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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
14:43 21st April 2014
By  Andrew Poole

WALSALL v GILLINGHAM

THE SADDLERS stepped out on Bank Holiday Monday looking to return to winning ways on home soil with the visit of Gillingham.

The early action saw a teasing ball into the area from Febian Brandy headed back into the danger zone by Milan Lalkovic as The Gills were forced to scramble behind for a corner, which came to nothing.

After Mal Benning did well to block Craig Fagan's effort, some good play out wide on the left from Lalkovic saw him win a corner which was half-cleared and as Mantom got the ball back in, Stuart Nelson in The Gills' goal was able to claim.

Chances were few and far between at either end in the opening 20 minutes. The Saddlers enjoyed some decent possession but were unable to turn it into opportunities.

There were signs that Walsall were starting to get into our stride as the half went on but the visitors' back-line proving difficult to break down.

With three minutes to go until half-time, Febian Brandy hit a shot on the turn that was deflected just wide of the target.

A whipped in cross from Lalkovic found Westcarr who was denied by the 'keeper who then gathered the loose ball.

HALF-TIME: Walsall 0 Gillingham 0

It was the visitors who started on the attack but Walsall created a couple of good early chances as Craig Westcarr's effort was spilled by the 'keeper who then did well to deny Brandy from close range.

The next raid saw James Chambers flash the ball across the face of goal, just too far ahead of Brandy.

The goal that we had threatened finally arrived on 55 minutes when Westcarr's stinging strike was saved but Brandy was alert to guide the loose ball home.

With our tails up we started to increase the pressure on the visitors and a foul on Lalkovic gave us a free-kick out wide which was blocked after a neat move.

There was a booking for Paul Downing for a foul and as the resulting free-kick was cleared for a corner, Adebayo Akinfenwa headed the flag-kick just wide.

With 20 minutes to go, a great strike from distance by Westcarr slammed against the woodwork.

There was a first change for Walsall with 15 minutes to go as Michael Ngoo came on for Sawyers.

Some really positive play from Milan Lalkovic saw him cut inside at pace and strike a curling effort that landed just inches the wrong side of the post.

The visitors grabbed an equaliser on 84 minutes when Cody McDonald fired home after linking up well with Akinfenwa.

There was a late change as Amadou Bakayoko came on for Febian Brandy in the closing stages.

A neat move saw Mantom feed Ngoo who in turn picked out Westcarr and he then played in Lalkovic who blazed over in what was the last chance of the game as honours ended even at 1-1.

FULL-TIME: Walsall 1 Gillingham 1


    QUICK FACTS

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