WALSALL v CREWE ALEXANDRA
THE SADDLERS made a prompt return to home action for the visit of Crewe Alexandra as our busy schedule of matches continues.
Before kick-off there was a minute's applause for two-time promotion-winning goalkeeper, John Christie who passed away a couple of days ago.
There was a cagey opening to this game with neither 'keeper called into action in the early exchanges.
With 18 minutes on the clock, Febian Brandy tried to bring the game to life as he wriggled into the area to force a corner which eventually came to nothing as Craig Westcarr put the ball back in and the referee blew for a foul.
The Saddlers starting to get into our stride as Westcarr forced a corner and then Andy Butler went close.
A late challenge on Ben Purkiss gave Walsall a free-kick out wide which was gathered by the 'keeper from Andy Taylor.
The visitors just starting to ask a few questions of The Saddlers' defence as we approach the interval.
After a low strike from Chuks Aneke was saved by Richard O'Donnell, Nicky Featherstone tried his luck at the other end but saw his effort blocked. It was the second time that this had happened during the opening period.
A foul on the lively Brandy gave Walsall a free-kick in a good position which Andy Taylor whipped in but the ball was headed clear.
HALF-TIME: Walsall 0 Crewe Alexandra 0
There was a change at the break as Milan Lalkovic replaced Troy Hewitt.
The first chance for Walsall came when Brandy's low ball in from the right found Westcarr who turned sharply but fired over.
The Alex went down the other end and took the lead on 50 minutes when Chuks Aneke found the net after the initial effort by Mathias Pogba had been blocked by Andy Butler.
Michael Ngoo replaced Sawyers with just over 20 minutes remaining.
The substitute was soon involved in the action as he lashed the ball into the side-netting after linking up with Westcarr.
A final Walsall change saw James McQuilkin replace Nicky Feathestone.
Positive burst from Andy Taylor ended with The Alex getting men back to deal with the threat of Ngoo.
With 85 minutes on the clock, James McQuilkin flashed a stinging low strike inches wide from distance.
In the final minute a cross into the area was headed into his own net by Mark Ellis to level the scores and then in stoppage time Lalkovic rattles the woodwork.
Despite coming to life at the end, The Saddlers have to settle for a share of the spoils.
FULL-TIME: Walsall 1 Crewe Alexandra 1