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23:09 28th November 2009


THE SADDLERS slipped out of the FA Cup at the second round stage with a 1-0 defeat at Brentford.

It was the home side who started by asking all of the early questions and with six minutes on the clock, a long throw-in caused problems as Walsall failed to clear their lines properly and Ben Strevens saw his effort blocked before an offside flag eased the pressure.

Brentford got their noses in front on 12 minutes when a corner was headed in by Leon Legge who came up from the back and was not tracked.

Shorty afterwards Matt Richards curled in a free-kick that was easy for Lewis Price, but it was The Bees who looked the most likely side and a teasing cross from John Bostock was touched away from Charlie MacDonald by Rhys Weston as the home side forced a number of corners, one of which was headed off the line by Steve Jones from MacDonald's deft effort.

After Bostock curled a free-kick onto the roof of the net, The Saddlers had their first effort on goal in the 33rd minute when Darren Byfield set up Mark Bradley whose effort was saved by Price.

Three minutes later Byfield went close at the far post from a corner as Chris Hutchings' side started to grab a hold of the game as the half-time interval approached.

The half came to a close with a booking for Dwayne Mattis for a late challenge.

On 51 minutes Legge got in another header from a corner but this time Clayton Ince was on hand to make the save.

At the other end, Jones did well on the right and his pull-back from the by-line almost found Byfield who was ready to pull the trigger, however Foster got in a crucial clearance to keep his side ahead.

Weston saw a shot saved by Price before Troy Deeney broke the offside trap to close in on goal only for his strike to deflect wide off Alan Bennett.

A poor free-kick from Richards allowed Brentford to counter-attack through substitute, Cleveland Taylor but Richards managed to redeem himself by getting back and helping Ince gather the ball.

There was a booking for Netan Sansara as Sam Parkin was introduced into the action in place of Byfield.

With time running out, Richards found Deeney inside the area and his shot deflected to Parkin in a good position but he was denied by Price who made an important save.

The next attack saw Jones break through only for his touch to let him down at the crucial moment and this allowed Legge to get in a blocking tackle.

The Saddlers were putting the pressure on in a bid to force a replay and an ambitious effort from Manny Smith flew wide from a long way out.

Smith's next involvement in the action was to get booked whilst Weston was replaced after taking a knock as Darryl Westlake took his place.

The closing stages saw Bradley fire wide and then Jones use his pace to get into the area only for the ball to bounce back off him from the 'keeper. It summed up Walsall's luck as we exited the FA Cup.

    Data provided by Press Association


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