Walsall 1-1 Aston Villa: Spoils shared in local friendly
Callum Robinson scores for Aston Villa (photo: avfc)

Aston Villa and Walsall played out a 1-1 draw on a sunny Saturday afternoon in the Midlands, as both sides continued their pre-season campaigns.

Youngster Callum Robinson gave Villa an early lead, grasping his opportunity at some first team action, before Anthony Forde's deflected free-kick levelled up proceedings.

Idrissa Gueye made his long awaited debut alongside Ashley Westwood in midfield, whilst Micah Richards was again played at centre back, this time alongside Ciaran Clark.

First half

It didn't take long for the new man to make an impact, shooting just wide of the post after good work by Robinson down the right channel. Robinson then turned shooter, as his shot was easily gathered by Walsall 'keeper Neil Etheridge.

Villa's early attacking did nearly get exposed though, as a quick counter attack from the Saddlers ended up in Forde just missing out on picking out Milan Lalkovic at the back post.

The Premier League side were soon ahead though, with Robinson netting on 21 minutes. Target man Libor Kozak put in a rare cross, but it wasn't dealt with by the Walsall defence, and Robinson picked the ball up before cooly slotting home.

Scott Sinclair could have doubled the lead just a few minutes after the goal, as his raw piece allowed him to slip behind the defence and round the 'keeper, only for his weak shot to be cleared off the line.

With the game floating towards half-time, Walsall got an unlikely equaliser from a set piece. Forde went for goal from 25-yards out, as his deflected attempt dumbfounded Jed Steer in the Villa goal and flew into the right hand corner.

Second half

After the interval, Sinclair resumed showing off his impressive dribbling skills as he sauntered into the box, only to disappoint with his end product as he waited too long to pass to Gueye, seeing the ball cleared.

In truth, there was little goalmouth action in the rest of the half. Kozak was denied another goal as he continuecd his recovery from a broken leg, as his header was ruled out for offside after having not been awarded what looked a penalty for an obvious pull in the six-yard box.

At the other end, James Chambers' attempt was too weak to trouble Steer, whilst striker Tom Bradshaw was unable to get one of his few chances on target.

The game finished with the score at 1-1, and both manager's will probably accept that the most they can take from it is fitness gains.

Up next

Next up for Villa comes another local friendly game, as they face Wolverhampton Wanderers on Saturday, two weeks before the Premier League season gets underway with a game against AFC Bournemouth.