WALSALL v CHESTERFIELD
THE SADDLERS stepped out for this West v East Midlands derby determined to get back into winning ways.
On a sunny autumn afternoon, Walsall had some good early possession as we looked to make a bright start to proceedings. A corner won by Ben Purkiss was headed clear ahead of Romaine Sawyers before a neat move ended with a slip from the returning Tom Bradshaw that allowed the visitors to clear.
A long ball forward on 18 minutes required Tommy Lee in The Spireites' goal to head clear outside his area ahead of Bradshaw.
The next raid saw Baxendale cross well from the left to find the head of Bradshaw whose effort lacked the power but still produced a good save from the 'keeper.
A break out of midfield from Jimmy Ryan ended with him dragging his strike wide before Sam Clucas went close with a powerful header.
There was a great covering challenge from Andy Taylor to deny Ryan as the visitors started to up the pressure.
Neat play between Adam Chambers and Bradshaw ends with Sawyers inches wide from distance.
Some desperate defending from Tendayi Darikwa sees him deny Jordan Cook who was set up by a clever back flick from Romaine Sawyers.
At the other end, Richard O'Donnell did well to deny Sam Clucas.
The opening period ended goalless with neither side able to make the breakthrough.
The early action of the second half saw Gardner find Clucas whose strike was beaten away by O'Donnell.
A scuffed clearance from Tommy Lee saw Bradshaw put the ball wide with the 'keeper a long way out of his goal.
A free-kick in a dangerous position for the visitors landed just wide from Sam Morsy.
The first change of the game took place on 58 minutes as Anthony Forde replaced Baxendale.
The Saddlers took the lead just past the hour when that man, Tom Bradshaw, was on hand to slot home following some slick play with Sawyers, Forde and Cain involved.
An excellent cross from Forde was nicked off the head of Bradshaw as the resulting corner was scrambled clear for another flag-kick.
With 78 minutes on the clock, Sam Mantom joined the action as he replaced Michael Cain.
With eight minutes to go, Jordan Cook was forced out of the action to be replaced by Mal Benning.
There was an inviting low ball put across the face of goal by Eoin Doyle that went to safety.
Benning danced into the area with a positive run that ended with his strike blocked as the clock ticked down.
The Saddlers had a late let-off when Gary Roberts had a great chance but somehow dragged wide.
It was to be the last chance of the afternoon as we recorded a 1-0 win and three much-needed points.