Saddlers held by Oldham, where substitutes were the difference for the visitors


Walsall were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Oldham Athletic as they avoided defeat for the first time in three games.  

It was a gritty but great affair at the Banks’ Stadium as Davis Keillor-Dunn came off the bench to earn the visitors a point with a smart low finish inside the Saddlers box. 

The home side made a lively start to the game with numerous chances in the first half an hour but some fine saves by Ian Lawlor kept Walsall at bay.  

Zak Jules was up and down the left-hand side all game long, he had numerous efforts on goal from corners and free-kicks, and a goal from the Scotsman just before half time was enough to send hosts down the tunnel at the break leading.  

The 23-year-old got his second goal of the season when Alfie Bates whipped a cross in, leaving Jules to turn it in. His shot only just crossing the line. But it was enough.  

Substitutes changed the game for the Latics as they turned up the heat after around 70 minutes and started to throw men forward in an attempt to salvage a draw.  

The visitors grew into the game and were causing Walsall real problems, with Marcel Hilbner coming close multiple times with his wand of a left foot.  

It was a debut in English football he and his family will certainly be proud of, he created a lot of chances for the away side and was unlucky not to get at least an assist.  

The pressure caved in on the Saddlers when they did not clear their lines, and Oldham were then level. Substitute Keillor-Dunn came off the bench to slot coolly past an oncoming Liam Roberts. 

With the clock running down, Harry Kewell’s men were on the front foot going into the closing stages of the match, and as they looked to win the game on the 93rd minute McAleny came close but was composed enough to keep his effort down.  

After the game, Walsall boss Darrell Clarke agreed it was a fair result in the end and said:

“It was a game of two halves really, with Oldham coming into it more in the second half. You can see why they have done so well away from home this season… It was important, with all the injuries we have in the camp, to stop the rot.”

After the game Australian Kewell was disappointed his team didn’t go onto win the game and said:

“It was a game of two halves, and we allowed them to play their game in the first half. Going long, get set pieces in and if you give someone enough chances to put the ball in the box unattended, they’re going to have a chance to score, which eventually they did at the end of the half... It took us 10 or so minutes to get into the game the second half but once I made the changes, there was only one team that was going to win and it’s just a shame we didn’t get that extra goal. 

It finished 1-1 at the Banks’s stadium where both teams stayed in the same position, they started the game in. 

Next up for the home side is a trip to Morecambe on Tuesday night meanwhile, Oldham host Newport County next Saturday night. 


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