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14:36 22nd February 2014
By  Andrew Poole


THE SADDLERS stepped out for the visit of Crawley Town, who had not been in action for almost a month.

It was the visitors who burst out of the blocks when a cross from Andy Drury spun up and hit Andy Butler on the arm and the referee pointed to the spot with just three minutes on the clock. Matt Tubbs stepped up and tucked the ball home to make it 1-0.

A positive burst from Febian Brandy took him into the area as he won a corner off Mat Sadler. The flag-kick came to nothing but moments later a free-kick in a promising position saw Westcarr curl just over from 25 yards.

There were signs that The Saddlers were starting to get on top as the opening period went on.

The opposition were guilty of some robust challenges which saw a couple of their players spoken to by the referee as The Saddlers' faithful get behind the team.

With 34 minutes on the clock, Brandy holds of four men to cross in search of Ngoo and as the ball is half-cleared, Mantom fires just wide of the target.

The Saddlers starting to step up a gear as appeals for a penalty are waved away as Westcarr is felled inside the area.

The last action of the half saw Mal Benning blaze wide following a neat move.

HALF-TIME: Walsall 0 Crawley Town 1

The opening action of the half saw a Walsall attack end when Ben Purkiss crossed and Ngoo was adjudged to have fouled the 'keeper as he went for the ball.

At the other end, the visitors doubled their advantage when Bill Clarke put in an inviting ball to the far post where Tubbs was on hand to head home from close range.

With 55 minutes on the clock, Ngoo picks up a loose pass but is unable to get in a strike as the visitors get men back.

A marauding run from Mike Jones ended with him rattling the woodwork before the first change of the afternoon saw Romaine Sawyers replace Ngoo on 61 minutes.

A well-worked corner from the training ground ended with Sam Mantom firing in off the post to reduce the arrears on 63 minutes.

Moments later Mantom tries his luck again but is denied. The momentum is with Walsall now, though.

There was a yellow card for Milan Lalkovic for diving.

Westcarr does well to keep the ball in and cross for Brandy who fails to connect properly.

On 78 minutes James Baxendale replaced Lalkovic before the visitors were reduced to ten men with a red card for Billy Clarke who kicked the ball away after getting caught offside and duly receives a second yellow.

The Saddlers pushing forward in search of an equaliser as the visitors defend resolutely and also survive an appeal for handball.

In the end, we couldn't find an equaliser as Crawley held on to claim all three points.

FULL-TIME: Walsall 1 Crawley 2


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