Date:Monday September 30 2013
Time and time again we find ourselves comparing the side of 2013 to the team of 1998 and Saturday's 1-1 draw against Leyton Orient is evident that the similarities are there.
The side Ray Graydon assembled was based on hard work, determination and never knowing when they were down and after 18 minutes on Saturday many teams would have buckled however Dean Smith's men showed that they are a match for anyone this season.....even with ten men!
A trip to the smoke against a Orient side that had won 8 out of 8 was a daunting task and it became even more daunting when skipper Andy Butler was sent off after 18 minutes following a moment of madness - lunging in two footed on Romain Vincelot, and received his marching orders to leave Walsall heading towards their third defeat of the campaign.
However, Dean Smith shuffled the pack, brought Ben Purkiss on for Nicky Featherstone and after switching to a 4-4-1, Walsall didn't collapse and came away with a vital point.
It was ten man Walsall whom could of taken the lead moments after Butler's red as James Chambers played a delightful ball over the top to Troy Hewitt however the striker failed to control it and the oppurtunity was gone.
The game looked out of sight on 40 minutes when Walsall 'keeper, Richard O'Donnell came out to no mans land, flapped at a cross and David Mooney prodded the ball into an empty net. Knowing of his error, O'Donnell collapsed to the floor and later apologised to his teammates for the error.
After the Orient goal many expected the Orient Express to steam roll The Saddlers but this wasn't the case.
Paul Downing (our Man Of The Match) came close to levelling for the visitors as his head met an Andy Taylor cross but his header was easily claimed by Jamie Jones.
With 20 minutes remaining, Walsall silenced the home side.
Great work by Andy Taylor down the left who sent his cross to the back post, where Troy Hewitt was there to cushion his header across goal to find the head of an unmarked Craig Westcarr who couldn't miss and he headed it on the line, to grab his 5th goal of the campaign and sent the 355 travelling faithful into raptures.
Richard O'Donnell made up for his earlier error by producing a 'worldie' save late on from a Baudry header from close range which O'Donnell pushed onto the bar to save Walsall heartache and to gain a massive point.
Deep into injury time Romain Vincelot was given his marching orders after a second bookable offence for his foul on Ben Purkiss, however the referee blew not long after.
Walsall remain in 9th but given we have faced Wolves, Brentford, Preston and Orient in recent weeks it is hopeful that we can now start to kick on as we face (dare I say it) weaker sides in this division.
We learned a lot defeating Wolves on their home patch but given the circumstances, I think Dean and his men learned a lot more from Saturday's spirited performance at Orient.
These boys are making us all proud at the moment....long may it continue.
Date:Monday September 30 2013
Morris Heads Out On Loan (Friday December 6 2013)
Christmas Toy Appeal Success (Thursday December 5 2013)
Bakayoko Signs Pro Deal! (Monday December 2 2013)
Walsall 0-2 Port Vale - Report (Saturday November 30 2013)
Walsall Team News In! (v Port Vale) (Saturday November 30 2013)
Christmas Toy and Food Appeal Tomorrow! (Friday November 29 2013)
The Guest Blog - Volume XIV (Wednesday November 27 2013)
Sheffield United 1-1 Walsall - Report (Wednesday November 27 2013)
Walsall Team News In (v Sheffield United) (Tuesday November 26 2013)
FA Youth Cup Date Set (Tuesday November 26 2013)
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