Following Saturday afternoon's draw with npower League One high-flyers Crawley Town, Bescot anter columnist Jack Hansford shares his Match Report.
Following Saturday afternoon's draw with npower League One high-flyer's Crawley Town, Bescot Banter columnist Jack Hansford shares his Match Report;

After Tuesday's embarrassing defeat to non-league Lincoln City which topped off a pretty wretched run of results and performances, would us Walsall fans finally have something to shout about in West Sussex?

Lets not kid ourselves, we haven't looked at all great for a while now and a trip to promotion chasing Crawley wasn't really something I was looking forward to but often even Walsall can surprise a few.

The game actually started quite evenly and the Saddlers came out as if they felt they owed the fans a performance. Our passing game was slowly working itself into the game but Nicky Adams soon began to cause us problems down the right who was their bright spark all game.

A few hoofs and boots later and Walsall began to get into a rhythm. Jamie Paterson played in Febian Brandy second time round and he calmly slotted the ball past 'keeper Paul Jones to give us the lead. It was probably a deserved goal on the balance of play in the opening quarter.

It was a goal that gave Crawley a bit of a wake up call and it wasn't long before they were back in it. Jonathan Forte cut in from the right and he set up Billy Clarke who latched onto his short pass to drill the ball high into the top corner past debutant 'keeper Aaron McCarey who was rooted.

HT: Crawley Town 1 Walsall 1
The second half began in pretty much the same fashion and for all our moans and groans, we looked a lot better than the home side. With 15 minutes to go Ashley Hemmings picked up the loose ball in the penalty area after a bit of a scramble, took his time and cooly curled the ball into the net. It sent the Walsall fans into raptures as we sensed  that it could be our day.

Unfortunately, it is never that simple with Walsall and our luck didn't change once again when Forte, playing his last game before the end of his loan spell, finished off a cross with his shoulder after the ball lofted over McCarey late on.

Soon after, Joe Walsh was sent off for a clumsy tackle on the impressive Brandy when he was clean through on goal. The 'Yellows' pushed for a winner with Bowerman and Baxendale coming on, but it wasn't to be.

FT: Crawley Town 2 (Clarke 22' Forte 81') Walsall 2 (Brandy 14' Hemmings 74')

ATT: 3,039
REF: D, Phillips

Looking back it was a good point against the big spenders but it could have been so different. Brandy and Hemmings more than played their part today and really gave Smith something to think about and ultimately deserved their starting places. It would have been great to get the win going into Tuesday but at least it wasn't a defeat.

McCarey also put in a creditable performance although he was largely untested and the players can probably say they did a very good job today.

Tranmere away next then? Easy three points...

By: Jack Hansford
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