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Match Reports


23 February 2013

Saddlers stalemate

THE SADDLERS stepped out at Brentford looking to inflict some Capital punishment on our hosts.

A couple of early Walsall corners came to nothing before a free-kick on the left in the fifth minute saw Jamie Paterson's ball into the danger zone cause problems for Simon Moore who lost the ball and had to rely on Jonthan Douglas to clear off the line.

With ten minutes on the clock, The Bees did well to keep the ball alive and Marcello Trotta saw his effort on the turn deflected wide by the returning Aaron McCarey in the Walsall goal. The resulting corner kick caused all sorts of problems as the ball was headed back into the danger zone but a combination of McCarey and his defence kept Bradley Wright-Phillips at bay.

It was a keenly-contested opening as Andy Taylor's corner caused problems for the 'keeper before straight away at the other end, Paul Downing cleared ahead of Trotta. The next attack for the home side saw the lively Trotta denied by the legs of McCarey.

There was a let-off for The Saddlers in the 19th minute when a cross from the left struck Andy Taylor hit the post with McCarey stranded. There were signs that the home side were starting to get a hold of the game, but Walsall looked lively on the break.

Taylor did well to find Sam Mantom in a good position and he forced a corner that was cleared for another flag-kick on the half-hour mark. This time the ball was cleared as The Saddlers took the sting out of the game.

Positive run by Brandy forced another corner which saw Moore come under pressure from Andy Butler as the ball was scrambled behind.

A good break out of midfield by Douglas saw him feed Trotta whose low effort landed wide.

With half-time approaching, Brandy was booked for diving as he fell just inside the area.

A high ball into the danger zone from Harlee Dean was headed just over by Clayton Donaldson who may have been put off by the presence of Wright-Phillips alongside him.

Three minutes from the break and McCarey had to block from Trotta's stinging drive as Walsall got men back as the ball stayed alive inside the area. Eventually the danger passed but the next raid saw Trotta's strike cleared off the line following Adam Foshaw's cross. As the ball came out, Douglas blasted wide.

The Bees were looking the most likely side as the opening period came to a close, but Walsall were working hard.

HALF-TIME: Brentford 0 Walsall 0

The second period started with a free-kick to The Saddlers in a threatening position out wide. It was cleverly taken and found Andy Taylor on the edge of the area whose powerful drive was deflected inches wide by Donaldson.

It was a bright start to the half by Walsall. A loose ball gave James Baxendale an opportunity but the home 'keeper was alert to clear outside his area.

A clash of heads saw a hold-up as Paul Downing received treatment. He was eventually okay to resume.

The Saddlers did well to turn defence into attack as Chambers won the ball and then a long pass saw Grigg control well before cutting inside are seeing his strike deflected into the side netting.

There was a booking for Mantom for a foul on Harry Forrester as he looked to break.

With 79 minutes on the clock, Craig Westcarr replaced  Baxendale.

Excellent play by Andy Taylor to win the ball just outside the area as Brentford looked to break from a corner. He took the ball on and fired wide from distance.

A late change saw Nicky Featherstone replace Brandy as appeals for a home penalty waved away.

In stoppage time, a break by Paterson saw him crowded out as the ball fell to Westcarr. He did well on the left to put a low ball back in which Featherstone fired over as the home side held their breath.

A free-kick pumped into the area by The Bees saw McCarey gather at the second attempt as the game ended goalless.

FULL-TIME: Brentford 0 Walsall 0

BRENTFORD: Simon Moore, Adam Forshaw, Tony Craig, Harlee Dean, Jonathan Douglas, Clayton Donaldson, Marcello Trotta, Tom Adeyemi, Shaleum Logan, Bradley Wright-Phillips, Jake Bidwell. Subs: Richard Lee, Scott Barron, Sam Saunders, Harry Forrester, Toumani Diagouraga, Paul Hayes, Liam Moore.

WALSALL: Aaron McCarey, Andy Butler, Adam Chambers, Will Grigg, Jamie Paterson, Febian Brandy (Nicky Featherstone), Ben George, Paul Downing, James Baxendale (Craig Westcarr), Andy Taylor, Sam Mantom. Subs not used: David Grof, Dean Holden, Ashley Hemmings, George Bowerman, Malvind Benning.

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