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09:31 19th August 2013
By  Andrew Poole


AFTER two games on the road, The Saddlers stepped out at Banks's Stadium for the visit of East Midlands rivals, Notts County.

Having stepped out in pink shirts last year, Notts County are in purple shirts and yellow shorts today.

A neat early move saw Romaine Sawyers, in for the injured Milan Lalkovic, link-up well with Ashley Hemmings who was denied by a block from the 'keeper.

At the other end, a foul by Romaine Sawyers saw the visitors win a free-kick in a promising position which Danny Haynes fired powerfully goalwards to bring out a fine save from Richard O'Donnell.

A neat move by The Saddlers on the right ends with the ball just getting away from Craig Westcarr as the 'keeper is out to gather.

There was another important stop from O'Donnell to deny the marauding Mark Fotheringham.

Chances few and far between at either end as The Saddlers look to get a hold of the game.

There was a late chance for the visitors which flew over as the half ended goalless.

HALF-TIME: Walsall 0 Notts County 0

The Saddlers looked brighter at the start of the second period with a couple of half-chances.

With 50 minutes on the clock, The Saddlers took the lead when Romaine Sawyers was given room to line up a shot and he tucked home from distance to make it 1-0.

Shortly afterwards Westcarr broke through only to be denied by the 'keeper.

There were two chances in quick succession for Walsall as firstly Sam Mantom threaded through Westcarr whose first touch just took the ball away from him as he fired wide. Then James Baxendale went close with a lively burst.

With 70 minutes on the clock, Baxendale threaded through Mantom whose effort was blocked by the legs of the goalkeeper.

The equaliser arrived for County on 73 minutes when a cross from the left was headed home at the far post by substitute Arquin.

In the wake of the goal, O'Donnell had to push an effort over as the visitors found renewed energy.

With just over ten minutes to go, Troy Hewitt replaced Baxendale.

There was an heroic goal-line clearance from James Chambers as The Saddlers defended for their lives to keep the ball out. County on top as the clock ticked down.

A rasping, deflected effort from Adam Chambers was superbly tipped over by the 'keeper in this pulsating finish.

There was a heart-in-the-mouth moment in stoppage time when County had the ball in the net only for the offside flag to rule it out.

It certainly proved to be a frantic end as honours finished even.

FULL-TIME: Walsall 1 Notts County 1


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