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Telford 1 Walsall 0 - Report and pictures

Walsall | Sport | Published:

Walsall slipped to a disappointing 1-0 defeat to AFC Telford in their pre-season friendly at the New Bucks Head.

Despite dominating possession for long spells, a 43rd minute Jordan Goddard penalty was enough to seal the tie.

Boss Dean Smith will be pleased with the way his side managed to control proceedings but will be left disappointed with his sides' lack of cutting edge.

Surprisingly, the manager named a squad bereft of any trialists despite striker John Cofie and midfielder Zac Thompson spending time with the club in recent weeks.

It meant Walsall lined up in a familiar 4-2-3-1 formation which included Jordan Cook up front, Craig MacGillivray in goal and Liam Kinsella in central midfield.

And it was the Saddlers who dominated the early stages, with Cook seeing a curling strike from the edge of the box well saved by James Montgomery inside 10 minutes.

Before kick-off, it was announced there would be rounds of applause in the 19th, 49th and 78th minutes.

It was in memory of Walsall fans Joel Richards, Adrian Evans and Patrick Evans – the three Saddlers fans killed in the Tunisia terrorist attacks.

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After the first of those ovations, Smith's side almost took the lead when skipper Adam Chambers saw a half-volley from a corner deflected just wide.

The momentum was all with the Saddlers and they again come when the lively Romaine Sawyers' sent in a dangerous low cross from the right.

The ball was met by the onrushing James Baxendale, but the creative schemer scuffed a shot at goal when he should have scored.

But, with two minutes of the half remaining, Telford took the lead against the run of play.

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New signing Jason Demetriou was judged to have handled the ball in the box, from a whipped in Johnny Gorman delivery with Jordan Goodard coolly converting from the spot.

Smith made six changes at the break and they almost paid immediate dividends with Milan Lalkovic lifting the ball through to Tom Bradshaw who saw a fierce strike beaten away by Montgomery.

Despite lots more changes, Walsall continued to control possession and after some head tennis in the box James O'Connor saw a half-volley sail wide.

But they were unable to find their way through a resolute Telford defence.

AFC Telford United: Montgomery, Reid, Clancy (Brownhill), Grogan, Harrison, O'Callaghan (Flint), Gorman (Lilly), Rea (Green), Goddard (Fletcher), Hibbert, Anderson (Lewis).

Walsall: MacGillivray, Demetriou (L Rowley 75), Taylor (Henry 45), O'Connor (K Rowley 75), Downing (Preston 75), Kinsella (Mantom 45), Chambers (Flanagan 60), Baxendale (Lalkovi, 45), Forde (Bakayoko 45, Murphy 71), Sawyers (Morris 45), Cook (Bradshaw 45).

Substitutes not used: Etheridge (GK).

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