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15:00 22nd November 2014
By  Andrew Poole


THE SADDLERS stepped out for our first-ever League encounter at Fleetwood Town as we looked to stretch our unbeaten League run whilst at the same time inflict The Cod Army's first home League defeat of the campaign.

It was a bright start for Walsall as we saw plenty of the ball in attacking areas. Jordan Cook turned well inside the area only to slip and he lined up a strike.

At the other end, Gareth Evans, went close with the home side's first effort on goal.

Michael Cain did well to make room for a strike which he curled over from just inside the area.

There was a smart stop from Richard O'Donnell in the 12th minute after a slip by Paul Downing let in Martin Paterson who managed to get a strike on goal. O'Donnell was then alert to clear ahead of Tom Hitchcock in the next attack.

Some good pressure from Ashley Grimes almost caught out the home 'keeper as he cleared a back pass.

Positive play from Romaine Sawyers sees him drive forward out of his own half before linking up with James Baxendale and crossing into the area where the 'keeper gathered ahead of Ashley Grimes.

It was The Saddlers who took the lead with ten minutes to go until the break as a cross from the left wasn't properly cleared as Romaine Sawyers was on hand to pick up the pieces and slot home with much aplomb to make it 1-0.

Walsall went close on a couple of occasions in the aftermath of the goal with Adam Chambers firing wide and then Grimes almost threading through Downing after a corner was only half-cleared.

After some brave defending to deny the home side on a couple of occasions, Andy Taylor hit a powerful drive at the other end which flashed inches wide of the target.

It was to be the last action of the half as Walsall went in one goal up and good value for our lead.

The second period started with The Saddlers on top again and after a couple of free-kicks in quick succession out wide, Taylor did well on the left to cross low and as the ball evaded Cook in the middle, Baxendale lashed into the side-netting.

Some more good play from Taylor in the next attack saw him link up well with Grimes before the ball fell to Sawyers whose effort from outside the area was blocked.

The first Walsall change of the afternoon saw Anthony Forde come on for Ashley Grimes with 72 minutes on the clock.

There was a great save from O'Donnell as Dobbie did well to break into the area and get in a strike, which the 'keeper pushed away.

Moments later Paul Downing cleared off the line after Paterson broke the offside trap and rounded O'Donnell.

After Forde cut inside from the left and dragged a low attempt wide, there was a change for The Saddlers with Billy Clifford on for Baxendale.

Our final change saw Mathieu Manset on for Jordan Cook in the closing stages.

The Saddlers defending resolutely to keep out out hosts as they looked to keep their proud unbeaten home League record intact.

A corner for the home side flashed across the face of goal in stoppage time. Then some good play on the left sees Dobbie fail to direct the ball goalwards as Walsall breathed a sigh of relief.

It was to be the last action as The Cod Army's proud unbeaten home League record was battered as Walsall took home the points with a 1-0 win.


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