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09:13 3th February 2010


TEN-MAN Walsall picked up a point from a 1-1 home draw with Charlton Athletic at a wet Banks's Stadium.

The returning Richard Taundry did well in the fourth minute to head Kyel Reid's inviting cross away from danger in front of goal.

The Saddlers were forced into an early change with just seven minutes on the clock as Rhys Weston limped out of the action with a hamstring injury to be replaced by Darryl Westlake.

There was a booking for Dwayne Mattis for a robust challenge that wasn't to the referee's liking as both teams found it difficult to get into their stride on a heavy surface.

Clayton Ince was penalised for picking up a back-pass to give the visitors a free-kick just inside the area that was scrambled clear as Walsall breathed a collective sigh of relief.

The Saddlers put together a couple of neat passing moves in quick succession, the second of which saw Mattis find Matt Richards who drilled in an effort that was blocked by Rob Elliot.

The resulting corner eventually found its way out to Westlake on the far side and he delivered the ball back into the danger zone where Deeney was on hand to plany a header home to open the scoring on 32 minutes.

As the visitors looked to hit back, Ince did enough to put off Deon Burton on the edge of his area before Clayton McDonald became the latest player to see yellow for a foul on Akpo Sodje.

With half-time approaching, Deeney won a free-kick in a promising position out wide on the right which Richards curled in but it was too close to the 'keeper.

At the other end, a deft touch by Akpo Sodje saw the ball creep just wide of the far post.

There was a lifeline for Charlton right on the stroke of half-time when Nicky Bailey went down inside the area and the referee awarded what was a dubious penalty. Former Walsall loanee Burton stepped up to fire home and level the scores going into the interval as Deeney was booked for his protests.


Reid looked to inspire a bright start to the second period for the visitors but he was off target with his strike.

After Deeney had fired over for Walsall, Alex Nicholls was introduced into the action in place of Till.

Just past the hour-mark a header from Akpo Sodje was touched over the crossbar by Ince as the visitors just started to get something of a foothold on the game.

Some good play by Byfield saw him make progress on the right and his pull-back from the by-line was cleared just ahead of Richards in front of goal.

On 76 minutes Deeney was penalised for a foul from behind which earned him a red card from a referee who was certainly not a popular figure amongst the home faithful.

The ten men battled on in determined mood and Mattis fed Nicholls who shot flew over before another change saw Byfield replaced by Sam Parkin.

With time running out, Frazer Richardson fired over as Walsall failed to clear their lines with the visitors looking to make their extra man count.

Deep into stoppage time at the end, Nicholls broke into space as Charlton pushed up only for his low effort to be gathered by a grateful Elliot in The Addicks' goal.

At the other end, Reid' strike deflected out for a corner, which saw Ince fouled as he came to collect through a crowd of players.

The resulting free-kick only eased the pressure for a short time as right at the death McDonald was adjudged to have fouled Leon McKenzine to give the visitors a free-kick in a dangerous position just outside the area. Thankfully the defensive wall did its job to eventually clear the danger and secure a point.


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.