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Match Reports

REPORT: Walsall 2 Stanley 1

Nolan scores but Reds lose out to late goal

27 February 2024

Match Reports

REPORT: Walsall 2 Stanley 1

Nolan scores but Reds lose out to late goal

27 February 2024

Jack Nolan’s twelfth goal of the season wasn’t enough as Accrington Stanley left the Poundland Bescot Stadium empty-handed.

The Saddlers scored the winner five minutes from time to make it four successive victories and they moved into the final Play-Off place.

Stanley dropped to 15th place, five points outside the top seven in a tightly-packed league.

Walsall started strongly without testing keeper Radek Vitek as Stanley defended well.

The Reds grew into the game with Jack Nolan putting a few good balls into the box and Cody Adedoyin looking lively.

Walsall came close on 19 minutes but Jack Earing dragged his effort wide.

Stanley then had a great opportunity on 25 minutes when Nolan’s ball in found Adedoyin in the box but he stroked the ball narrowly wide.

Walsall thought they had opened the scoring on 34 minutes when Josh Gordon’s cross bobbled close to the goalline and it took Lewis Shipley to hook it off the line via the post with the Saddlers appealing the ball had crossed the line.

Stanley also survived a penalty appeal just after and, while it was lively, neither keeper was really tested in the first half.

It was a low key start after the break but Adedoyin had a shot blocked and, from this, a Nolan corner on 50 minutes did cause chaos in the six yard box and it just needed a touch.

The Reds were awarded a penalty on 56 minutes for a Liam Gordon handball from a Tommy Leigh knockdown and former Walsall player Nolan stepped up and fired low into the far bottom corner of the net to give Stanley the lead.

It didn’t last long though as Walsall levelled on 60 minutes when, from an Isaac Hutchinson corner, David Okagbue headed home at the far post – with Radek appealing he had been impeded.

Adedoyin had a great chance to put Stanley back ahead straight after but, with the goal at his mercy from a Leigh cross, the Saddlers just got to the ball first.

Walsall then enjoyed a spell of pressure with their best chance, Earing firing inches over the crossbar.

Stanley made two substitutions with Leslie Adekoya and Anjola Popoola coming on for the final 20 minutes.

The Saddlers continued to put balls into the box although Tommy Leigh forced Jackson Smith into a save in the final 10 minutes.

The home side ramped up the pressure with Kelvin Mellor clearing an Okagbue effort off the line, another effort was blocked and Tom Knowles had a shot saved by Vitek.

The winning goal came on 85 minutes when a Hutchinson corner was headed back across the goal and Emmanuel Adegboyega headed home from close range.


Stanley: Vitek, Mellor, Shipley, Gubbins, O’Brien (Patrick), Martin , Woods, Nolan, Leigh, Bickerstaff (Adekoya), Adedoyin (Popoola)

Subs: McIntyre, Quirk, Pickles, Adekoya, Trickett, Popoola


Yellow: Martin

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