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MATCH REPORT

PUBLISHED
15:00 18th April 2015
By  Andrew Poole

CREWE ALEXANDRA v WALSALL

THE SADDLERS stepped out in the sunshine at Crewe Alexandra as we looked to make it three victories in a row.

Some early link-up play on the edge of the area between Jordy Hiwula and Romaine Sawyers almost fashioned the first chance of the afternoon but the home side were able to clear their lines.

At the other end, an acrobatic effort from Nicky Ajose was well kept out by Richard O'Donnell.

There was a lengthy stoppage for an injury to Chris Atkinson who was stretchered from the field. As play resumed, Michael Cain fired over from 20 yards before the home side took the lead through Marcus Haber.

The goal came after moments earlier Haber had rattled the crossbar after breaking the offside trap. The ball stayed alive and as a cross came in from the left, Haber was on hand to head home.

With the bit between their teeth, The Alex looked lively in attack to cause The Saddlers problems.

A neat touch on the edge of the area from Sawyers found Morris who made room for a strike but he dragged his effort well wide of the target.

Walsall went close when Michael Cain hit a rasping effort on the volley which went into the side-netting.

In stoppage time at the end of the half, a chance opened up for Andy Taylor who dragged his low effort just inches wide. There were shouts for a penalty at the other end as Lauri Dalla Valle went down but the referee waved played on and the half ended with Crewe one goal to the good.

The Saddlers started the second half by seeing plenty of the ball early on. O'Connor came out of defence to find Morris who was blocked before another sharp raid ended with Sawyers feeding Bradshaw but he was unable to get any power in his strike.

On 65 minutes, Jordan Cook replaced Morris before Sawyers was replaced by Sam Mantom as The Saddlers pressed for a leveller.

That equalising goal arrived with nine minutes to go when some neat play on the edge of the area saw the ball fall at the feet of Bradshaw and his shot took a wicked deflection that wrong-footed the 'keeper and nestled into the net.

The home side looked for an instant response as O'Donnell denied Ajose.

As the clock ticked down, a sweet strike from Jordan Cook was deflected inches wide of the target. Then a purposeful move ended with Mantom firing well wide as the game ended all square in a 1-1 draw.

    QUICK FACTS

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