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Match Reports


11 January 2014


THE SADDLERS stepped out for our first away game of 2014 at Tranmere Rovers.

The opening exchanges saw Walsall see our fair share of the ball without either 'keeper being tested.

There was an effort from Romaine Sawyers which was blocked in the 11th minute as the follow up flew off target from Ashley Hemmings.

Craig Westcarr played an intelligent ball for Sawyers to latch on to, but once more his attempt was blocked.

It was a bright start by The Saddlers and it was rewarded in the 18th minute when Sawyers did well to feed Milan Lalkovic who curled home sweet to make it 1-0.

Moments later the lead could have been doubled when Craig Westcarr broke the offside trap only to be thwarted by Owain Fon Williams in the home goal who did well to block.

There was a free-kick for the home side in a promising position following a foul by Sam Mantom, however, Paul Downing deflects Andy Robinson's effort wide as the resulting corner comes to nothing.

Walsall looking sharp and lively in attack as a low strike from Ashley Hemmings was gathered by the 'keeper.

A foul by Andy Taylor saw him booked as the free-kick found its way out to Jason Koumas who blasted over.

There was some neat football by The Saddlers to end the half, but we went in at the break with just the single goal to show for our efforts.

HALF-TIME: Tranmere Rovers 0 Walsall 1

The early action of the second period saw Walsall lose possession as Ryan Lowe broke away on the right before his low strike was well saved by Richard O'Donnell.

At the other end, Westcarr linked up well with Sawyers for the latter to drag his strike wide of the target.

Scrappy start to the second half as Walsall look to get back into their stride.

There was a booking for Adam Chambers for a foul on the edge of the area. There was a melee as the players lined up for the free-kick with Lalkovic and Robinson the main culprits. The eventual free-kick was disappointing and hit into the defensive wall.

The first change of the afternoon for Walsall saw Julian Gray replace Hemmings just before Lalkovic was booked for dissent.

A sweeping move saw Lalkovic pull the ball back into the path of Andy Taylor who lashed a powerful strike just wide.

Lalkovic then made room for a strike as his placed effort landed wide of the target.

The home side levelled matters on 78 minutes when Cole Stockton turned and hit a shot that beat O'Donnell to make it 1-1.

Some good play out wide on the right by Julian Gray sees his low cross scrambled clear but Walsall can't take advantage of the corner that follows.

The tackles were certainly flying in on Lalkovic who was replaced with two minutes to go by James Baxendale.

There was a stoppage time change as Troy Hewitt replaced Westcarr before Walsall had a late free-kick which came to nothing as honours ended even as our unbeaten start to 2014 continues, albeit with just a point here.

FULL-TIME: Tranmere Rovers 1 Walsall 1

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