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17:22 3th October 2009


A LATE equaliser denied The Saddlers maximum points against Carlisle United.

There was a cagey opening to the game as Troy Deeney forced a corner in the tenth minute that was curled in to the near post but ultimately came to nothing as the visitors cleared their lines.

A foul by Mark Hughes on thge pacy Joe Anyinsah gave The Cumbrians a free-kick out wide which Graham Kavanagh delivered into the danger zone but Walsall were able to clear without too many problems.

Rhys Weston's defensive header took an unfortunate deflection off Hughes in the 23rd minute as the ball fell into the path of Matt Robson who failed to take advantage as Rene Gilmartin was able to make the save.

Then Robson's inviting ball across the face of goal flashed agonsingly wide as Carlisle found themselves on top and asking most of the questions.

However, it was The Saddlers who took the lead with our first serious effort on goal as Darren Byfield capitalised upon a slip by Richard Keogh to fire the ball beyond Pidgeley.

Anyinsah looked to give the visitors an immediate response but a combination of Clayton McDonald and Rhys Weston did their job before Hughes put in a brave block in the next attack to deny Scott Dobie.

With 38 minutes on the clock, Mark Bradley fed Deeney whose strike from outside the area was saved by Pidgeley.

On the stroke of half-time the visitors were level when a loose ball was picked up by Robson who was given too much time and space as he lined up a sweet strike that beat Gilmartin.


There was an early chance for Richards to run at the Carlisle defence but his eventual shot was well off target.

The Vincent had time to line up a cross that was cleared ahead of Byfield as Walsall came out of the blocks with real purpose at the start of the second half.

Some good defending at the other end by Vincent saw him deny Dobie in front of goal following Anyinsah's dangerous low ball.

There was a booking for McDonald following a strong challenge as the rain started to fall heavily at a wind-swept Banks's Stadium.

Steve Jones was introduced into the action in place of Nicholls before a free-kick from Weston deflected off the defensive wall and out for a corner that Pidgeley did well to gather.

The Saddlers regained the lead on 73 minutes when Deeney's speculative effort smashed against the post and Jones was alert to the rebound to guide the ball home.

Shortly afterwards, Dwayne Mattis set Byfield racing away and as he held off the attentions of his marker, his effort went into the side-netting.

It was to be Byfield's last telling involvement in the action as he was replaced by Sam Parkin who immediately made his presence felt from a corner as McDonald drilled in an ambitious powerful effort as the ball fell out to him which landed well wide.

In the final minute of normal time, Carlisle grabbed an equaliser after Gilmartin did well to push the ball over under pressure and as the resulting flag-kick wasn't properly cleared, Keogh was able to head home through a crowd of players to salvage a point as the cross came back in.


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.