WALSALL v COLCHESTER UNITED
THE SADDLERS stepped out at Banks's Stadium on Family Fun Day for the visit of Colchester United.
Despite a couple of neat passages of play from Walsall in the opening exchanges, neither 'keeper was seriously tested in the opening ten minutes.
The first chance of the game fell to Freddie Sears for the visitors whose low effort struck the base of the post and rebounded to safety with 12 minutes on the clock.
The Saddlers' first real sight of goal came when Billy Clifford's free-kick out wide on the right was delivered onto the head of Tom Bradshaw whose effort landed just over.
An inviting low ball in from the left by Mathieu Manset was met by Adam Chambers who was inches wide with his effort.
Having been forced to defend a couple of corners in quick succession from the visitors, a Walsall raid ended with former Colchester loanee, Billy Clifford, trying his luck from distance but he was off target.
There was a purposeful break from Manset a couple of minutes before half-time as he strode forward before firing just wide of the mark.
Some good battling from Manset on 44 minutes saw him win a free-kick in a promising position. Andy Taylor steps up and puts his effort over the crossbar, so no repeat of the free-kick that he scored at Colchester last season!
The half-time whistle signalled the end of a goalless opening period.
The second period started with appeals for a penalty from the visitors as Sanchez Watt went down under a challenge from Paul Downing. Nothing given by the referee as Watt pushed out at Downing.
The Saddlers made a double change just before the hour-mark as Billy Clifford and Kieron Morris were replaced by James Baxendale and Anthony Forde respectively.
After Manset combined with Bradshaw to force a corner, the loose ball was picked up by Flanagan who was positive to break into the area before curling an effort just wide.
It was to be Flanagan's last involvement as he was replaced by Mal Benning for the final quarter-of-an-hour.
A foul on Bradshaw as he looked to burst forward saw Forde's effort from the resulting free-kick curled goalwards as the 'keeper did well to claw it out.
With time running out, Forde split The U's' defence with a ball for Bradshaw who beat the offside trap but put his low strike the wrong side of the post.
It wasn't to be in the end as the match finished goalless.