Chris Gwillam's match report...As top of the table Walsall took on 21st in the division Fleetwood Town ‘anything could happen’.
With a cup run in mind, 2437 Walsall fans travelled down the Wednesbury Road to hopefully get to walk down Wembley Way for a second time.
The boys from the Black Country took on the Cod Army and their 95 fans that never let go of hope.
As the Saddlers played towards the Walsall occupied away end 2 Fleetwood players passed the ball and both teams FA Cup run started.
In the first 10 minutes many half chances were not taken to their full potential.
As the emotions of the cup settled in, a dull and eventless first 15 minutes ended with a 17 minute corner for the Cod Army, which was wasted to give the Saddlers an opportunity from a free kick that was booted up field where Romaine Sawyers (10) played a pass to Manchester City loan player George Evans (27) who latched onto and smashed a sweet strike from outside of the box that travelled past the attacking and defending of both teams into the bottom right hand corner of the net to claim his 3rd goal in 4 games.
Walsall 1 Fleetwood Town 0
In the 32nd minute Fleetwood’s Joe Davis (47) was yellow carded after a tackle on Walsall’s Tom Bradshaw (9) which led to nothing from the free kick.
A minute of extra time didn’t do anything for either teams with the Saddlers marching in at half time 1-0 in the lead.
During half time Fleetwood’s Manager, Steven Pressley, brought on Jamille Matt (10) for Jamie Procter (9) with Dean Smith bringing on Anthony Forde (12) to replace Milan Lalkovic (15) who had felt his calf muscle tighten up.
Neil Etheridge (1) was also taken off for the same reason, who has been called up to the Philippines squad, Craig MacGillivray replaced Etheridge.
In the second half many attempts were flushed away and numourous corners were given to both teams but with no end result.
In the 71st minute Fleetwood changed their line up with Eggert Jonsson (5) being replaced by Nick Haughton (27).
4 minutes later a Walsall tactical substitution brought Tom Bradshaw off, in preparation for his Wales International debut, and Jordan Cook (21) came onto the pitch and dived straight into the action.
In the 78th minute Fleetwood replaced Declan McManus (17) for David Ball (23).
Two minutes added time was given and in this period the ball went out on the left wing, Rico Henry threw it back in and Sawyers lifted the ball on to Forde’s foot who ran and smashed the ball into the right corner.
Final score Walsall 2 Fleetwood 0
In the press conference after the match Dean Smith quoted that “there were two great goals and there were moments of real good play”.
Jason Demetriou (2) was awarded the Man of the Match, which I certainly agree with.