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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
15:00 4th October 2014
By  Andrew Poole

WALSALL v BRISTOL CITY

THERE was a large and vocal crowd in attendance as The Saddlers locked horns with the undefeated League leaders, Bristol City.

The rain from earlier in the day had cleared to make way for sunshine to greet the teams.

With both sets of fans in good voice, Andy Butler had an effort at goal within the opening minute that was straight at Frank Fielding.

Lively start from The Saddlers as O'Connor feeds Sawyers who then finds Baxendale only for his strike to lack the necessary power. The next attack saw Forde do well on the right but his cross into the danger zone evaded everyone.

The visitors took the lead with their first effort at goal as Joe Bryan twisted and turned before firing home with a low effort in the 11th minute.

Aaron Wilbraham seized upon a mistake from Paul Downing to get in a strike that O'Donnell saved.

Saddlers playing some neat stuff and an interchange between Baxendale and Sawyers almost saw the latter play in Bradshaw. Then a dipping effort from Forde tipped over by the 'keeper.

There was an enforced change on 34 minutes when Bradshaw was replaced by Jordan Cook who was on for his first outing of the season.

Paul Downing saw yellow for a foul as half-time approached.

The Saddlers went in at the break trailing by a goal to nil.

The opening action of the second period saw Agard fire over from the right-hand side of the area.

There was a change just before the hour-mark as Billy Clifford replaced Flanagan.

With 65 minutes on the clock, Forde cut in from the left and drilled in a strike that Fielding gathered.

A positive burst from Joe Bryan ended with him firing well over.

An injury to one of the assistant referees saw him replaced as Mathieu Manset came on for Baxendale with nine minutes to go.

The Saddlers scored a sweet leveller with five minutes to go when some sharp play ended with Forde finding Sawyers who curled sweetly home to make it 1-1.

There was more pressure from Walsall in the wake of the goal as Cook caused problems inside the area and then Manset had an effort blocked.

With six minutes of stoppage time, Cook's run took him to the by-line where he pulled the ball across the face of goal but it was scrambled clear. Then in the next attack, Fielding had to be alert to gather at the feet of Forde.

At the other end, City went close with a towering header from a corner.

In the end it finished with honours even but it was an entertaining contest as we made life extremely difficult for the unbeaten League leaders.

    QUICK FACTS

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