Report: Brentford 1-2 Saddlers
Walsall have stormed to a victory on the first away game of the season today.
It was a rain soaked Griffin Park as Brentford looked to continue their 17 home game unbeaten record.
Nicholls opened the scoring thanks to a fine strike, Alexander replied for the Bees just before half time. The match was sealed by a fabulous Gray goal in the second half.
The game started brightly for the Saddlers, organised and energetic with the back four looking strong and positive. It is just what was in order on the back of two frustrating defeats.
It took just 11 minutes for Nicholls to give the supporters something to shout about, as he received the ball right of the goal and confidently slammed it home! One nil.
The first half continued with Brentford being held back by the defence, with the team of McGivern, Lancashire, Lescott and Smith seeming to be gelling well and looking strong.
On 29 minutes keeper Brain was shown a Yellow for holding up the game before a goal kick, as he waited for Lancashire to secure his boot which came off in the slippery conditions.
As the Bees chipped away at the goal, they got their equaliser a few minutes before half time. Gary Alexander met Robbie Simpson's cross and drove it home. Brain got a hand to the ball but it wasn't enough to put Brentford firmly back in the game.
As the second half kicked off, the Saddlers were looking as good as they were in the first. It took just 8 minutes, and after a flurry of neat passes, for them to get the winner. Some good work by Byfield, who linked with Lescott, Taundry and then Gray, who put the ball neatly to the left of the keeper. More of the same in the future, Saddlers!
The Saddlers were not without hard work in the second half, but they looked on top.
On 65 minutes, Brain made an assured save as he stretched across the goal to grab a dangerous shot from the Bee's.
More good defending ensued on 68 minutes, as Brentford piled on the pressure.
On 76 minutes, Matthew Richards was on hand to clear another Brentford chance, as he dragged the ball away from the danger zone.
As the clock ticked down, Grigg came on for Byfield, with Lescott given the captain's armband. The 19 year old showed a fine display in the last 10 minutes, showing impressive pace.
In added time, Brentford gave the Saddler's following a nervous end to the game. They were awarded a free kick just outside the area, but Brain was on hand once again to secure all three points. The whistle couldn't come any quicker and the points were all ours!
The Saddlers are showing their potential after a disappointing early start to the season. We welcome Plymouth Argyle to the Banks's next Saturday and the Saddlers will look to build on today's display.
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