Writer: Lee Hale
Date:Monday April 30 2012
A wet and windy Banks' stadium was a nerve wracking place to be this weekend as we headed for our final home game of the season with safety still not confirmed.
It was nice to see Jimmy Walker getting a start in possibly his last appearance at The Banks'.
Not quite so nice was the fact that before some fans had even taken their seats, Walsall were behind.
Some good buildup play coupled with some poor Walsall defending left Lee Novak the relatively simple job of pumping a low drive under Walker from the edge of the area.
The Saddlers were shellshocked and looked panicky, and things got worse as Emanuele Ledesma was bundled over in the area by Hunt, and the referee waved it away much to the dismay of the home crowd.
At the other end Novak could and probably should have had two, as he found himself free in the area, but he somehow headed his effort, straight at the floor and it bounced harmlessly over the bar.
Walsall looked unimaginitive going forward and offered up nothing serious, Ledesma trying to lob Huddersfield's goalkeeper from the halfway line but the ball flying wide.
The only real convincing chance for the Saddlers came just before half time as a Ledesma free kick was floated into the box and Andy Butler rose the highest but planted his header wide of the target.
Half Time Walsall 0 Huddersfield 1
Whatever Dean Smith said to the boys at half time, must have worked a treat, because they came back out for the second half, looking a different team.
Alex Nicholls found Mat Sadler who clipped a cross into Cuvelier, in his final game for the Saddlers, who took a touch and whipped an equaliser into the bottom corner of the Huddersfield net.
Momentum was suddenly all Walsall's and Ledesma was unlucky not to do better with a free kick before Olly Lancashire put a header just wide.
Ledesma looked lively throughout and put another good free kick opportunity dissapointingly over the bar.
As Walsall looked so comfortable, everyone's attention turned to other results, Chesterfield and Wycombe's scores were ever changing heading towards the end.
The fourth official indicated five minutes of stoppage time, which buoyed the home crowd as we pushed on for a winner which would put to bed any doubts about our League One survival.
As the final whistle sounded news flashed around the ground that both Wycombe and Chesterfield had lost their respective games, meaning The Saddlers League One status is secured for another season!!
Cue the pitch invasion, and everyone safe in the knowledge that we can all head to MK Dons and just enjoy the day rather than stressing over the score!
Final Score: Walsall 1 Cuvelier 49'
Huddersfield 1 Novak 2'
Date:Monday April 30 2012
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|12. Bristol City||44||13||17||14||3||56|
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