We look back at the Saddlers’ most memorable moments in the League Cup…2002/03 Season
Tomorrow’s match with Chelsea will be the Saddlers’ first League Cup third round tie in 13 years.
Back in 2002/03, Walsall overcame Shrewsbury (1-0) and Nottingham Forest (2-1) to reach the last 32, where we faced Worthington Cup holders Blackburn at Ewood Park.
Colin Lee’s charges came within seconds of knocking out the then-Premier League side.
Corrado Grabbi put Rovers ahead, before Zigor Aranalde’s penalty and David Zdrilic’s extra-time strike swung the tie in Walsall’s favour.
But Ian Roper’s unfortunate own goal made it 2-2 after 120 minutes, and Blackburn then won 5-4 on penalties.
Under the stewardship of Jan Sorensen, the Saddlers advanced to the fourth round of the Coca-Cola Cup in 1997/98.
Walsall eased past Exeter 3-0 on aggregate in round one, before then scraping past Nottingham Forest 3-2 over two matches.
Carl Tiler’s own goal secured a 2-1 victory over Sheffield United, but our progress was halted after a 4-1 reverse at West Ham.
It’s 21 years since Walsall last defeated a Premier League side in this competition.
Stuart Watkiss’ opener and Steve Potts’ own goal sealed a 2-1 win over West Ham in the second round at the Bescot Stadium.
However, the Saddlers suffered heartbreak in the second leg at the Boleyn Ground, losing 2-0 after extra-time to go out 3-2 on aggregate.
Walsall cruised past Plymouth (5-2 on agg) in round one.
The last time Walsall knocked out a top-flight outfit was in October 1984.
After a convincing 5-1 aggregate success over third-tier Swansea, the Saddlers were drawn against Midlands rivals Coventry in the second round.
The Sky Blues won the first leg 2-1, but Walsall produced a scintillating performance to triumph 3-0 in the next match at Highfield Road.
Our reward was a tie against Chelsea, which the Blues won after a replay.
Walsall enjoyed a magical run to the Milk Cup semi-finals in 1983/84 – our best performance in this competition – where we lost 4-2 on aggregate to eventual winners Liverpool.
The Third Division Saddlers drew 2-2 against the European heavyweights at Anfield, with Phil Neal scoring an own goal and super-sub Kevin Summerfield netting with his first touch.
A crowd of 19,951 packed into Fellows Park for the return leg, which ended 2-0 to the Reds.
En route to the last four, Alan Buckley’s men famously defeated Arsenal 2-1 at Highbury on 29th November 1983, thanks to goals from Mark Rees and Ally Brown.
Walsall also defeated Blackpool (4-3 on agg), Barnsley (3-0 agg), Shrewsbury (2-1) and Rotherham (4-2) on our remarkable cup adventure.
A 2-1 victory over First Division Stoke helped the Saddlers reach the last 16 of the League Cup in 1966/67.
Walsall beat Port Vale 3-1 in the first round and then saw off the Potters in round two.
That was followed by a 2-1 triumph at Exeter, before a fourth round exit against top-tier side Sheffield United (1-2).