All Smiles: Walsall 1-0 Leyton Orient
Is there any better feeling for a football fan, than celebrating three points on the opening day of the season? Well thats exactly how Walsall fans will be feeling this weekend after a hard fought win over Leyton Orient.
Five Saddlers were making their debuts with Chambers, Hurst, Sadler and Chambers all starting. Jarvis came on as a substitute. Question mark over Lee Beevers who didn't make the subs bench, which is now reduced to five. Adam Chambers was looking for revenge on Orient boss Russell Slade after freezing him out of Brisbane Road last season. It was a job well done as he lashed in amazing goal midway through the opening 45 minutes.
The sun shined over The Banks`s stadium at kick off time, and Walsall started brightly with the boys doing most of the early running. New signing Adam Chambers looked very motivated as he squared up to an Orient man within 40 seconds. The Saddlers created virtually all of the early opportunities. Jon Macken and Will Grigg linking up well in the early stages to create a few half chances in the first 15-20 minutes.
Then 21 minutes in the goal that Walsall so richly deserved arrived with Claude Gnakpa`s low shot was blocked and fell nicely to Adam Chambers who rifled the ball home from around 30 yards with an absolute screamer.
Orient started to string some passes together and get into their stride without really threatening the Walsall goal, but with the Saddlers holding their own we managed to create two more half chances from Macken and Gnakpa just before the break.
The second half saw Orient in charge of the ball for the most part, and on 55 minutes their persistence almost paid off, with Orient striker Jimmy smith heading the ball at goal only to see Jimmy Walker beat it away for a fantastic save. Shortly later 'Wacka` was called upon again tipping another Smith header over the bar showing yet again why he is number 1!
Orient kept a lot of the possession without scaring the Walsall defence too much again until the 80th minute when O`s veteran Jamie Cureton fired wide.
Definitely a hard fought victory and one that ever Saddlers fan will be grateful for and hoping that the lads can build on it, heading into the Middlesborough cup game on Tuesday.
Walsall: Walker, Westlake, Sadler, Butler, Lancashire, Gnapka, Chambers, Hurst (Nicholls 78) Taundry, Grigg (Jarvis 65) Macken (M Smith 89) SNU: Grof, Peterlin
Up The Saddlers!
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