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Match Reports

Match report for Walsall 1 Sutton United 1

27 January 2024

Match Reports

Match report for Walsall 1 Sutton United 1

27 January 2024

Walsall 1 (Daniels 18) Sutton United 1 (Eastmond 23)

Sutton remain unbeaten under Steve Morison after another good performance earned a point at the Poundland Stadium, with U's disappointed not to have more reward.

U's made six changes from the starting line up at Mansfield, with Stephen Duke-McKenna and Deon Moore both making their debuts alongside Harry Beautyman in an attacking midfield three behind Lee Angol. Louis John and Sam Hart returned to the back line, John picking up an early booking for halting a threatening run by Mo Faal. U's had an escape when Douglas James-Taylor found himself behind the defence to try and head a Donervan Daniels pass over Dean Bouzanis but misdirected his effort with U's keeper able to collect the ball with ease, but Bouzanis had no chance soon afterwards when Daniels came forward to join a Walsall attack and after Jack Earing had turned Liam Gordon's pass in to his path he turned inside the challenge of Joe Kizzi and fired in to the top corner of the net.

Sutton were level within five minutes when, after a spell of pinball inside the penalty area in which Duke-McKenna had seen a sweetly struck shot blocked, the resulting throw in was cleared as far as Craig Eastmond, who had spurned a left footed shooting opportunity moments before when set up by Moore, but who this time met the ball with a first time left footed volley that took a deflection off Brandon Comley to beat Owen Evans.

Before the interval U's should have been ahead as Charlie Lakin failed to convert Moore's low cross from close range after a swift counter attack started by Beautyman winning the ball twice in midfield and sending Angol clear through the middle, and also skimmed a 25-yard volley just wide, while Angol almost punished Evans for some casual play on the edge of the penalty area, the former Sutton goalkeeper recovering to push the ball away for a corner, and Eastmond blasted a chance that was arguably easier than the one he had scored high in to the stands.

Walsall made a change at half time, Jamille Matt replacing James-Taylor, and it was the home side who had the better of the early exchanges and should have gone back in front when a low Earing cross found Mo Faal, who shot wide from just outside the six yard box when it seemed he had to score. U's made early second half changes, Omari Patrick and Josh Coley replacing Moore and Duke-McKenna, and in an entertaining half that at times moved quickly from end to end both sides looked capable of winning but some good attacking play was let down by poor deliveries at both ends, U's putting several set pieces straight in to the hands of Evans, who was having an uncertain afternoon and after needing to chase Angol to the touch line to prevent the striker taking advantage of another poor touch was booked for preventing a quick throw.

Bouzanis had to scramble across to claw away a speculative overhead kick from substitute Josh Gordon that threatened to loop in to the top corner, while at the other end a Ryan Jackson cross carried in front of goal with no one able to apply a crucial touch. U's had one late scare when a strong run from Priestly Farquharson was ended by Christian N'Guessan, who picked up the last of the afternoon's seven bookings, but unlike last season Walsall were unable to profit from the injury time free kick and U's picked up the point that was the least they deserved.

Sutton:  D Bouzanis, R Jackson, S Hart, J Kizzi, C Eastmond(sub C N'Guessan 77), L John(sub O Sowunmi 90+3), D Moore(sub O Patrick 54), C Lakin, L Angol (sub O Sanderson 77), H Beautyman, S Duke-McKenna (sub J Coley 54). Subs n/u S Arnold, N Adom-Malaki, Booked: John, Eastmond, N'Guessan.

Walsall: O Evans, D Okagbue, L Gordon, B Comley, D Daniels, P Farquharson, J Earing, I Hutchinson, M Faal(sub J Gordon 66), T Knowles, D James-Taylor(sub J Matt H-T). Subs n/u J Smith, T Allen, R Stirk, R Tierney, E Adegboyega. Booked: Okagbue, Knowles, Evans, Hutchinson

Referee: Ross Joyce

Attendance: 5,094(149 away)

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