Skip to main content


23:49 5th September 2009


THE SADDLERS came home from Norwich City with a deserved share of the spoils in a goalless draw.

It was the home side who forced a couple of early corners, the second of which saw Jens Berthel Askou come up from the back to put an effort over.

Walsall were looking to pass the ball around at every opportunity in the opening exchanges and not allowing City time to settle. Troy Deeney's cushioned header on 12 minutes found strike partner, Darren Byfield in a wide position and he snatched at his strike that flew well wide.

Shortly afterwards Jamie Vincent's probing cross was headed just over by Deeney as Chris Hutchings' side started to build up a head of steam.

Simon Lappin was given time to line up an effort that was blazed over before Deeney looped a header over the crossbar at the other end.

After Richard Taundry was spoken to by the referee following a foul, an inviting ball in from the right by Peter Till saw Byfield just off target with his header.

The last action of the opening period saw Paul McVeigh fire narrowly wide but, in all fairness, neither 'keeper was seriously tested.

The early action of the second half saw Lappin cut inside to get a powerful low strike that Rene Gilmartin followed all the way to gather.

Straight away at the other end, Byfield found his way through the City back-line but as he got into a good position to the left of the goal, he was caught in two minds as whether to shoot at goal or cross the ball into the danger zone. In the end he did neither.

There were loud appeals for a foul as Deeney went through only to be held back by his marker, but the referee was having none of it.

The Saddlers were working hard and frustrating the home side, keeping the large home crowd quiet for long periods. A cross from Till was took off the head of Deeney at the crucial moment, whilst a loose ball in midfield was seized upon by the home side who went close to getting their noses in front through Lappin.

They went even closer on 62 minutes when Michael Nelson headed the ball powerfully home from a corner, however his celebrations were short-lived as a foul was given in Walsall's favour and the loyal travelling contingent was able to breathe a collective sigh of relief.

Walsall defended well to deny substitute McDonald who looked lively as he twisted and turned inside the area. However, Manny Smith and Clayton McDonald were in stubborn mood.

Some neat play out wide by Byfield saw him get in a low cross that Fraser Forster could only push out into the path of Matt Richards but the former Ipswich Town man was crowded out as he prepared to pull the trigger.

Chris Hutchings introduced another ex-Ipswich man as Sam Parkin took the place of Deeney, whilst Byfield was replaced by Alex Nicholls with just five minutes to go. In between Stephen Hughes fired well over for The Canaries.

In the end, Walsall were good value for the point and a third clean sheet in a row.

    Data provided by Press Association


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