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Club News

APRIL / MAY 2012

23 July 2012

Saddlers secure League One status...

THE MONTH of April began with an Easter weekend double-header as a home game against bottom-of-the-table Chesterfield was followed two days later by a trip to League leaders, Charlton Athletic.

The Saddlers were given an early shock against The Spireites who took a 20th minute lead. It did the trick as Emmanuel Ledesma equalised seven minutes later before the Argentine ace turned the scoreline on its head just past the half-hour mark.

In what was an entertaining encounter, the visitors levelled early in the second half but partity lasted just four minutes until the on loan Sam Mantom slotted home what proved to be a crucial winner.

Easter Monday saw us head for the Capital to lock horns with Charlton, who were cclosing in on promotion.

The home side started well for the opening quarter-of-an-hour but after that it was Walsall who were the better side as we created numerous chances and enjoyed the majority of possession.

Unfortunately we failed to take what opportunities came out way and The Addicks nicked all three points with a goal from a set-piece.

Next up was a home game against a Tranmere Rovers side that had seen an upturn in fortunes move them away from the lower reaches of the table.

In what was an evenly-matched affair, Rovers scored the only goal of the game in controversial circumstances when Andy Butler was elbowed by Andy Robinson in the build-up but play was allowed to continue and moments later Robinson was fouled just outside the area.

From the resulting free-kick, Robinson curled the ball home and that is how it stayed despite our best efforts to grab an equaliser.

A trip to Exeter City followed in a game that saw more controversy.

After Florent Cuvelier saw a 'goal' not given by the Match Officials, The Saddlers deservedly took the lead when Alex Nicholls found the net on the half-hour. 

Within five minutes of the restart, The Grecians were back on level terms, but Cuvelier got the goal that he deserved five minutes later to put us back in front and at that stage we looked comfortable and on course for three points.

That was until Manny Smith received a rather harsh second yellow card in the 66th minute and shortly afterwards Exeter were back on level terms.

With their tails up, The Grecians added two further goals to complete a turnaround and snatch victory from what looked like being a defeat that would send them down into League Two.

Out final home game of the season saw us take on Huddersfield Town, who were already assured of their place in the play-offs.

The Terriers started with purpose and within the opening two minutes they were a goal to the good. As results elsewhere started to go against us, we began to get a foot-hold into the game.

It culminated with Florent Cuvelier, who was making his final appearance for the club on loan, scoring a deserved equaliser early in the second period and for the rest of the half, we found ourselves on top and the more likely winners.

However, we had to settle for a share of the spoils, but results elsewhere meant that our League One safety was secured with one game still to go.

That game was at another side in the play-offs, MK Dons, and in front of a large and vical away following, many of whom were resplendent in fancy dress, we put in a commanding performance.

A sweet goal from Will Grigg gave us the lead and we could have had more goals to show for our efforts as Emmanuel Ledesma and Alex Nicholls in particular went close.

It meant that the 2011/12 season ended as it had begun - with a 1-0 win...

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