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17:37 29th August 2009


THE SADDLERS played out a stalemate with Gillingham at the Banks's Stadium.

The visitors started by seeing plenty of the early ball and found the net in the third minute, however Simeon Jackson's effort was ruled out for handball.

An inviting ball in from the right by Peter Till in the seventh minute was cleared at full stretch by Josh Gowling as Walsall looked to get a hold of proceedings.

Manny Smith played an excellent ball out of defence to set Steve Jones away but his ball into the danger zone evaded everyone. Whilst at the other end, Curtis Weston blazed well wide after he was picked out in space at the far post.

A low ball in by Andy Barcham saw Jackson fire over from close range as Clayton Ince took a knock for his troubles that required treatment before he was given the all-clear.

The game was in need of a spark from somewhere as a croos from Jihn Nutter found the head of target man, Mark McCammon but Ince was equal to it.

With five minutes to go until the break, a neat passing move by The Saddlers ended with Jones eventually getting in a shot that was easy for Simon Royce to gather.

The last action of the half saw Darryl Westlake defend bravely at the far post to deny Barcham.


Troy Deeney was denied by Barry Fuller as he looked to pull the trigger early in the second half. It left The Gills skipper in need of treatment before he was replaced.

On the hour-mark, Ince was alert to gether at the feet of Jackman who looked to break through the middle.

There was a change as Richard Taundry replaced Richards before Stephen Roberts did well to head clear a Gillingham corner to the near post.

Jackson broke away from Roberts in the next attack as his strike was beaten away by Ince who was able to gather at the second attempt.

It was to be Roberts' last involvement in the action as he limped off to be replaced by Rhys Weston who took his place in the heart of the back-line.

A foul on Saddlers' skipper Mattis gave us a free-kick in a dangerous position which was charged down as Weston got in a strike.

The long-awaited introduction of Darren Byfield came in the 74th minute when he took the place of Till.

A handball against former Saddler, Chris Palmer, who was on as a second half substitute, presented Taundry with a free-kick that he put wide of the target.

Some lively and determined play by Deeney saw him tee up Parkin whose effort on the edge of the area landed just wide.

With time running out, Ince did well to claim Adam Millers' cross under pressure before Smith made an important tackle to deny Jackson as The Gills launched a counter-attack in injury time.

In the end, neither side was able to make the breakthrough.


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.