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NOTTS COUNTY v WALSALL - LIVE BLOG

25 August 2012

All the action from Meadow Lane...

THERE was sunshine and showers ahead of this East v West Midlands clash.

Notts County came out of the blocks the brighter of the two sides and created a couple of early half-chances as firstly Alan Judge saw a low effort deflected to have the sting taken out of it and then Joss Labadie blazed wide from a corner.

The Saddlers' first real break came on ten minutes when Florent Cuvelier was positive and picked out Ben Purkiss in acres of space to his right. He progressed before delivering a low ball into the danger zone that was scrambled clear.

A corner kick from Jamie Paterson whipped in dangerously as Bartosz Bialkowski unconvincingly punched over his own crossbar.

Both teams looking to pass the ball around on a surface that became slick following a pre-match downpour.

With 24 minutes on the clock, a strike by Julian Kelly hit an unsuspecting Lee Hughes and the ball almost found its way beyond David Grof who managed to divert the ball the other side of the post.

As the resulting corner was half-cleared, Gary Liddle's long-range strike went wide of the target.

Just past the half-hour, Andy Butler did well to deny the home side as Lee Hughes' probing ball almost played in Jeff Hughes as the rain started to fall again.

The half ended with a free-kick for Walsall in a dangerous position just outside the area, which Ashley Hemmings curled in invitingly and the 'keeper pushed out unconvincingly.

HALF-TIME: Notts County 0 Walsall 0

Straight from the restart, Walsall came under pressure, but Gary Liddle was off target with his low strike after linking up with Lee Hughes.

At the other end, a Saddlers' corner caused concern but ultimately came to nothing.

Adam Chambers was spoken to for a rather robust challenge deep inside the County half before a delicious pass from Cuvelier in the 50th minute was just turned the wrong side of the post by Ashley Hemmings.

A sweeping move from the home side caused concern as Gary Liddle received the ball in a good position on the right but his cross to the far post evaded everyone.

Good play by Ashley Hemmings saw him pick up a loose ball and evade a couple of challenges before curling just over the crossbar.

The 65th minute saw Dean Smith make his first change as George Bowerman replaced Nicky Featherstone.

Dean Holden did well to defend a ball whipped in from the right as David Grof got his fists on the resulting flag-kick. As the ball came back in from Judge, some more alert defending denied Enoch Showunmi.

At the other end, Bowerman was just off target with a strike from distance.

A pacy raid by Ashley Hemmings saw him pull the ball back from the by-line towards Bowerman whose strike was deflected wide and as the resulting corner found its way out to Jamie Paterson, his attempt was charged down.

The Saddlers took the lead when Andy Butler got his head on a free-kick and the ball found its way home with what looked like a touch by Bowerman as it crossed the line. It was Butler who led the celebrations with the vocal travelling contingent.

There was an altercation between Lee Hughes and Andy Butler near the touchline as The Saddlers' skipper looked to see the ball out. Both players reacted angrily and each were given a yellow card.

Bowerman was the next name in the book for lifting the ball home after the offside flag had been raised.

There were a couple of late aerial chances for the home side that landed wide before a free-kick for a foul on Lee Hughes in the third minute of stoppage time gave County a final chance.

Thankfully the defensive wall did its job from Alan Judge's effort.

With a rainbow in the sky over Meadow Lane, The Saddlers found their pot of gold with three deserved points.



WALSALL: Grof, Butler, Holden, Featherstone (Bowerman), A. Chambers, Cuvelier, Grigg, Paterson, Hemmings, Purkiss, J. Chambers.








 



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