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22:02 18th August 2009


TWO LATE goals from Leeds United snatched victory from The Saddlers' grasp in front of a crowd of almost 8,500 at the Banks's Stadium.

Backed by a large and vocal following, the visitors came out of the blocks with purpose,.

Walsall's first raid saw a short corner played to Matt Richards who drilled a low ball into the danger zone where Shane Higgs gathered ahead of Mark Bradley.

A superb save by Clayton Ince saw him push out Jermaine Beckford's effort from close range following an inviting cross from the left by Bradley Johnson as Michael Doyle put the loose ball wide.

Richards was forced off with a cut head that he sustained earlier in the game as Richard Taudry eventually took his place in the midfield.

With 36 minutes on the clock, Sam Parkin broke the offside trap only to be felled just inside the area by Rui Marques. Despite loud appeals, the referee allowed play to continue.

The incident acted to put a spring in Walsall's step but real goalscoring chances were at a premium.

After Luciano Becchio dragged an effort wide, the half ended with Robert Snodgrass dipping an effort just over from distance.


The second period started with Beckford shooting straight down the throat of Ince before Johnson fired over in the next attack.

On 56 minutes, Beckford freed himself of the attentions of Hughes only to blaze well over.

A foul on Beckford by Jones gave Leeds a free-kick in a promising position which Johnson put wide.

The visitors were seeing more of the ball, but Walsall were working hard and reducing Leeds to long range efforts.

After a foul on the 'keeper had ended a Saddlers' raid, some neat link-up play between Parkin and Deeney set Jones racing away and as he entered the penalty area, he was brought crashing down by Marques. There was no doubt that it was a penalty and, just as he did on Saturday, Parkin stepped up to fire home and give Walsall the lead.

Leeds were back on level terms just five minutes later when a corner found its way over to the far post where Johnson's stooping effort went in off the crossbar despite Jamie Vincent's best efforts to clear.

With Alex Nicholls on in place of the lively Jones, the visitors grabbed the lead with just five minutes to go when Beckford latched onto a long ball before turning sharply and firing beyond the reach of Ince.

There was still time for Snodgrass to fire into the side-netting but there was just no way back for Chris Hutchings' men.


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.