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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
14:38 26th April 2014
By  Andrew Poole

STEVENAGE v WALSALL

THE SADDLERS stepped out at already-relegated Stevenage for our final away game of the season.

The first chance went to our much-changed hosts when Luke Freeman crossed well from the left and Fejiri Okenabirihe's header was on target but saved by Richard O'Donnell.

Stevenage started the game in a lively fashion, not allowing Walsall to settle.

First sight of goal for Walsall came when Sawyers' cross was cleared by Smith ahead of Adam Chambers, who hit tamely at the 'keeper in the next attack.

There was a good opportunity for The Saddlers on 17 minutes when Mantom played in Sawyers who drew the 'keeper and pulled the ball across for Mantom who had continued his run but dragged his effort wide.

Some good play out wide on the left by Lalkovic saw him skip past a couple of challenges before finding Westcarr who curled his effort just wide of the target.

There was a half-chance for the home side soon afterwards when The Saddlers lost the ball in a dangerous position but O'Donnell saved the strike without too many problems.

With ten minutes to go until the interval, some sloppy play by The Saddlers saw Jimmy Smith pick up the ball and fire home.

On 37 minutes Benning was booked for a foul as the resulting free-kick was headed away well by Andy Butler.

With half-time approaching, Adam Chambers did well to find Westcarr in space and he fed Lalkovic who curled narrowly wide.

HALF-TIME: Stevenage 1 Walsall 0

The Saddlers wasted little time in getting back on level terms when Lalkovic found Benning who strode through and saw his effort beat the 'keeper to make it 1-1. Day got a touch on the ball but couldn't prevent it going in.

It was 2-1 Walsall on 50 minutes when Sawyers was given room to hit a low strike that the 'keeper pushed out into the path of Westcarr who made no mistake to tuck the ball home.

The home side levelled soon afterwards when Smith carved open the back-line to find Jo N'Guessan who slotted home well.

A neat move on the right ended with Brandy getting in a strike that appeared to be blocked by a Stevenage hand as James Chambers fired the loose ball well over.

There was an opening for Brandy following a loose clearance that he lifted over. Worth a try for the diminutive front-man.

Brandy was clattered into as he made a positive run to give Walsall a free-kick in a promising position which Benning fired through the wall but it lacked the power to trouble Chris Day too much.

With 12 minutes to go the first change for The Saddlers saw James Baxendale on for Lalkovic.

The home side went back in front on 82 minutes when a defensive mistake saw Luke Freeman fire home from close range to make it 3-2.

There was a double change with five minutes to go when Adam Chambers and Febian Brandy were replaced by Michael Ngoo and Amadou Bakayoko.

Some good hold-up play from Bakayoko saw him find Westcarr who in turn found Mantom only for his effort to be blocked by Jones.

There was time for one final effort from Mantom whose low strike was saved by Day after good work from Ngoo in the build-up.

Second later the full-time whistle signalled a 3-2 defeat.

FULL-TIME: Stevenage 3 Walsall 2


    QUICK FACTS

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