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17:45 20th February 2010


THE SADDLERS came from behind to beat Brentford by two goals to one at the Banks's Stadium.

A teasing cross from Richard Taundry in the second minute was not properly cleared as Alex Nicholls got in a low strike that Wojciech Szczesny did well to push out as he dived low to his left.

Shortly afterwards, a snap-shot from Troy Deeney flew over after he was teed up by Dwayne Mattis as Walsall started the game in a lively fashion.

The visitors first threatened when Myles Weston put a header well wide in the tenth minute and they grabbed the lead out of the blue when Weston's ball in from the left found Charlie Macdonald who was alert to fire home beyond Clayton Ince with 16 minutes on the clock.

As the first half went on, the game developed into something of a midfield scrap with neither 'keeper seriously tested until the equaliser arrived on 34 minutes as Darren Byfield's persistence on the right saw him win the ball and pick out Alex Nicholls on the edge of the area. Nicholls slotted home with a low strike that found its way past the 'keeper.

A burst from out of defence by Clayton McDonald saw him get well into enemy territory before hitting a shot that lacked the necessary power as it was deflected away.

With half-time approaching, a high cross to the far post was met with a towering header from Tommy Smith who beat Deeney only to see his effort land inches over the crossbar.

The Bees' next foray forward saw Toumani Diagouraga beat a couple of challenges before firing into the side-netting as he closed in on goal.

The last action of the half saw Jamie Vincent bring down Macdonald to give Brentford a free-kick in a promising position that Sam Saunders struck sweetly, however, Ince was equal to it as he pushed the ball around the post.

There was a half-time change as Manny Smith came on for Darryl Westlake.

Some good link-up play between Julian Gray and Matt Richards on the left ended with the latter crossing deep to where Byfield headed just over.

A shooting opportunity opened up for Taundry soon afterwards but his effort ended up in the top tier of the Floors-2-Go Stand

There was a blow as Mattis took a knock on the half-way line and he was eventually stretchered from the field to be replaced by Mark Bradley.

A 65th minute corner saw Macdonald arrive late and his deft effort was gathered well by Ince. At the other end, Szczesny had to be alert to deny Nicholls after he was set up by Deeney.

A long ball from Smith found Deeney and his first-time effort was just off target. There was a further chance two minutes later when Bradley's intelligent ball found Nicholls whose low strike flashed just wide.

There was a booking for Deeney for a foul on Mark Phillips, who returned to the field just in time to make a key tackle when Richards' ball split open the visitors' defence and saw Byfield break through. However, as Byfield went to pull the trigger, Phillips made a timely interception.

The Saddlers got their noses in front on 82 minutes when a sublime ball from Taundry set Nicholls racing away and he delivered an inviting cross into the area that was met with a header from Deeney that hit the back of the net.

The closing stages saw Manny Smith booked as Walsall claimed a corner, but we held firm to claim another important three points.


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.