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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
14:31 23rd August 2014
By  Andrew Poole

LEYTON ORIENT

THE SADDLERS stepped out resplendent in all black as we looked to secure our first win of the season at Leyton Orient.

There were early half-chances at either end as firstly Ashley Grimes picked the ball up for Walsall but as he tried to make an angle for a shot, he was crowded out. Then, at the other end, Dean Cox's teasing ball into the area brought a good defensive header from Dean Holden.

Neither team able to get into their stride in the opening exchanges, although it is the home side who are seeing more of the ball in advanced positions.

A couple of Walsall corners from Anthony Forde, making his first start for the club, saw the second of which find the head of Downing as the ball flew invitingly across the face of goal as Adam Chambers was unable to get a crucial touch.

As The Saddlers started to get to grips with the game, a neat passage of play ended with Forde putting the ball just over the crossbar.

Chances at a premium for both teams as half-time approached.

Some slick Walsall play ended with Forde getting a strike in on target but it lacked the necessary power to trouble the 'keeper too much, whilst at the other end, Jobi McAnuff hit the side-netting.

The last action of the half saw an inviting ball delivered into the danger zone from Taylor but Baxendale just couldn't reach it as we ended the half strongly with the scoreline locked at 0-0.

There was a big let-off for the home side on 53 minutes when the 'keeper got into all sorts of trouble with a clearance under pressure from Forde who won the ball but attempted to back-heel over the line and missed the target.

At the other end, a great save from Richard O'Donnell denied the home side as Vincelot's effort was curling goalwards but the 'keeper pushed the ball around the post at full stretch.

There was a change for The Saddlers with just over 20 minutes to go as Romaine Sawyers replaced Baxendale.

A long-range drive from Lloyd James flew over for The O's. Then McAnuff's low effort was deflected wide of the mark.

There was a first taste of senior action for Reece Flanagan as he replaced Clifford before a low cross from Forde was deflected towards Bradshaw only for the 'keeper to block.

Some sharp play between Sawyers and Grimes ended with the latter firing wide. It was to be Grimes' last involvement in the action as Kieron Morris took his place.

Morris showed some skill  with just over five minutes left on the clock only for his final effort to go well wide.

There was some more positive play which ended with Flanagan's low strike going just inches wide.

The Saddlers showing plenty of energy and endeavour here as the clock ticked down.

A couple of late Walsall corners cause concern for The O's who eventually clear the danger as Sawyers' strike is blocked.

The full-time whistle soon sounded to signal our second goalless draw of the season as The Saddlers put in an impressive away day display against a side who have invested heavily over the summer...

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