League One
Shrewsbury0Walsall0

Shrewsbury Town 0-0 Walsall: Saddlers sink into League Two after draw

Martin O'Connor.
Martin O'Connor took over as Walsall caretaker manager after the sacking of Dean Keates but could not keep his hometown club in League One

Walsall were relegated to League Two after a final-day stalemate at Shrewsbury Town.

The Saddlers needed to win to have a hope of survival, and even then they needed other results to go their way, but Shrewsbury keeper Jonathan Mitchell made fine saves to deny Joe Edwards and Nicky Devlin.

In the end, Walsall's result was rendered irrelevant as relegation rivals Southend and Wimbledon picked up the results they needed to stay up.

The managerless Saddlers, who sacked boss Dean Keates last month, drop to the fourth tier for the first time since 2007, having finished 22nd, three points from safety.

Knowing only a win gave them a chance of staying up, Walsall were nervy in the first half and were fortunate not to fall behind when George Dobson cleared James Bolton's glancing header off the line.

The Saddlers improved after the break but Edwards fired narrowly wide and then saw a curler smartly tipped wide by Mitchell, who then foiled Devlin one-on-one from Dobson's through ball.

Shrewsbury, who had clinched their own safety a weekend earlier, could have won it late on but Josh Laurent's strike was tipped over by Walsall keeper Chris Dunn.

Sorry Saddlers sunk by shocking sequence

Walsall's 12-year stay in League One comes to an end after a poor run of form which has seen them win just five league games since the end of October.

The Saddlers, who finished third under Jon Whitney and were beaten play-off semi-finalists in 2016, started the season well and sat fifth in early September after winning four of their opening five games.

However, the club slid down the table under boss Keates, losing seven out of eight games at the start of 2019, and were just above the relegation zone at the end of February.

Back-to-back home wins over Bradford and Fleetwood hinted at a revival but five straight defeats saw them drop to 23rd place, which prompted Keates' departure after just over a year in charge.

Former captain Martin O'Connor was appointed as caretaker but could not turn around their form until a 3-0 win over Peterborough on the penultimate weekend of the season boosted hopes of an unlikely escape.

With several players out of contract in the summer, Walsall must now decide whether to stick with O'Connor or bring in a new manager in an attempt to bounce straight back, as they did under Richard Money in 2007.

Line-ups

Shrewsbury

  • 1Mitchell
  • 13BoltonBooked at 43mins
  • 2Williams
  • 6Beckles
  • 22WaterfallSubstituted forSadlerat 45'minutes
  • 23Golbourne
  • 29Norburn
  • 42GrantSubstituted forVincelotat 87'minutes
  • 8Docherty
  • 11Campbell
  • 12OkenabirhieSubstituted forLaurentat 65'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Sadler
  • 16Vincelot
  • 18Gilliead
  • 28Laurent
  • 30Charles-Cook
  • 38Barnett
  • 50Payne

Walsall

  • 13Dunn
  • 6Devlin
  • 34Laird
  • 35Scarr
  • 20Johnson
  • 3Leahy
  • 4DobsonBooked at 46mins
  • 2EdwardsSubstituted forOtehat 78'minutes
  • 15KinsellaSubstituted forOsbourneat 83'minutes
  • 9Cook
  • 29Gordon

Substitutes

  • 1Roberts
  • 5Guthrie
  • 10Ismail
  • 27Fitzwater
  • 28Norman
  • 30Osbourne
  • 36Oteh
Referee:
Seb Stockbridge
Attendance:
9,635

Match Stats

Home TeamShrewsburyAway TeamWalsall
Possession
Home53%
Away47%
Shots
Home8
Away8
Shots on Target
Home4
Away2
Corners
Home10
Away8
Fouls
Home17
Away15

Live Text

Match ends, Shrewsbury Town 0, Walsall 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Shrewsbury Town 0, Walsall 0.

Attempt missed. Tyrese Campbell (Shrewsbury Town) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left.

Corner, Shrewsbury Town. Conceded by Nicky Devlin.

Corner, Shrewsbury Town. Conceded by Chris Dunn.

Attempt saved. Josh Laurent (Shrewsbury Town) left footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the top left corner.

Attempt missed. Andy Cook (Walsall) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

Delay in match Scott Golbourne (Shrewsbury Town) because of an injury.

Corner, Shrewsbury Town. Conceded by George Dobson.

Substitution

Substitution, Shrewsbury Town. Romain Vincelot replaces Anthony Grant.

Foul by Andy Cook (Walsall).

Omar Beckles (Shrewsbury Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt saved. Nicky Devlin (Walsall) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Attempt missed. Tyrese Campbell (Shrewsbury Town) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.

Substitution

Substitution, Walsall. Isaiah Osbourne replaces Liam Kinsella.

Anthony Grant (Shrewsbury Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by George Dobson (Walsall).

Nicky Devlin (Walsall) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Ro-Shaun Williams (Shrewsbury Town).

Corner, Shrewsbury Town. Conceded by Luke Leahy.

Corner, Walsall. Conceded by Mat Sadler.

Substitution

Substitution, Walsall. Aramide Oteh replaces Joe Edwards.

Luke Leahy (Walsall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Greg Docherty (Shrewsbury Town).

Attempt missed. Andy Cook (Walsall) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

Connor Johnson (Walsall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Anthony Grant (Shrewsbury Town).

Nicky Devlin (Walsall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Scott Golbourne (Shrewsbury Town).

Corner, Shrewsbury Town. Conceded by Chris Dunn.

Attempt saved. Tyrese Campbell (Shrewsbury Town) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

George Dobson (Walsall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Anthony Grant (Shrewsbury Town).

Corner, Shrewsbury Town. Conceded by George Dobson.

Attempt missed. James Bolton (Shrewsbury Town) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right following a corner.

Corner, Shrewsbury Town. Conceded by Connor Johnson.

Corner, Walsall. Conceded by Omar Beckles.

Substitution

Substitution, Shrewsbury Town. Josh Laurent replaces Fejiri Okenabirhie.

Attempt blocked. Scott Laird (Walsall) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Corner, Walsall. Conceded by Scott Golbourne.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Luton462713690424894
2Barnsley462613780394191
3Charlton4626101073403388
4Portsmouth462513883513288
5Sunderland462219580473385
6Doncaster4620131376581873
7Peterborough462012147162972
8Coventry461811175454065
9Burton461712176657963
10Blackpool461517145052-262
11Fleetwood461613175852661
12Oxford Utd461515165864-660
13Gillingham461510216172-1155
14Accrington461413195167-1655
15Bristol Rovers461315184750-354
16Rochdale46159225487-3354
17Wycombe461411215567-1253
18Shrewsbury461216185159-852
19Southend46148245568-1350
20Wimbledon461311224263-2150
21Plymouth461311225680-2450
22Walsall461211234971-2247
23Scunthorpe461210245383-3046
24Bradford46118274977-2841
View full League One table

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