Writer: Robyn Richards
Date:Monday January 17 2011
Saturday was not to be Walsall's day after they succumbed to a 4-2 defeat to Huddersfield despite taking the lead.
Walsall went into the game unchanged as caretaker manager Dean Smith and goalkeeper David Bevan made their home debuts.
Walsall started the game the much stronger side as they made a positive start and contained their opponents well. The Saddlers took a well deserved lead on 14 minutes when Will Grigg found Alex Nicholls in an excellent position and he accurately put the ball away. 1-0.
The goal strengthened Walsall's footing in the game and a Huddersfield's defence was in disarray when Will Grigg put a chance wide a few minutes later.
However, the lead was not to last long. Matthew Richards let Kevin Kilbane to go on for goal from the half way line, leaving Manny Smith in his trail and David Bevan coming way off his line, he slotted home to level the scoring. 1-1.
Huddersfield then found their feet and Walsall were left chasing the ball around as the visitors used their edge to leave the Saddlers struggling.
Walsall were left reeling by half time as they went in losing. The Terriers were awarded a corner on 25 minutes and it perfectly found the head of Jamie McCombes and past David Bevan to put Huddersfield ahead. 2-1.
However, Matthew Richards was on hand as play restarted to put the Saddlers back in the game. The Saddlers were awarded a free kick in an ideal position and the 26 year old expertly lifted the ball into the net. 2-2. The game could now go either way.
Huddersfield pushed on from where they left off and Walsall found it difficult to nose their way into the game. Nicholls missed an undeniable golden chance on midway through the second half after a sublime Gray cross, but he pulled the ball wide of the target.
On 77 minutes and yet again, Walsall conceded another goal from a corner. This time the ball bobbled around the penalty area for a few seconds before the home side succumbed to their fate. Peter Clarke produced a fine overhead kick to compound Walsall's problems. 2-3.
Nicholls left the pitch soon after for Jamie Paterson.
Tempers flared as the game neared its end as Andy Butler and Lee Peltier had cross words and both were awarded yellows.
Walsall's day worsened in time added on when Westlake let Roberts cross to Rhodes, who slotted home and gave the visitors a convincing win. 2-4
Matthew Richards was awarded the sponsors Man of the Match as he is flying high after scoring his 7th of the season.
It was a disappointing day for the Saddlers as their leaky defence continues to plant itself as a major problem for them. They have now found their scoring boots with merit, providing at least one improvement to take heart from. David Bevan is over his honeymoon spell in goal and should be replaced by newly fit Jimmy Walker for this weekend's visit to Exeter. Andy Butler once again shone as he lead the backline. We can do nothing but look forward to making the trip to St James' Park as the Saddlers take on Exeter City on Saturday.
Date:Monday January 17 2011
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