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Club News

SEPTEMBER 2014

1 October 2014

Two impressive home victories during the month...

THE MONTH of September started with consecutive home games, the first of which saw us take on a Colchester United side who had a new manager at the helm following the departure of Joe Dunne in the build-up to the game.

In what was an evenly-matched contest with genuine chances at a premium at either end, the game ended in a stalemate.

It was a different story a week later when a much-fancied Preston North End came to town.

The Saddlers started brightly and we were rewarded when Romaine Sawyers, back from International Duty, fired home a seventh-minute opener.

We went on to put in the kind of performance that we had been threatening for some time as we looked a real threat every time we went forward.

That said, our visitors were able to level matters just under ten minutes before the interval, but we regained the lead with a fine goal from Tom Bradshaw just five minutes into the sceond period.

After Preston were reduced to ten men following a head-butt on Andy Butler, who was back in the Walsall defence following his dramatic loan return from Sheffield United a couple of days earlier, we went on to seal our first League win of the season as Paul Downing found the net.

This was also Preston's first defeat of the season, so it was a good day all round for The Saddlers.

Just days later we were brought crashing down to earth at Rochdale in what is best described as a 'bad day at the office'.

Finding ourselves three goals down at the break, things marginally improved after the restart as we ended up losing 4-0 at the hands of our in-form opponents.

The players lost their day off the following day as manager, Dean Smith, demanded a reaction.

We were back on the road with a trip to face a Gillingham side who were undefeated at home and in upbeat mood.

To their credit, the players came out of the blocks in a positive fashion and we had the better of the early chances with the likes of Ashley Grimes and Andy Butler going particularly close.

Defending resolutely when we needed to, the game ended all square at 0-0 as we kept another clean sheet and restored some pride with a hard-working display where everyone played their part.

The month came to a close with the visit of Doncaster Rovers.

The opening period was evenly-matched until stoppage time at the end when James Baxendale opened the scoring against his hometown club.

It led to an impressive second half display from The Saddlers where we dominated the play and added further goals from leading scorer, Tom Bradshaw - who was back in action following injury - and Anthony Forde, who notched his first for the club.

It was a resounding victory and a really positive way to end the month.

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