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Leamington 1 Walsall 1 - Report

By Joseph Masi | Walsall FC | Published:

A goal from trialist Kairo Edwards-John helped Walsall secure a 1-1 draw in a friendly at Leamington.

Darrell Clarke

The former Leicester frontman, who is now a free agent, was one four trialists Saddlers boss Darrell Clarke ran the rule over at the New Windmill Ground.

Former Newcastle star Danny Guthrie, former Blues man Koby Arthur and another unnamed player also featured.

In what was a competitive friendly throughout, it was the hosts who broke the deadlock in the second-half through Colby Bishop.

But Walsall levelled shortly after through Edwards-John who finished off a flowing move that also involved the other trialist and Joe Foulkes.

Report

Just like Saturday's friendly at Alfreton, Clarke used the game to give virtually everyone in his squad a run-out with Callum Cockerill-Mollett the only player to start both halves.

The Saddlers also continued in a 3-5-2 formation with Guthrie starting in central midfield alongside Liam Kinsella and Stuart Sinclair.

In what proved to be a competitive opening 45, both teams created half chances to open the scoring.

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It was the hosts who threatened first with Recee King sending a strike from 18-yards narrowly past the post.

Walsall then gradually began to up the tempo, with Cockerill-Mollett seeing a header from a corner claimed by the keeper.

An excellent ball forward from James Clarke was then cushioned into the path of Josh Gordon by Elijah Adebayo.

But while the former Leicester man connected well, his low drive was straight at Tony Breeden in the Leamington goal.

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The game was being played in a good spirit with both teams up for the clash.

But while the hosts carried a threat, it was the Saddlers who were enjoying the lion's share of possession and looking more of a threat.

And Adebayo created two more chances for himself before the break.

First the former Fulham man did well to work himself some space on the edge of the box before firing inches wide.

The striker then hit a dipping and curling strike from 25-yards that was well dealt with by the keeper.

But that meant the two teams made their way off at the break with the game still goalless - with Cockerill-Mollett, Stuart Sinclair and Adebayo arguably the stand-out performers for Clarke's side, while Guthrie moved the ball well in the middle of the park.

Walsall included trialists at left wing-back (Edwards-John), right wing-back (Arthur) and up front for the second half.

And the striker looked particularly lively in the early stages with the forward latching onto a neat ball forward from James Hardy before firing at the keeper.

Leamington responded with Josh Marsh entering the box and firing over when he really should have hit the target.

The hosts opened the scoring in the 65th minute when March did well to hit the byline before cutting the ball back for Bishop to fire in.

Arthur had to go off injured just past the 70 minute mark with the trialist replaced by Joe Foulkes.

Walsall pulled level shortly after through a well-worked team goal that involved both trialists.

The duo both combined well with Foulkes before Edwards-John darted into the box before firing past the keeper.

Walsall went in search of a winner in the closing stages.

But they had to make do with a draw with Cockerill-Mollett, Alfie Bates and the two trialists that finished the game the pick of their players after the interval.

Walsall first-half: Roberts, Clarke, Scarr, Cockerill-Mollett, Pring, Facey, Trialist, Sinclair, Kinsella, Adebayo, Gordon.

Walsall second-half: Rose, Leak, Norman, Cockerill-Mollett, Bates, Kiersay, Hardy, Candlin, Arthur, Edwards-John, Trialist.

Joseph Masi

By Joseph Masi
Football MMPJ - @josephmasi_star

West Bromwich Albion reporter.

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