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Match Reports


22 March 2014


THE SADDLERS stepped out on home soil against a Leyton Orient side who have been challenging in the upper reaches of the League table throughout the campaign so far.

There was a lucky escape for the visitors on six minutes when a neat move ended with Milan Lalkovic rattling the woodwork after the 'keeper had blocked.

The next foray forward saw Romaine Sawyers find Febian Brandy whose effort was blocked as The Saddlers look lively in the opening exchanges.

Walsall got a deserved lead on 14 minutes when a Craig Westcarr corner was not properly cleared in front of goal and Paul Downing swept home.

A long kick from Richard O'Donnell set Sawyers off in chase and he forced a corner which, once more, caused concern for The O's as Downing again went close as the ball fell to him in a good position.

Some good defending from James Chambers saw him deny the visitors as David Mooney whipped the ball in from the right.

The opening 30 minutes has seen The Saddlers look bright as a poor clearance from The O's' 'keeper sees Sam Mantom win a free-kick out wide which was easy for the 'keeper to gather.

A spell of pressure from the visitors with half-time approaching saw Paul Downing make a timely intervention.

A late free-kick in a good position was lifted over by Andy Taylor as we went in at the break deservedly ahead.

HALF-TIME: Walsall 1 Leyton Orient 0

There was a cagey opening to the second period with chances few and far between at either end.

The visitors saw an ambitious effort from distance dip over before a positive break from Walsall sees Lalkovic burst into the area only to be denied by a block from the 'keeper who was alert to the threat.

Shortly afterwards a strike from Westcarr stings the palms of Jakupovic.

A free-kick out wide was whipped in and flashed straight across the face of goal with no-one able to get that crucial touch.

There was a great double save from Richard O'Donnell on 65 minutes as firstly he blocked from Chris Dagnall and then denied top scorer, David Mooney.

After some great play by James Chambers to bring down a high clearance and launch an attack, a cross from the right was prodded goalwards by Sawyers but saved.

The O's level out of the blue on 77 minutes when Nathan Clarke's speculative strike from distance takes a wicked deflection and goes in.

It was cruel luck on The Saddlers as Lalkovic was replaced by James Baxendale with just under ten minutes to go.

The visitors went close on a couple of occasions right at the end through Mooney but in the end we were left to reflect on another deflected late equaliser in a game that we deserved to win.

FULL-TIME: Walsall 1 Leyton Orient 1

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