WALSALL v NOTTS COUNTY
THE SADDLERS stepped out for this Good Friday clash with our East Midlands rivals determined to get back into winning ways.
There was an opening for Walsall within the opening 30 seconds when a weak back header from Hollis was seized upon by Jordan Cook who lifted the ball inches wide of the target with the 'keeper in no man's land.
With five minutes on the clock, another chance presented itself for Cook who found space just inside the area but he skewed his effort well wide.
Romaine Sawyers almost played in Jordy Hiwula with an intelligent ball, but Roy Carroll was alert to gather.
The opening exchanges saw The Saddlers attempting to play some sharp football on a slick surface.
There was some good play by Walsall on the right which saw Kieron Morris cross invitingly as the ball found its way to Michael Cain whose effort was deflected wide. Then Ben Purkiss put in a low cross that caused concern before being scrambled clear.
Morris was playing with confidence and he cut inside to fire powerfully at goal but it was straight at Carroll.
Another positive break from Walsall this time ended with Cook curling over from the left edge of the penalty area.
On 37 minutes, Richard O'Donnell, who was making his 100th consecutive appearance for the club, made a flying save to deny Graham Burke from distance.
That was to be the last action as the half ended goalless.
The first sight on goal for The Saddlers in the second half saw Hiwula lash one well wide of the target.
Just before the hour, there was a timely block to deny Adam Chambers as he pulled the trigger.
A corner for The Saddlers was met with a deft header from James Chambers that was deflected just wide as the resulting flag-kick saw the referee award a free-kick to County for a foul on the 'keeper.
There was a massive let-off for County as Cook's effort hit the crossbar then Carroll clawed away a deflected strike before he then rattled the post all in quick succession as the visitors lived on their nerves.
At the other end, Liam Noble's effort was well saved by O'Donnell and as the ball came back in from the right, Adam Chambers defended well against Garry Thompson despite appeals for a penalty from the visitors.
With 15 minutes to go, Walsall made a double change as Kieron Morris and Jordan Cook were replaced by Anthony Forde and Ashley Grimes respectively.
Gary Jones broke the offside trap for the visitors as his strike was pushed over by O'Donnell.
As the clock ticked down, Amadou Bakayoko replaced Hiwula on 83 minutes.
There was to be no further chances of note at either end as the game ended in a goalless draw.