evening but the Saddlers seem to be turning a corner. Their play is more upbeat but let themselves down on goslscoring opportunities. The loss of Reid and Macken winded the Saddlers and leaves a striker crisis for Hutchings. Lescott, Westlake, Butler, Walker, Richards and Grigg stood out in the game but it was just not their night. Sheffield Wednesday took their chances when they were given them and they are now 3 points better off. We now look ahead to Torquay away on Saturday in the FA Cup second round.
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