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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
18:10 28th April 2012
By  Andrew Poole

SADDLERS DERAILED

THERE was a good away following to cheer on The Saddlers in our final game of the season at Crewe.

The early action saw a weak effort from Nicky Featherstone easy for debutant 'keeper, Ben Garratt.

At the other end a foul out wide by James Chambers on Luke Murphy gave the home side a free-kick that Featherstone headed out.

There was another free-kick for The Alex in the eighth minute which Murphy put in low only for Febian Brandy to clear.

Chances few and far between as the half progressed, but Walsall starting to get our passing game together and seeing more of the ball.

With 20 minutes on the clock, some neat play by the hosts ended with a strike from the edge of the area from Byron Moore flying wide odf the target.

There was a booking for Adam Chambers for a foul midway inside The Saddlers' half. The resulting free-kick delievered onto the head of Kelvin Mellor but Sam Johnstone was able to gather.

Grigg did well to get away from George Ray only for Harry Davis to get across and block his effort. Moments later, Featherstone fed Jamie Paterson who cut inside and curled an effort just wide of the target.

On 28 minutes, James Baxendale did well to release Grigg who pulled the ball back for Brandy whose effort was gathered by the 'keeper.

Some good work by Featherstone saw him find Baxendale who whipped an effort goalwards only for Garratt to gather.

It's an evenly-matched encounter with both sides trying to play the right way.

An inviting ball into the danger zone from Matt Tootle was headed out by Dean Holden as Saddlers had to do some defensive work.

The last action of the half saw a Walsall corner scrambled clear as the half ended goalless.

HALF-TIME: Crewe Alexandra 0 Walsall 0
 
Febian Brandy exploded out of the blocks at the very start of the half as he burst towards goal and fired low but narrowly wide.

A break on the left by the home side saw the ball delivered over to Moore but his header back across was dealt with  by The Saddlers.

Some good running from Grigg ended with him finding Brandy whose cheeky low strike hit the base of the post before being cleared by Tootle.

The game opening up with both teams finding space.

A Baxendale effort beaten away by the 'keeper as the 1,905 travelling fans continue to give excellent backing to their team.

Another Saddlers' raid ended with a powerful drive from Benning deflected onto the roof of the net. The resulting corner caused all sorts of problems as Dean Holden had an effort blocked and then Adam Chambers fired well over.

There was a change by Walsall on 66 minutes as Craig Westcarr replaced Brandy.

Excellent challenge by James Chambers to deny Chuks Aneke as he broke into the area. It had to be well-timed - and it was!

There was a penalty for Crewe on 78 minutes when Sam Johnstone was adjudged to have brought down Moore on the edge of the area. It was the assistant referee that gave it and Murphy stepped up to make it 1-0.

A second change saw Ashley Hemmings replace Baxendale.

A strike from Paterson held by the 'keeper as Walsall looked for a way back into the game.

Some good play by Ryan Colclough saw him make progress before crossing into the area and as the ball found its way to Aneke, he fired home to make it 2-0.

Paterson dinked a ball in for Adam Chambers to get a head on the ball but Garratt equal to it. Then a cross-cum-shot from Westcarr landed inches wide as Walsall finished the stronger..

The full-time whistle singled the end of the 2012/13 season and what a campaign of progress it has been for The Saddlers - bring on 2013/14!

FULL-TIME: Crewe Alexandra 2 Walsall 0

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