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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
19:09 23rd March 2013
By  Andrew Poole

THE WIND IS THE WINNER

WE MAY not have had the snow that has gripped most of the country, but we certainly had the wind at Victoria Park on a blustery and freezing cold afternoon.

Both sides were workman-like and it certainly wasn't a day for the purists. The Saddlers were solid in defence and it gave us a foundation on which to build but we found our hosts in similarly stubborn mood.

With Sam Johnstone making his debut in goal, the young Manchester United man made a couple of smart saves in the opening period as well as claiming several high balls into the area. His best save saw him deny Antony Sweeney's header.

At the other end, Scott Flinders had a couple of routine catches as we missed the presence of top scorer, Will Grigg.

The second period saw both teams continue in resolute fashion giving each other little time on the ball.

The Saddlers did have chances in the second period with Craig Westcarr seeing a header land wide and Sam Mantom and Jamie Paterson both seeing strikes fly wide of the target.

The introduction of Ashley Hemmings livened things up but in the end honours ended even with Walsall making it ten games unbeaten and Hartlepool drawing 0-0 for their third successive home game.

    QUICK FACTS

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