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19:45 27th January 2015
By  Andrew Poole


THE SADDLERS stepped out in front of a sell-out crowd for this Johnstone's Paint Trophy Area Final second leg clash with Preston North End.

Leading 2-0 from the first leg at Deepdale, it was a cagey opening with neither 'keeper tested in the opening quarter-of-an-hour.

There was a chance for Tom Bradshaw who seized upon a weak back header and as he battled through, the ball was deflected off him and landed just wide.

The Saddlers had to do some defending without Richard O'Donnell being seriously tested before a low strike from Michael Cain took a deflection as the 'keeper was able to make the save.

Neither team able to get hold of the ball for any prolonged period of time, although it was Walsall who looked the most likely side as half-time approached.

It was goalless at the break.

Walsall came out with purpose at the start of the second period as Forde was denied by the 'keeper.

There was another chance shortly afterwards when Andy Taylor did well out wide on the left and his inviting low cross was met with a neat touch from Sawyers only for Stuckmann to save well from close range.

At the other end, a Reid strike is blocked by O'Donnell who then denies Humphrey as the ball is eventually headed behind for a corner.

Adam Chambers saw yellow for a foul but the resulting free-kick, from a promising position, was cleared.

Some excellent progress out wide by Cook ended with him winning a free-kick which found Bradshaw whose diving header went just over.

There was a yellow card for O'Donnell for time-wasting as the visitors pushed forward in search of a way back into the tie.

As the clock ticked down, a free-kick on the edge of the area saw Gallagher's effort superbly pushed away by O'Donnell who then gathered the ball back into the danger zone.

There was a late change as James Baxendale replaced Cook on 88 minutes.

In the end, the goalless draw was enough to see history made as Walsall FC, for the first time in our history, made it to WEMBLEY!


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