League One
WalsallWalsall2BurtonBurton Albion0

Walsall 2-0 Burton Albion

Liam Kinsella scores past Jon McLaughlin
Republic of Ireland Under 19 international Liam Kinsella's goal was his first for Walsall

Walsall moved above Burton Albion to go top of League One with goals from Liam Kinsella and Tom Bradshaw.

The division's two meanest defences cancelled each other out for the first half hour until full-back Kinsella drilled in a low shot.

Burton almost levelled when Walsall's Adam Chambers headed towards his own goal, but team-mate Sam Mantom diverted the ball against the bar.

Bradshaw's injury-time penalty sealed victory for Dean Smith's Saddlers.

Walsall stepped up a gear after a tight start, as Romaine Sawyers' low drive forced the game's first save from Jon McLaughlin.

Liam Kinsella takes his chance
Kinsella, who scored his first Walsall senior goal, was only playing as Jason Demetriou was away on international duty with Cyprus, He is the son of former Republic of Ireland midfielder Mark Kinsella, who played for Colchester United and Charlton Athletic before moving to the Midlands, where he played for Aston Villa, West Bromwich Albion and Walsall.

Kinsella then drove the Saddlers ahead on 36 minutes with his first senior goal, capping a flowing counter-attack involving Sawyers and Rico Henry.

The Brewers, who had lost just twice in the league this season, improved after the interval, with Matt Palmer and Stuart Beavon both denied by keeper Craig MacGillivray.

Mantom should have made it 2-0 on the break, but his shot was deflected wide by Palmer's block.

Kinsella's superb block then denied Timmy Thiele a certain equaliser in a frantic finale, but the Walsall defence held on to earn their sixth league clean sheet of the season.

Bradshaw's penalty wrapped up victory in stoppage time, after John Mousinho handled Sawyers' cross, to ensure that Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink's Burton slip to second.

Walsall boss Dean Smith told BBC WM 95.6:

"We were excellent in the first half. We played really well, moved the ball around and created some chances and scored a good goal.

"Young Kinsella, what a game. He's taken over the reins from Jason Demetriou, who's been excellent all season. And he got a goal.

"As well as we played in the first half, they had an awful lot of the ball in the second half and put a lot of balls into their front men. Adam Chambers in front of our three centre halves was outstanding."

Burton manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink told BBC Radio Derby:

"They were the better team in the first half and they deserved to be 1-0 up. We didn't play as well as we can; we weren't on the front foot and we were losing our second balls.

"We were going out of our shape to chase the ball and that's what they like because they can pick you off in pockets.

"In the second half, we addressed that and we were the better team and it looked like there was only one team to score. We had a really good chance to score, but it was not meant to be."

Line-ups

Walsall

  • 13MacGillivray
  • 4O'ConnorSubstituted forPrestonat 89'minutes
  • 6Downing
  • 3Taylor
  • 22Kinsella
  • 8Mantom
  • 7Chambers
  • 17FlanaganSubstituted forCookat 75'minutes
  • 14HenryBooked at 44minsSubstituted forFordeat 85'minutes
  • 10Sawyers
  • 9Bradshaw

Substitutes

  • 11Baxendale
  • 12Forde
  • 15Lalkovic
  • 16Preston
  • 18Morris
  • 21Cook
  • 23Roberts

Burton

  • 1McLaughlin
  • 2Edwards
  • 4Mousinho
  • 19O'Connor
  • 14McCrory
  • 8Weir
  • 12ButcherSubstituted forIsmailat 78'minutes
  • 10AkinsSubstituted forBinnom-Williamsat 63'minutes
  • 21DuffySubstituted forThieleat 67'minutes
  • 23Palmer
  • 9Beavon

Substitutes

  • 3Cansdell-Sherriff
  • 15Naylor
  • 18Ismail
  • 20Thiele
  • 22Binnom-Williams
  • 30Flanagan
  • 31Matthews
Referee:
Tim Robinson
Attendance:
6,812

Match Stats

Home TeamWalsallAway TeamBurton
Possession
Home52%
Away48%
Shots
Home12
Away9
Shots on Target
Home5
Away3
Corners
Home2
Away7
Fouls
Home14
Away12

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Walsall 2, Burton Albion 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Walsall 2, Burton Albion 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. John Mousinho (Burton Albion) right footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is high and wide to the left.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Burton Albion. Conceded by Liam Kinsella.

  5. Post update

    Corner, Burton Albion. Conceded by Liam Kinsella.

  6. Goal!

    Goal! Walsall 2, Burton Albion 0. Tom Bradshaw (Walsall) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom right corner.

  7. Post update

    Penalty conceded by Philip Edwards (Burton Albion) with a hand ball in the penalty area.

  8. Post update

    Attempt saved. Liam Kinsella (Walsall) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

  9. Substitution

    Substitution, Walsall. Matt Preston replaces James O'Connor.

  10. Post update

    Attempt saved. Timmy Thiele (Burton Albion) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

  11. Post update

    Hand ball by Paul Downing (Walsall).

  12. Substitution

    Substitution, Walsall. Anthony Forde replaces Rico Henry.

  13. Post update

    Sam Mantom (Walsall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Timmy Thiele (Burton Albion).

  15. Post update

    Corner, Walsall. Conceded by John Mousinho.

  16. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Sam Mantom (Walsall) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Burton Albion. Zeli Ismail replaces Callum Butcher.

  18. Post update

    Attempt missed. John Mousinho (Burton Albion) header from the right side of the box misses to the right.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Romaine Sawyers (Walsall).

  20. Post update

    Robbie Weir (Burton Albion) wins a free kick in the attacking half.