Live coverage of the big game as Town take on Walsall
Walsall: McCarey, Butler (c), A.Chambers, Grigg, Paterson, Brandy (Baxendale, 90), Downing, J.Chambers, Taylor, Mantom, Westcarr (Featherstone, 85).
Subs: Holden, Featherstone, Hemmings, Purkiss, Bowerman, Baxendale, Grof.]
Goals: Grigg (pen) 30, 54. Westcarr, 46.
Town: Weale, Gayle, Jones, Edwards, Jacobson, Richards (c), Parry (Purdie, 65), McAllister, McGinn (Summerfield, 65), Morgan, Eaves (Rodgers, 78).
Subs: Anyon, Summerfield, Purdie, Wildig, Mambo, Rodgers, Goldson.
Goals: McAllister, 77.
Referee: Mr. C. Berry
Assistants: Mr. W. Grunnill & Mr. M. Griffiths
Fourth Official: Mr. M. Amphlett
Attendance: 5,496 (1,089)
Matt Johnson reports from the Banks’s Stadium
An attacking master class left Town on the wrong end of a 3-1 score line as Walsall ran out comfortable winners at the Banks’s Stadium.
Will Grigg’s penalty gave the Saddlers the advantage at the break and early second-half strikes from Grigg and Craig Westcarr put the result beyond doubt. Dave McAllister scored a consolation with 13 minutes to go but it was too little too late for Town.
Marvin Morgan came in for the injured Chris Porter in the only change to the side that narrowly lost out to Doncaster in midweek, but it was the Saddlers who controlled the tempo for the opening 20 minutes.
Beginning to find their feet, Town almost took the lead on 25 minutes after a free-kick was only half cleared. The returned cross was met by Cameron Gayle’s flick but McCarey did well to save in the Saddlers goal.
Walsall continued to look dangerous and were presented with a glorious chance to take the lead on the half-hour when Febian Brandy was upended in the box by Rob Edwards after a jinking run. Will Grigg stepped up to take the spot kick and coolly sent Weale the wrong way.
One almost became two just three minutes later as the home side asserted their dominance. A neat through ball sent Grigg clean through, but after rounding Weale, Edwards was on hand to clear off the line.
HT: Walsall 1-0 Town
Walsall shot out of the blocks to double their lead within the opening minute of the second-half as Craig Westcarr scrambled home at the back post.
Eight minutes later and a third for the home side put the game out of reach. Grigg picked up the ball on the edge of the box and turned the defence before firing low past Weale to the dismay of the travelling support.
Town gave themselves a lifeline with 13 minutes remaining when Cameron Gayle’s deflected cross was met by the head of Dave McAllister, and Morgan thought he’d made it two eight minutes later but his goal was disallowed for offside.
Roared on by a 1,000+ strong away following, Town continued to push for a route back into the game, but the Saddlers held firm to secure all three points and keep Town nervously looking over their shoulders in npower League One.
FT: Walsall 3-1 Town