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82 YEARS AGO TODAY...

14 January 2015

Remembering our FA Cup victory over Arsenal in 1933...

IT'S 82 years since The Saddlers recorded the greatest FA Cup giant-killing act of all time when the mighty Arsenal were beaten by two goals to nil at Fellows Park.

Here is a report from the game...

Walsall began the match with a 'rush' - as was expected - but when their enthusiasm waned they refused to allow Arsenal to settle down and dictate the play. Some of the tackling was very stern and on two occasions an Arsenal player ended up over the wall surrounding the pitch.

Walsall's players went to meet the ball, whereas the Gunners' waited for it. The Saddlers' full-backs Bennett and Bird and big centre-half Leslie were magnificent as Arsenal strove forward in search of the opening goal.

Our confidence increased and when the half-time whistle sounded, the Londoners had managed only one shot at The Saddlers' goal.

After the break, and attacking the Hillary Street end, Walsall continued to run the show, and on the hour Gilbert Alsop's brave header from Lee's floated corner-kick broke the deadlock, sending The Saddlers' fans wild, with hundreds of hats and programmes flying into the air.

Arsenal supremo, Herbert Chapman immediately went to the touchline to order a reshuffle, telling Jack to lead the attack. Yet five minutes after the first goal, Walsall grabbed a second, and again Alsop was deeply involved. The bustling centre-forward darted into the Arsenal area following a long punt downfield by Leslie. The ball ended up in the hands of goalkeeper Marks but unfortunately for the visitors, their young full-back, Tommy Black, aimed a reckless kick at Alsop, who fell to the ground. Chris Ball charged at Black and there was a general free-for-all before calm was restored, and able referee Mr. Arthur Taylor from Wigan pointed to the spot, awarding Walsall a penalty. Bill Sheppard duly stepped up to smash the ball into the net, past a groping Frank Moss, thus scoring his first goal in Walsall colours.

This certainly put the skids under Arsenal, who never recovered from the double body blow, although Cunningham in The Saddlers' goal saved well from both Bastin and Black, who was eager to make amends for his misdemeanour at the other end of the field.

So, one of the biggest shocks in football had been recorded which is still very much talked about today.

WALSALL: Cunningham, Bennett, Bird, Reed, Leslie, Salt, Coward, Ball, Alsop, Sheppard, Lee.

ARSENAL: Moss, Male, Black, Hill, Roberts, Sidley, Warnes, Jack, Walsh, James, Bastin.

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