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Club News

AUGUST 2013

1 September 2013

Saddlers start well...

THE SADDLERS kicked off the 2013/14 campaign in winning ways with a home victory over Tranmere Rovers.

In the Banks's Stadium sunshine, two goals from Craig Westcarr and a debut strike from Chelsea loanee, Milan Lalkovic, gave us a convincing 3-1 win against a Rovers side that found themselves challenging at the right end of the table for most of last term.

Our attention soon turned to Capital One Cup matters with a shirt trip to Port Vale.

In what was a hard-fought encounter, Ashley Hemmings gave us the lead only for our hosts to draw level and with the tie looking increasingly like entering extra-time, James Baxendale popped up with a well-taken goal to send us into the next round and delight the large and vocal travelling faithful.

Our first away trip in the League took us to Oldham Athletic.

In another performance which required The Saddlers to roll up their sleeves and work hard, we carved out a 1-0 success with Baxendale on the mark once more.

It was a game in which the Walsall defence remained resolute to frustrate The Latics, whilst we also played some good football at times.

We returned to home soil for the next game as East Midlands rivals, Notts County provided the opposition.

As ever, they came here and were well-organised and tough opponents to break down.

In the end we had to settle for a share of the spoils in a 1-1 draw with Romaine Sawyers notching his first goal for the club.

A trip to the Capital saw us lock horns with a Brentford outfit who had invested heavily in the hope of building on their play-off disappointment at the end of the previous campaign.

In wet conditions, The Saddlers battled well and deserved to take something from the game. However, it was The Bees who nicked it with a first half goal.

We were back on Capital One Cup duty with a trip to Premier League Stoke City.

Dean Smith's side acquitted themselves extremely well and played some neat football on the large Britannia Stadium pitch.

A couple of mistakes handed our hosts a couple of first half goals, but we refused to let our heads drop and after Ashley Hemmings reduced the arrears, we looked the most likely side.

In terms of possession, we were ahead of our Staffordshire opponents, but they were clinical with the opportunities that came their way and Kenwyne Jones completed his hat-trick late on to seal their passage with a 3-1 win.

The performance gave us plenty of heart to take into our final game of the month as we hosted Preston North End.

But it was to prove to be 'one of those days' as we failed to get into our stride and ended up slumping to a 3-0 defeat.

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