Express & Star

Crawley 1 Walsall 1 - Report

Walsall extended their winless run to five matches in League Two as Crawley Town came from behind to earn a point at the Broadfield Stadium.


Isaac Hutchinson opened the scoring from the spot seven minutes before the break, after Jack Earing was fouled inside the box by Jay Williams.

Crawley levelled in the 64th minute when Danilo Orsi set-up Liam Kelly to fire an unerring effort past Jackson Smith.

The Saddlers remain 16th in League Two, whilst Crawley Town also stay put in 15th.

Crawley v Walsall (Owen Russell)

Walsall came into this match on the back of a dismal 3-0 defeat at the hands of Newport County at Bescot.

Mat Sadler made three changes as Jackson Smith was recalled between the sticks for the suspended Owen Evans following his red card against the Exiles. Earing replaced Ryan Stirk in the heart of midfield and Jamille Matt was preferred to Albion loanee Mo Faal in attack.

Crawley had the first sight of goal when Klaidi Lolos flashed a low shot wide of Smith's left-hand post from distance, before Hutchinson forced Corey Addai into a near post save with a venomous strike at the other end.

Walsall enjoyed a period of sustained pressure at the midway point of the first half but Matt was unable to steer Hutchinson's cross on target.

Crawley v Walsall (Owen Russell)

They began to sit off as Crawley offered very little in possession, and Hutchinson almost found Matt again when he broke free down the right and saw his through ball thwarted by a last-ditch interception.

But the Saddlers had the chance to score the opener that they had been threatening when Hutchinson capped a strong first half performance by scoring his 13th goal of the season from the spot.

Jack Earing was challenged inside the penalty area by Jay Williams and Hutchinson sent Addai the wrong way to calmly convert his third successful spot-kick of 2024.

Hutchinson almost doubled his tally on the cusp of half-time when Addai turned yet another strike behind at his near post following an inspired run by Jack Earing down the left.

Crawley started the second half with more intensity and the introduction of Jack Roles on the hour-mark made an immediate impact.

His low delivery from the right deflected into the path of Orsi, who shielded the ball from his marker and teed up Liam Kelly to smash an emphatic strike beyond Smith.

Crawley v Walsall (Owen Russell)

Roles almost turned goal scorer when he was afforded far too much space to send a low drive wide of the far post with Smith rooted to the spot.

Both sides had chances to win it late on with Smith spilling a bullet header from Laurence Maguire, whilst substitute Ross Tierney sliced a volley wide from the edge of the box.

Substitute Harry Forster was denied by Smith after the Walsall goalkeeper initially flapped at a cross, and Forster had the last chance of the evening when his low shot whistled wide.

Crawley v Walsall (Owen Russell)

Walsall host second-place Mansfield Town on Saturday, before Morecambe travel to Bescot for their rearranged fixture next Tuesday.


Walsall (3-1-4-2): Smith; Okagbue, Farquharson, Daniels; Comley; Knowles, Hutchinson, Earing (Tierney 74), L Gordon; Matt (Faal 69), J Gordon (James-Taylor 69).

Subs not used: Barrett, Allen, Stirk, Oteh.

Crawley (3-4-3): Addai; Williams (Olagunju 80), Conroy, Maguire; Tsaroulla (K Gordon 80), Wright, L Kelly, J Kelly (Forster 69); Lolos (Roles 61), Orsi, Darcy (Campbell 69).

Subs not used: Sandford, Adeyemo.

Referee: John Busby