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Last Encounter: Walsall v Charlton

A look back at the last meeting between the two sides...

26 September 2017

On the 21st March 2017, Walsall made the 250-mile-round trip to The Valley with ambitions of building upon back-to-back wins to dislodge rival play-off contenders Millwall from their sixth-place perch.

However, the Saddlers found a Charlton Athletic side going neither up nor down and preparing for life in the third tier for another year more resilient than they had estimated before boarding the team bus.

On the stroke of half-time, Simeon Jackson latched onto Kieron Morris’ lofted clearance and with only the ‘keeper to beat, the striker stroked in the opener, beyond Declan Rudd in full view of the travelling Saddlers supporters; the last time the then-28-year-old found the back of the net for the club to date. In the driving seat for the first 45 minutes, the number nine could have been taking the match-ball back to the Midlands but had to settle for the one heading into the break.

It wasn’t long after the restart that Charlton’s Tony Watt restored the balance. In a series of events stemming from a corner-kick, both Ricky Holmes and Nathan Byrne went to ground, Joe Aribo couldn’t quite pick up the pieces but Watt made no mistake when the ball landed at his feet, finding the same far corner that Jackson had rippled a quarter-of-an-hour earlier.

Erhun Oztumer and Amadou Bakayoko were wasteful for the Saddlers, and Watt thought he had put the Addicks ahead from a Ricky Holmes set-piece but made a U-turn when the fingertips of Neil Etheridge denied Watt and Charlton another.

Two points dropped from a Walsall perspective and the catalyst for a five-game winless run that ruled the Saddlers out of the race, with the Lions scooping final spot in the play-offs and eventually, the Championship.

 

Walsall XI: Neil Etheridge, Jason McCarthy, James O'Connor, Eoghan O'Connell, Scott Laird, Adam Chambers, Isaiah Osbourne, Kieron Morris, Joe Edwards, Erhun Oztumer, Simeon Jackson

Subs: George Dobson, Craig MacGillivray, Matt Preston, Will Randall, Amadou Bakayoko, Andreas Makris, Franck Moussa.


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