Writer: Lee Hale
Date:Wednesday March 7 2012
Walsall welcomed Sheffield United to the Banks' last night for the first home game after three straight on the road.
What a game it was too!
The team selection was a brave on from Dean Smith, new Albion loanee Sam Mantom starting in the midfield alongside Cuvelier, and young George Bowerman getting his much anticipated first start.
The game was slow to get going, with Sheffield United having the closer opportunities of the two teams, with Ched Evans chipping just wide and hitting a low shot at Grof.
Walsall held their own well, Kevan Hurst attempting a half volley but not really threatening.
Walsall were forced into a change as hardworking Richard Taundry was replaced by Lee Beevers due to injury.
The best chance of the half fell to the Saddlers just before half time as Andy Butler rose highest to meet Hurst's cross, only see his strong header cleared off the line.
Shortly after the restart Walsall were forced into the second change of the night as Jamie Paterson limped off to be replaced by Alex Nicholls.
Bowerman who was working hard, forced a corner out of nothing, and the resulting Hurst corner found debut youngster Sam Mantom who had lost his marker and duly curled a stunning effort to put The Saddlers into the lead.
Straight away Walsall were back on the front foot, a Bowerman effort forcing a good save from Blades 'keeper Simonsen.
A couple of minutes later, United were level, Ched Evans outpaced Andy Butler and did well to tee up Williamson who slotted under the oncoming body of Grof.
A short spell of Blades pressure followed, with David Grof doing well to hold off the small flurry of chances that were fired at him, before 73 minutes in as some good running by the immense Jon Macken saw him slide the ball under the opposition goalkeeper to make it 2-1.
The lead lasted only three minutes, with. Ched Evans beating our poor excuse for an offside trap to cooly finish for the Blades' equaliser.
Will Grigg replaced George Bowerman, and in the 82nd minute some good play in the wing between Hurst and Sadler saw Sadler dink in a beauty of a cross which was met by Alex Nicholls and converted to send all of us in the home sections into raptures!!
A touch of 'squeaky bum time' inevitably ensued, and the fourth assistant announced SIX minutes of injury time (I will never know how he came up with that).
With a little bit of solid defending, some counter attack attempts an plenty of time wasting, The Saddlers saw the remainder out to seal a brilliant, if unpredictable three points, and some would say a bit of sweet revenge!
Full Time: Walsall 3. Blades 2.
Mantom '55. Williamson '65
Macken '73. Evans '76
Final Attendance: 5003
Date:Wednesday March 7 2012
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