MK DONS v WALSALL
THE SADDLERS ended 2014 with a trip to stadium:mk to take on an in-form MK Dons who had scored 13 goals in the previous two home matches.
It was a perfect start for Walsall as within the opening two minutes, Anthony Forde won a free-kick out wide on the right and Andy Taylor delivered the ball invitingly into the danger zone where the ball found its way home off Darren Potter.
The home side went close shortly afterwards as they looked for an instant response to falling behind.
There was a positive run on the left by Jordan Cook and as he cut inside, his effort flew over the crossbar.
A probing pass found Will Grigg who twisted and turned inside the area before getting in a low strike that was gathered by Richard O'Donnell.
Some good battling from Adam Chambers sees him win the ball in the middle before striding forward and dragging a strike just wide of the target.
The Saddlers were working hard and following our game plan to subdue the home side.
A loose ball from the home side saw Romaine Sawyers break before feeding Bradshaw who took it too wide before seeing his strike comfortably saved by the 'keeper.
There was a delicious through-ball from Sawyers to set Bradshaw away but the 'keeper was alert to make a timely challenge outside his area.
Another chance fell to Bradshaw moments later and this time his low strike was finger-tipped around the post by the 'keeper.
It was a good spell for Walsall who were posing a few questions to the in-form home side as half-time approached.
The second period started with Michael Cain breaking away to find Sawyers who closed in on goal before passing to Bradshaw who was denied by a block from the 'keeper. Then in the next raid, Cook tried his luck from distance and was just inches wide.
It was certainly a lively opening to the second half from both sides.
Richard O'Donnell did well to beat away Carl Baker's effort before the home side thought they had levelled only for the offside flag to cut short their celebrations.
The Saddlers were having to soak up some pressure before a break ended with Cook curling just wide as he cut inside from the left.
The second goal arrived on the hour when a loose back header was seized upon by Bradshaw who nicked it past the 'keeper before tucking home much to the delight of the travelling fans behind the goal.
A header from Potter crept just wide with O'Donnell at full stretch.
The first Walsall change came with 15 minutes to go as Mal Benning replaced Forde and he was straight into the action when Cain and Sawyers combined to set up Benning but he was denied by a block from the 'keeper. However, that man Bradshaw was on hand to tuck home the loose ball to make it 3-0.
A further change came on 85 minutes when James Baxendale replaced Cook before shortly afterwards, Mathieu Manset replaced Bradshaw.
The full-time whistle signalled a convincing win for The Saddlers from a simply superb performance. What a way to end 2014!