Skip to main content


11:10 15th February 2013
By  Andrew Poole


THE SADDLERS are back on home soil for the visit of East Midlands rivals, Notts County on Saturday (kick-off 3.00pm).

Manager, Dean Smith, who picked up the League One Manager of the Month award for January on the eve of the game, is waiting on the fitness of Ben Purkiss. The full-back picked up a hamstring strain during the first half of the last game and is rated as 'touch-and-go'.

Also doubtful is Richard Taundry who is still being troubled by an ankle problem.

There are a few former Magpies amongst the Walsall ranks. Febian Brandy had a spell with the club in 2011, whilst Craig Westcarr spent a couple of years at Meadow Lane from 2009. Goalkeeper, David Grof has also served the club.

Skipper, Andy Butler notched the winner in our game at Meadow Lane back in August and he will be looking to follow-up his goal in the last game at Doncaster where he found the net in the opening couple of minutes.

Notts County go into the game in 11th place in the table, three points behind The Saddlers. They have lost just three times in 16 away League games this season.

They recently had a change at the helm with Keith Curle leaving the club and being replaced by caretaker-manager, Chris Kiwomya.

Kiwomya will be boosted by the return of the influential Neal Bishop from a three-match ban, whilst goalkeeper, Bartosz Biakowski is back in full training to compete with German youngster, Fabian Spiess for a place between the posts.

Joss Labadie is a doubt with a back injury, whilst young striker, Jacob Blyth, arrived at the club this week from Leicester City.

Former Saddler, Manny Smith, has been on the bench for County recently as he looks to establish himself in the team having seen injury halt his early season progress.

There will be a collection at the game by the family of Dean Holden on behalf of the Meningitis Trust. Please give what you can for this worthwhile cause.

We'll also have representatives from the Arrhythmia Alliance and Walsall NHS at the game as part of the Hearts and Goals campaign where supporters will be encouraged to get their pulses checked as well as being given information on other life-saving skills.

If you are unable to make it along to the game, fear not as Saddlers Player will have live, full match commentary...