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Match Reports

Blackpool vs. Walsall

29 August 2015


Romaine Sawyers scored twice as Walsall thrashed struggling Blackpool to go top of League One.

The playmaker prodded the visitors ahead on 25 minutes, and Tom Aldred’s own goal doubled their advantage shortly after the restart.

Sam Mantom's header made it 3-0 and Sawyers added a spectacular fourth to round off the Saddlers' sixth successive victory in all competitions.

Dean Smith’s side now sit top of League One with 13 points from their opening five fixtures.

Bottom-of-the-table Blackpool actually started the game the brighter.

Inside the opening minute, their skipper David Ferguson jinked past two defenders into the box before shooting straight into the arms of Saddlers stopper Neil Etheridge.

Henry Cameron was next to go close for the hosts on 13 minutes, fizzing a low 20-yard drive wide of the far post.

In Walsall's first attack, Romaine Sawyers fired narrowly off target with a powerful half-volley from Tom Bradshaw’s cushioned chest lay-off.

Smith’s Saddlers lacked their usual fluency in the early exchanges, but opened the scoring, slightly against the run of play, after 25 minutes.

Jason Demetriou played in Sawyers behind the Blackpool defence, and the 23-year-old stretched out a left boot to poke the ball under advancing home keeper Kyle Letheren.

The visitors never looked back.

Sam Mantom and Andy Taylor each tested Letheren with strikes from distance, and the former then saw a goalbound effort deflect inches wide after superb wing play from Rico Henry.

Jack Redshaw was a whisker away from an equaliser on the stroke of half-time, but his delightful left-footed effort curled inches wide of the right-hand upright.


Walsall began the second half in the ascendancy.

Mantom was first to threaten with a rising shot over the bar, before Henry volleyed wide from Reece Flanagan’s clever corner routine.

Bradshaw then had penalty appeals waved away, while the lively Redshaw lashed wide of the near post for the Tangerines.

On 57 minutes it was 2-0.

The attack-minded Henry broke forward down the left and delivered a low driven cross which Tom Aldred could only put through his own net.

Walsall continued to dominate.

Letheren made a fine stop to deny Bradshaw at his near-post, and the Saddlers striker then crashed a powerful drive against the woodwork after latching onto Sawyers’ accurate centre.

It got even better for the visitors on 68 minutes, when Mantom made it 3-0.

Demetriou was again the architect, producing a peach of a cross from the right, which the unmarked Mantom met with a firm header past Letheren.

The outstanding Sawyers then made it 4-0 on 75 minutes.

Sawyers received possession from Reece Flanagan before thundering an unstoppable 25-yard pile-driver into the far top corner.

Demetriou went close to netting a fifth in the closing stages, when he thumped a right-footed volley wide at the far post.


Etheridge, Demetriou, Taylor, O’Connor, Dowing, Chambers ©, Mantom, Bradshaw (Baxendale 80'), Sawyers, Henry (Forde 73'), Flanagan (Cook 80').

Subs not used: MacGillivray, Lalkovic, Preston, Morris.

Attendance: 7,489.

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