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17:37 15th August 2009


THE SADDLERS grabbed a point with a last-minute penalty to draw 2-2 with Southend United in our first home League game of the season.

The early action saw Jean-Francois Christophe drill a shot wide for the visitors as the ball came to him outside the area.

Neither goalkeeper was called into action in the opening ten minutes, but Walsall took the lead on 11 minutes when youngster, Darryl Westlake, who was making his first senior start for the club, curled in a free-kick that was flicked on towards Steve Jones who bravely got his head to the ball to guide it past Steve Mildenhall in The Shimpers' goal.

The Saddlers spread the play well on 20 minutes as the ball found its way over to Peter Till who cut inside from the right only for his shot to lack the necessary power to trouble the 'keeper.

There was a booking for Dwayne Mattis for a robust challenge on Anthony Grant in the 25th minute before shortly afterwards, a low strike by James Walker was gathered well by Ince.

Appeals for a penalty were turned down when Matt Richards floated a ball into the area and Sam Parkin was brought to the ground.

As half-time approached, Mark Hughes didn't get enough on his back header, but Ince was alert to beat Walker well outside his area and clear long to safety.


A marauding run from Mattis saw his pull-back from the by-line scrambled clear.

Walsall then carved open the visitors' back-line with some sharp passing that ended with Jones breaking through but this time he was denied by Mildenhall's block

The hour-mark saw Mattis dismissed for his second yellow card as The Saddlers were forced to play with ten men for the second game in a row.

After Moussa flashed an effort wide, the visitors were given a way back into the game out of the blue as Ince gave the ball to Lee Barnard who strode through and slotted home.

It was a blow for Chris Hutchings' men who hadn't been unduly troubled by the Essex side up until that point.

On 70 minutes Till fired over after a corner as only half-cleared, whilst at the other end, Moussa dragged another attempt wide.

Richard Taundry replaced goalscorer Jones before the visitors took the lead with ten minutes to go when a cross from the left was despatched by the experienced Dougie Freedman who came off the bench to make his mark.

There was a further change for The Saddlers as Alex Nicholls replaced Till, but it was Southend who were finishing the stronger of the two sides and as Lee Sawyer broke the offside trap, he was denied by a timely block from Mark Hughes.

At the other end, Deeney and Parkin linked up on the edge of the area as Parkin fired well over.

There was drama in the first minute stoppage time at the end when Walsall won a penalty. Parkin stepped up and coolly finished to secure a point.


PHOTOS: David Linney Photography

    Data provided by Press Association


    For the first 50 years of their existence, England played their home matches all around the country.