Walsall 1-1 Bristol City
05/10/2014 - 15:00
The Saddlers improved recent form continued with an impressive point at home against the unbeaten league leaders.
As you might expect against a side that haven`t lost a league game since March, Walsall didn`t have it all their own way and, despite a bright start which saw Andy Butler have a volley saved in the opening minute, the visitors took the lead with their first real attack of the game. Reece Flanagan lost possession in midfield, and City duly punished us for it. A right wing found Joe Bryan and, having danced inside a recovering James O`Connor, smashed a low drive hard past Richard O`Donnell.
Things got worse for the Saddlers on the half hour mark when top scorer Tom Bradshaw was forced off with another injury, although that did at least see the introduction of Jordan Cook for his first appearance of the season.
We were far from out of the game but, as has been the case so regularly in the last 18 months, we were struggling to break down an organised and resolute defence. Butler had another chance, putting a difficult header wide from a Forde corner, before Forde himself and then Cook forced smart stops from Frank Fielding in the city goal.
The mood was lightened with a quarter of an hour to go when Cook, who`d been battling for the ball near the right touchline, skidded in and clattered straight into the linesman who, after a few minutes having his shin treated by Jon Whitney, was replaced on the line by the 4th official.
The delay didn`t break the Saddlers rhythm though and, in the 85th minute, an excellent move saw Sawyers play the ball into Cook who, with the assist of an Adam Chambers dummy, played the ball back to Sawyers who curled a sublime strike into the top corner.
Both sides made late half-hearted attempts to win the game but both sides did seem happy to come out of the game with a point, and both, in fairness, deserved one.