Ahead of this afternoon's League One match, Holly Hunt takes a look at the last meeting between Walsall and Plymouth...
9th April 2011 - Plymouth 2-0 Walsall
Yannick Bolasie was on the books for Plymouth Argyle the last time the Saddlers and the Pilgrims met on Plymouth home soil, Home Park. What’s more, the £30m Everton midfielder who netted for Plymouth against Walsall back in April 2011 would go on to earn a move to Bristol City just two months later.
The basement clash saw all three points stay on the south coast with Bolasie’s 51st-minute strike, along with a Rory Paterson goal, enough for the full spoils. However, it was the Saddlers who would preserve their League One status, with a single point standing between themselves and the drop. Plymouth, on the other hand, were not so lucky. Unable to find a way out of the bottom four and not helped by a 10-point deduction and unpaid taxes looming, the Pilgrims placed 23rd on 42 points.
Walsall were in the driving seat until Rory Paterson sealed a 2-0 victory with two minutes remaining on the watch. The hosts had their revenge on the Saddlers for a 2-1 defeat at the Bescot Stadium earlier in the 2010/11 campaign.
It might not have been a memorable meeting for ten of the Saddlers’ starting eleven but for Jimmy Walker it marked his 499th appearance in Walsall colours. The shot-stopper – more affectionately known as ‘Wacka’ – was in his second spell at the club after departing in 2004 for West Ham United. Except this time he was fighting to keep them in the league as opposed to getting them out of it. With three promotions on his CV at Walsall and countless Player of the Year accolades, he had produced again.
In addition, familiar faces such as Will Grigg and Joe Mason were named as substitutes for the Saddlers and the Pilgrims respectively; both strikers now regulars in the English Football League pyramid.
Walsall XI: Jimmy Walker, Darryl Westlake, Manny Smith, Andy Butler, Tom Williams, Marco Gbarssin, Emmanuel Ledesma, Marc Laird, Matt Richards, Julian Gray, Darren Byfield.
Subs: David Bevan, Clayton McDonald, Jon Macken, Alex Nicholls, Richard Taundry, Will Grigg, Jordan Cook.