Writer: Robyn Richards
Date:Wednesday February 2 2011
Walsall are now unbeaten in 3 games with 8 goals. They came from behind tonight to snatch all 3 points away from Notts County, fresh from their 1-1 draw to Manchester City on Sunday in the FA Cup.
Notts County gave us a through 3-0 beating on New Years Day, which was the beginning of the end for Chris Hutchings after the defeat to Peterborough United 3 days later. The Saddlers looked lost and a little sad as the Hutchings tenure had long become a losing battle.
Fast Forward just 30 days and Walsall are on a high, having secured two draws and a 6-1 victory, the reverse fixture at Notts County tonight gave Walsall every belief that they have everything to look forward to as the season unfolds.
Jimmy Walker returned to the starting line-up, as the rest of the outfield remained unchanged. The bench is now looking much healthier, which boasted Taundry, Marshall, Bevan, Paterson, Grigg, McDonald and Smith.
Both teams were strong from the start and both were pushing for a goal, Notts County with the better of the early chances. Lee Hughes and Craig Westcarr tested the Walsall defence, Andy Butler heading away as Westcarr beckoned, before Walker was on hand to stop the home side taking an early lead from Hughes.
There was an outcry for a penalty as Edwards made contact with Jason Price, but the referee waved play on.
The deadlock got tighter and tighter as the game screamed for a goal, but Walsall looked strong and unwilling to give up without a fight.
Mathew Gill had a good chance as the first half wound down as Jon Macken set him up, but the shot was saved.
The second half began as the first half left off and it was only a matter of time before a goal would be scored.
Unfortunately, it was Notts County on the receiving end. Another corner beckoned for Walsall to defend and yet again it bobbled around before Lee Hughes was able to get his head on it and into the back of the net. 1-0. Another coner. Another goal for the Saddlers.
However, Walsall did not let their heads drop and continued in pursuit of an equaliser. After Saturday's display, it surely couldn't end in defeat tonight.
Matthew Richards linked up with Oliver Lancashire on 70 minutes, but the effort went wide of the target.
Thankfully and deservedly, Walsall got their equaliser on late on. Lee Hughes had a chance at the Walsall goal and Walker did well to clear the danger, only for Alex Nicholls to get get on the end of a Matthew Richards through ball, with Paterson involved, and the striker made no mistake to drive the ball home. A nervy ending, but the game ended as a draw.
Walsall fully deserved the goal as the forecasted revival comes a reality. There is still work to be done but Walsall have plenty of confidence to take with them on their long trip to Carlisle on Saturday.
Date:Wednesday February 2 2011
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