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27 January 2016

A year ago today, the Saddlers made history...

On 27th January 2015, we hosted Preston North End in the second leg of our JPT Northern Area final.

It was a night we will never forget...

WALSALL 0-0 PRESTON – JPT Northern Area final second leg

The Saddlers secured a first-ever trip to Wembley Stadium after beating Preston 2-0 on aggregate to reach the JPT final.

Holding a two-goal advantage from the first leg, Dean Smith's side produced a stubborn rearguard action to thwart the Lilywhites.

In a quiet first-half, Saddlers top-scorer Tom Bradshaw went closest to breaking the deadlock when he stabbed just wide.

The hosts pushed forward after the break, with Preston keeper Thorsten Stuckmann denying Anthony Forde and Romaine Sawyers.

Andy Taylor also fired over and Bradshaw headed off target as the Saddlers looked to put the tie beyond doubt.

But we were left hanging on in a frantic finale.

Home stopper Richard O’Donnell made four fine saves, Paul Downing cleared off the line and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake rattled the bar.

But the Saddlers stood firm to create history.

We were going to Wembley!

Walsall team:O’Donnell, O’Connor, Downing, Chambers (Purkiss 90’), Taylor, Cain, Chambers, Forde, Sawyers, Cook (Baxendale 88’), Bradshaw.

Subs not used: MacGillivray, Flanagan, Manset.

Attendance: 10,038

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