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14:34 26th December 2013
By  Andrew Poole


THE SADDLERS stepped out for this Boxing Day clash determined to bring some festive cheer.

The first opening fell to Walsall early on after a loose ball by Marlon Pack was seized upon by James Baxendale who fired over, whilst at the other end,, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas was given time to line up a strike that landed just wide of the target.

A neat ball from Ben Purkiss in the tenth minute found Romaine Sawyers who dragged his effort wide.

The home side were awarded a penalty on the quarter-hour mark when Bobby Reid was brought down by Richard O'Donnell and Sam Baldock stepped up to fire home from the spot.

City had their tails up for a time in the wake of the goal, but The Saddlers continued to work hard.

Andy Taylor did superbly well to block as City broke through the middle. Then shortly afterwards at the other end, Mantom's strike gathered by the home 'keeper.

The next raid saw Taylor feed Lalkovic who managed to get in a strike but his effort was saved.

After Ben Purkiss was booked for a foul following a short pass from James Baxendale, the home side went close to a second goal through Baldock.

HALF-TIME: Bristol City 1 Walsall 0

The early action of the second period saw an inviting cross from Milan Lalkovic beat the 'keeper before being scrambled away in front of goal. Then moments later, Westcarr put a low ball into the danger zone but there was no-one on hand to profit.

As the second period went on, Walsall started to ask a few more questions of the home side without troubling the 'keeper too much.

There was a first change just past the hour when Ashley Hemmings came on for James Baxendale and Hemmings had an effort shortly afterwards that was saved.

With 20 minutes to go, Richard O'Donnell made a superb save to deny Baldock as City broke through with real purpose.

A second change saw Troy Hewitt unleashed in place of Milan Lalkovic before Julian Gray replaced Westcarr who was booked moments earlier for letting his frustration get the better of him.

There was another smart stop from O'Donnell late on to deny Baldock yet again.

FULL-TIME: Bristol City 1 Walsall 0


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