Saddlers succumb to Seagulls
Brighton won league one at the Banks's after they defeated the Saddlers 3-1 yesterday.
The game saw Clayton McDonald suffer a nasty cut under his eye as well as dislocated shoulder. Substitute Emmanuel Ledesma was sent off for a reckless two footed challenge after only 19 minutes on the pitch.
The Seagulls brought a strong away crowd that took up half the Walsall bite size stand and all of the traditional stand for the away following behind the goal.
The visitors went ahead on only 7 minutes with yet another corner, the ball fell to Inigo Calderon who fired the visitors ahead. 0-1.
Walsall found it hard to get into the game as Brighton showed their champion status.
However, they pulled the score level on 11 minutes. Matthew Richards put in a corner and was miskicked by Seagull Liam Bridcutt and Andy Butler was on hand to head the ball into the net. 1-1.
The game paused for a few minutes as Clayton McDonald cut below his eye. He received treatment on the pitch for several minutes before he left to have it glued.
Some good but fruitless passing was seen between Laird, Macken, Cook but it was easily cleared.
Matthew Richards then took a freekick, the ball falling to Taundry but the chance was blocked.
Richards did well to win the ball and passed to Jordan Cook but the ball cleared.
Sam Saunders had a good chance for the visitors but missed the opportunity.
Walsall enjoyed some action on the ball but failed to have the cutting edge to create any real chances.
The second half began and it wasn't long before the Seagulls were ahead once again.
Brigton went ahead again on the stroke of half time. Another corner came in for and Glenn Murray and he was in the right position to put the ball away. The 3000 strong away fans erupted as they edged towards certain championship. 1-2.
Walsall were the second team and played accordingly as the game progressed.
Matthew Richards was substitued on 60 minutes for Argentinian loanee Emmaunel Ledesma, Dean Smith hoping he would bring the turning point.
McDonald suffered a dislocated shoulder shortly afterwards and was quickly substituted by Oliver Lancashire. It was a real shame for the 6 foot 6 defender after he won his place back in the side.
Ledesma threw his weight around the pitch, forcing himself into all the action.
He took a free kick on 73 minutes but missed the target.
However, on 79 minutes and after just 19 minutes on the pitch, he was given his marching orders. He went too hard and two footed into a challenge and the referee made no hesitation to show him a straight red card.
The Saddlers marched on with ten men and did quite well considering.
Brighton sealed an excellent day for them all round when Elliot Bennett picked the ball up in the middle of the area and blasted the ball to make in 1-3. The Banks's erupted as the away support celebrated the occasion.
The stewards lined at the edge of the away crowd ready for the end, ready to stop the Seagulls evading the pitch.
The final whistle sounded and the stewards could do little when about a third of the away supporters flooded the pitch to congratulate their heroes. Walsall could only look on in envy of their glory.
The celebrations continued for about 20 minutes after the game as a good day all round for them at the Banks's.
It was a disppointing day for the Saddlers but fairplay to Brighton for clinching the title at the Banks's. Walsall thankfully remain out of the relegation zone as the teams around them also lost.
We look towards the next game, another home fixture against Sheffield Wednesday next Saturday.