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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
11:31 7th August 2013
By  Andrew Poole

CUP PROGRESS

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THE SADDLERS turned their attention to Capital One Cup matters with a short trip up to Port Vale.

Manager, Dean Smith was able to field the same starting line-up that did so well on the opening day of the season.

A corner for the home side in the ninth minute caused problems as Paul Downing was forced to head clear from in front of goal.

Walsall yet to utilise the big pitch here at Vale Park as opportunities to get into our rhythm have been limited.

Some good link-up play just outside the area saw Ashley Hemmings feed Craig Westcarr who fired over.

A deft header from Doug Loft fielded by Richard O'Donnell despite having the low Burslem sunset in his eyes.

The referee quick to diffuse a situation involving Milan Lalkovic and Carl Dickinson.

After Lalkovic's attempt to pull the ball back into the danger zone saw Vale scramble clear, a break by Daniel Jones saw his strike gathered by O'Donnell.

The Valiants thought the had taken the lead when Gavin Tomlin headed home, however, it was ruled out for a foul in the build-up.

A high, hanging ball in from the right found the head of Tom Pope but his effort nestled into the arms of O'Donnell.

Things not quite coming together for The Saddlers at the moment with the final ball just note there.

Walsall took the lead just before the break when the 'keeper tipped an effort from Chambers onto the crossbar and the ball fell nicely to Ashley Hemmings who guided home from close range.

Straight away Hemmings skipped through and almost added a second but was just off target.

HALF-TIME: Port Vale 0 Walsall 1

The Saddlers looking purposeful in the opening exchanges of the half, but Vale starting to get into their stride and Jennison Myrie-Williams' cross evaded everyone as they launched a raid down the right.

The home side equalised on 58 minutes when a free-kick on the left found the head of Chris Robertson and the ball looped over O'Donnell and into the net to make it 1-1.

There was an excellent block from O'Donnell at close range from Tom Pope as The Valiants upped the pressure.

The first change for Walsall saw Lalkovic replaced by Romaine Sawyers.

Ambitious effort from Pope landed just over.

A burst from James Chambers saw him make good progress only for Vale to have men back to clear.

Moments later Hemmings was played in but Chris Neal in the home goal was alert to block at his feet.

With 76 minutes on the clock, Westcarr fired just wide of the target.

Low strike from Myrie-Williams kept out by O'Donnell as the clock ticked down.

After loud appeals for a penalty at one end, The Saddlers broke and Baxendale showed good pace and trickery before bending the ball home to make it 2-1.

There was a booking for Benning for time-wasting as Saddlers stayed resolute.

It ended in victory for The Saddlers as we made progress into the next round.

FULL-TIME: Port Vale 1 Walsall 2

    QUICK FACTS

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