Saddlers pay the penalty!
The Banks' Stadium
15:00 - 25/07/09
Walsall had to survive late scares to take a credible draw against Championship big boys West Brom in a match they were in full control in.
The home side took the lead when a cross into the area was chested into the path of Dwayne Mattis who stabbed the ball past Scott Carson. Walsall doubled their lead with one minute left - Nicholls ran into the box and tried to flick the ball to Denney - Albion half cleared but the ball fell to trailist Matt Richards who placed a glorious shot into the top right hand corner of the net.
Now Rene Gilmartin has come into much criticism since being at the club - there are the jokes about him chasing his dogs around the park because he'd lost the lead again or the accusation that the only thing he's caught in the last twelve months is swine flu. Well he took to the field at half time and this was his chance to prove everybody wrong - but he didn't.
Five minutes into the half - fellow subsitute Westlake passed the ball back to him and he wildly flicked the ball to an Albion forward - he got away with that one. Fifteen minutes later Albion had a goal back - Smith lost track of Luke Moore and the former Villa striker was through. Moore seemingly fluffed his shot firing a weak effort towards Gilmartin at head height only to find the young Irish man move out of the way - as if he was worried the ball might hit him and for him to actually make a save. Albion were back into the match. But things grew worse for the Saddlers five minutes from time when Beattie ran through but went wide of the goal but he was also relieved when Gilmartin clipped his legs - penalty. The Scotsman stepped up to fire the ball into the roof of the net and the young Saddlers side who finished the match were forced to hold on.
Still lots of positives to take out of the match - including the performance of trialist Matt Richards - who walked away with the man-of-the match award - not to sure about the hair.
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