WALSALL v BRADFORD CITY
THE SADDLERS stepped out for our first home League game of the season determined to build upon our positive start to the campaign.
There was an impeccably observed one minute silence ahead of kick-off in honour of Walsall FC Director, Clive Welch, who passed away during the summer.
Youngster, Liam Kinsella, was given his first senior start at right-back and he was soon involved in the action, winning a free-kick before being involved in a neat move with Romaine Sawyers on the edge of the area that was cleared by former Saddlers' loanee, Andrew Davies.
At the other end, as the visitors started to get into their stride, James Chambers did well with a couple of brave clearing headers.
The Saddlers playing some neat stuff in the opening quarter-of-an-hour. Another good link-up between Kinsella and Sawyers saw the ball fed to Tom Bradshaw who twisted and turned to win a corner that was fired over from six yards out by Ashley Grimes.
He then fired just over again in the next raid.
Both sides were well off target with long range efforts in quick succession from Billy Knott and then Billy Clifford, but it was Walsall who were keeping the opposition defence on their toes with some lively play.
A long ball forward in search of Bradshaw saw the front-man just unable to get enough on the ball to trouble the 'keeper.
A few niggling free-kicks creeping into the game as half-time approached. The visitors were awarded a free-kick in a promising position, which prompted a frank discussion between the two managers, but in the end Richard O'Donnell was able to save as the ball found its way through the defensive wall.
It was goalless at the break.
The second period started with a great challenge by Andy Taylor to deny Mason Bennett as he looked to break through. It was then Kinsella's turn to defend well as he blocked from Bennett.
At the other end, Grimes had a couple of efforts from distance that were dragged wide of the target.
There was a blow as James Chambers was forced to hobble out of the action on 71 minutes as Dean Holden took his place in the heart of the back-line.
Anthony Forde came on for his Saddlers' debut on 76 minutes as he replaced Mal Benning.
After Andy Taylor fired wide from distance, Aaron Mclean went close at the other end as he looked to break through, only for Paul Downing to mop up any danger.
There was a great save from Jordan Pickford to deny Adam Chambers in stoppage time as Grimes also went close.
It was to be the final action of the game as it ended goalless here at Banks's Stadium.