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Memorable Matches: Walsall v Southampton - 2010/11

5 January 2024

Club News

Memorable Matches: Walsall v Southampton - 2010/11

5 January 2024

Ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Southampton in the Emirates FA Cup, we take a trip down memory lane to the 2010/11 season where the Saddlers met the Saints in League One.

Both matches turned out to be memorable ones for Walsall fans for different reasons!


Walsall had started to turn things around under Dean Smith in early 2011 and while the Saddlers climbed off the bottom, they still occupied the fourth relegation spot heading into this encounter against a Southampton side who were fifth, chasing the automatic promotion spots.

Smith’s side were boosted by latest signing Emmanuel Ledesma starting up front for his debut.

The Saints started strongly and the Saddlers had Jimmy Walker in goal to thank as he denied Morgan Schneiderlin, Lee Barnard, Ricky Lambert and Adam Lallana in the first half.

The Saddlers grew into the contest as Ledesma and Richard Taundry had opportunities late in the first half while Julian Gray curled an effort wide early in the second half.

Southampton continued to threaten but Walsall continued to defend manfully.

The big moment came on 69 minutes when Aaron Lescott’s long ball over the top saw Radhi Jaidi head the ball into the path of Jon Macken who got there before Kelvin Davies and tucked the ball home.

Southampton tried to force an equaliser but the Saddlers managed to keep them at bay to get the win they needed to climb out of the bottom four for the first time in five months.



As defeats go, this is one of the best you can have as a supporter.

It was a huge game for both teams as Southampton needed to get a result to secure automatic promotion while the Saddlers needed to at least equal Dagenham & Redbridge’s result to survive relegation.

Walsall found themselves 2-0 down when Guly Do Prado and David Connolly struck for the Saints.

Julian Gray pulled a goal back for the Saddlers when he curled in a beauty on the stroke of half time.

The visitors went in search of an equaliser and came close through Will Grigg who struck the woodwork with a left foot volley before Jon Macken had a goal ruled out for offside.

Southampton made sure of the victory though as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain beat Jimmy Walker with a terrific strike.

Victory clinched promotion for Southampton but the travelling Saddlers fans also had reason to celebrate as Dag & Red lost 5-0 at Peterborough which meant Smith’s men survived.

There was the strange dynamic of the whole stadium in jubilant celebration and both sets of fans spilled onto the pitch with joy!



  • The last time Walsall and Southampton met in the FA Cup was in 1995 – the Saddlers emerged victorious, winning 2-1
  • Current First Team Coach Darren Byfield scored his 100th professional goal in a 3-1 defeat against the Saints in 2009
  • Southampton boss Russell Martin had a brief spell at the Poundland Bescot Stadium as a player in the 2018-19 season
  • Chris Nicholl has managed both Walsall and the Saints, having also played for Southampton during his career.

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