SADDLERS BACK ON HOME SOIL
THE SUN was shining for our Walsall FC By The Sea Family Fun Day as we looked to make it three wins in a row with a return to home soil against unbeaten Rotherham United.
There was an early booking for Romaine Sawyers for a foul as the match started at a good tempo.
A tricky run from Ben Pringle saw him win a corner for The Millers, but Richard O'Donnell did well to claim the flag-kick.
Scott Shearer was alert to head the ball clear outside his area as neither 'keeper has been seriously tested in the opening 15 minutes.
The opening goal came for the visitors when Daniel Naridello headed home after 21 minutes. The goal came something out of the blue.
The Saddlers were back on level terms just past the half-hour when a corner found its way to Sam Mantom who hit a low strike that took a couple of deflections to beat the 'keeper and make it 1-1.
A free-kick from Andy Taylor curled over as the half ended 1-1.
HALF-TIME: Walsall 1 Rotherham United 1
The Saddlers starting the second period brightly without troubling the visiting 'keeper too much.
There were loud appeals for a penalty from the visitors following a challenge from Andy Taylor on Naridello, but the referee is unimpressed.
With Milan Lalkovic and Craig Westcarr on for James Baxendale and Troy Hewitt, Sam Mantom went close with another strike from distance.
The Saddlers are seeing plenty of the ball but unable to make the all-important breakthrough.
There was a great save from O'Donnell to claw the ball away as the resulting flag-locl caused problems before Sawyers cleared the danger.
With Ashley Hemmings on in place of Sawyers, The Saddlers went on the attack with a couple of corners in quick succession which we thwarted. Westcarr saw his effort blocked by The Millers' defence as they got men back behind the ball.
A Pringle free-kick hit high into the area as O'Donnell claims well under pressure.
In the end both teams settle for a share of the spoils.
FULL-TIME: Walsall 1 Rotherham United 1