OLDHAM ATHLETIC v WALSALL
THE SADDLERS were back in the north-west for the second game in succession as we locked horns with Oldham Athletic.
It was the home side who started on the attack but it wasn't long before Walsall began to get a hold of proceedings and we took the lead in the tenth minute when Andy Butler played a ball out of the defence for Jordan Cook who beat the offside trap before coolly slotting home.
The goal gave Cook a real boost and moments later, James O'Connor fed him from the right and he turned sharply on the edge of the area to fire just over.
The next attack saw Cook curl one from the left edge of the area which curled inches away with the 'keeper at full stretch.
There was a series of corners for The Latics which forced The Saddlers to defend resolutely.
A couple of efforts from the home side caused concern, firstly as Daniel Philliskirk fired just wide and then Carl Wilkinson saw his low strike pushed out by O'Donnell.
The home side grabbed the equaliser that they had threatened following a spell of pressure when Winchester's ball in to the area was half-cleared into the path of Conor Wilkinson who made no mistake to equalise.
After a heavy challenge on Butler by Poleon, the two players got involved in a tangle when play resumed as players from both sides got into a bit of pushing and shoving. It ended with Butler booked.
The Saddlers were relieved to hear the half-time whistle as it was the home side who went in on top but with the scores level at 1-1.
The first change for Walsall saw Mathieu Manset on for Grimes.
Our first attempt of the half saw Benning let fly from distance and he was close to finding the net, whilst at the other end, former Saddler, Jabo Ibehre came on and almost turned the ball home with one of his first touches but he was denied by a superb save from O'Donnell who clawed the ball away.
The 'keeper was called into action again soon afterwards as tipped over from Winchester.
Cook saw yellow for a foul before Kieron Morris came on to replace Forde with just over 20 minutes to go.
Morris looked lively in his early contributions and went close after being fed by Manset only for his effort to be deflected for a corner.
The third change saw Reece Flanagan on for Clifford with 13 minutes to go , but it was the hosts who took the lead in rather fortunate circumstances as Mike Jones' strike took a deflection off Benning that took the ball beyond O'Donnell.
The Saddlers' attempts to get back on to level terms were thwarted by a well-organised home side who stood firm.
As Walsall pressed in stoppage time, the ball found its way to Manset via Butler but he blazed well over as with it went our chance of taking anything from this game as we went down by two goals to one.