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WALSALL v FOREST LIVE BLOG

23 July 2013

All the action direct from Banks's Stadium...

IT WAS another warm and pleasant summer evening as The Saddlers stepped out for our second home pre-season friendly of the week, with Nottingham Forest the visitors.

Jamie Paterson was in the Forest starting line-up, as was former Saddlers' loanees Karl Darlow and Simon Gillett. For The Saddlers, trialist, James McQuilken, starts and fellow trilaists, Shabir Isoufi and Seb Usai, are on the bench.

Walsall are wearing our navy blue away kit for this game as we start with a slick early move that ends with Ben Purkiss' cross cleared.

The Saddlers were playing some neat stuff and the opening goal duly arrived when Sam Mantom fired home sweetly from distance in the eighth minute.

A first raid for Forest ended with a couple of desperate blocks before Jamie Paterson slotted the ball just wide of the target.

A deflected effort from Kieron Morris was well saved low down by Darlow before a corner saw Andy Butler win a header but he couldn't direct the ball goalwards.

There was a free-kick out wide for The Saddlers and Andy Taylor curled the ball dangerously into the area but it went all the way out with no-one getting a crucial touch.

Another strike from Mantom hits Troy Hewitt and deflects wide as The Saddlers continue to show plenty of energy and purpose.

The visitors equalised on 28 minutes when Matt Derbyshire found the net with a header at the back post.

It signalled a water break on a sweltering evening here at Banks's Stadium.

A strike from Dan Harding rattled the woodwork whilst at the other end, a series of Saddlers' corners caused concern for Karl Darlow and his defence.

There was some neat play from The Saddlers, particularly in the early stages of the half.

HALF-TIME: Walsall 1 Nottingham Forest 1

The half-time interval saw Seb Usai replace O'Donnell in goal with Holden and Mantom replaced by Downing and Baxendale respectively.

Chances few and far between at either end early in the second period. Paterson cut inside but his low strike was easy for Usai to gather.

There was a change just past the hour when Nicky Featherstone came on for Adam Chambers.

Shortly afterwards Simon Cox dragged a low effort just wide for Forest.

It was changes aplenty on 66 minutes as Purkiss, Butler, Morris and Hewitt came off to be replaced by George, J. Chambers, Hemmings, Westcarr and Lalkovic just after Morris had curled an effort inches wide of the target.

After a good long ball from Andy Taylor set Craig Westcarr off in chase, Karl Darlow was alert to the danger to gather.

Straight away Forest went down the other end and Andy Reid made it 2-1 in the 74th minute.

Two more changes came with just over ten minutes to go as Mal Benning replaced Taylor and Shabir Isoufi replaced fellow trialist, James McQuilken.

The game started to peter out as Reid hit a low drive just wide with a couple of minutes to go.

There was a late flurry from Walsall as James Baxendale saw his strike well saved by Karl Darlow.

In the end it was another good work-out for The Saddlers...


FULL-TIME: Walsall 1 Nottingham Forest 2


WALSALL: O'Donnell, Purkiss, Taylor, Butler, Holden, A. Chambers, Mantom, McQuilken, Morris, Hewitt, Sawyers. Subs: George, Downing, J. Chambers, Benning, Hemmings, Featherstone, Baxendale, Westcarr, Lalkovic, Isoufi, Usai.

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