15:00 - 15/08/09
Walsall grabbed a deserved point against Southend United with a last minute penalty. Walsall started with Darryl Westlake coming in for Rhys Weston. Walsall started brightly and took the lead after eleven minutes when a Westlake free kick bounced into the path of Steve Jones who headed past Stephen Mildenhall. Then a turning point into the match a tackle by Dwayne Mattis on Christophe Francois was punished with a yellow card - can't help thinking that the card was brought about by nunerous twists and turns in pain of the french midfielder. Walsall looked solid going in the rest of the half but barely threatened to make an addition to the scoreline.
In the second half Walsall looked devoid of ideas going forward but still looked solid at the back. Unfortunately they were left badly exposed by a second yellow card picked up by Mattis who was protecting his back four - this time a bad tackle on Alan McCormack. Southend responded by bringing on Sawyer and Dougie Freedman - the Saddlers dropped Denney into midfield. But they were still managing to survive despite Franck Moussa going close with a low drilled shot. But the ten man defence fell to pieces when Clayton Ince let the ball slip out of his hands from a goal kick and the ball fell to Lee Barnard who slipped the ball past the Trinidadian goalkeeper. Southend were now playing with confidence and they thought they'd won the match with ten minutes left. A Moussa cross was headed into the net by veteran Dougie Freedman.
Walsall looked down but Hutchings threw on Nicholls in hope of taking something out of the match. It was the youngster who was clipped in the box, the Referee gave Walsall the chance to earn a deserved point by awarding a penalty. Sam Parkin eventually took the ball off Troy Denney and drilled his penalty inot the bottom corner of the net to the delirium of the small Saddlers' following.
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