A Flo Cuvelier strike preserved the Saddlers' League One status on this day in 2012...28th April 2012 - Walsall 1-1 Huddersfield Town
Today’s feature zooms in on a real high stakes match for the Saddlers at the time, as a positive result would see them avoid relegation from League One if other results went their way. They faced a strong Huddersfield Town side who had already secured a play-off place. In the reverse fixture at John Smith's Stadium in November of that season, Walsall drew 1-1 with the Terriers; a goal from Jamie Paterson sealed a point for the away side.
Lining up in Walsall colours on this day was the ever-reliable goalkeeper James Walker, a player who made over 500 appearances for the Reds, former Birmingham City left-back and present Shrewsbury Town man Mat Sadler, versatile Lincoln City veteran Lee Beevers, former Walsall club captain and current Doncaster Rovers centre-half Andy Butler, ex-Southampton man Olly Lancashire, local lad Richard Taundry, then Stoke loanee and current Saddlers midfielder Flo Cuvelier, former West Brom academy graduate Sam Mantom, ex-Middlesborough loan forward Emmanuel Ledesma, well-travelled former Manchester City striker Jon Macken, and fans’ favourite and striker Alex Nicholls.
Within a minute of the kick-off, Huddersfield opened the scoring with a goal from present Charlton Athletic striker Lee Novak. He converted the into the bottom corner after Walsall failed to clear the ball away from danger.
After the break the Saddlers drew level - an important finish inside the penalty area from Cuvelier earning a vital point in Walsall’s bid for survival.
Both teams played a competitive, attacking style of football in an attempt to the win the game, but in the end Dean Smith’s men battled well against a very solid Huddersfield side. A draw for Walsall saw an impromptu pitch invasion at the final whistle and was enough to secure their League One status for the next season due to relegation-rivals Wycombe Wanderers losing to Notts County. Our opponents on this day, Huddersfield, went on to win the play-offs when they beat reigning League One champions Sheffield United on penalties in the play-off final at Wembley Stadium.
Other fixtures on this day:
2007 - Walsall 1-0 Wrexham
1990 - Walsall 2-1 Tranmere Rovers
1987 - Walsall 5-2 Port Vale