Posted by: Bescot Banter


Following Saturday afternoon's Sky bet League One match between Walsall and Leyton Orient, Bescot Banter columnist Scott Brotherton shares his Match Report.
Following Saturday afternoon's Sky Bet League One match between Walsall and Leyton Orient, Bescot Banter columnist Scott Brotherton shares his Match Report;

The match started positively for the Saddlers. Sam Mantom went on a strong run and eventually fed Craig Westcarr, whose scuffed shot was turned onto the post by keeper Eldin Jakupovic and his defenders scrambled clear.

A Romaine Sawyers pass then popped up for Febian Brandy in the area and he saw his attempt blocked.

In the 14th minute Walsall got the goal their impressive start had warranted. From a corner Brandy made a nuisance of himself in front of the goalkeeper, who could only flap at the ball as a result allowing Paul Downing to hammer home the rebound from close range.

Downing, returning to the team for the suspended Ben Purkiss, could have had a second five minutes later. Brandy was again being disruptive in the box but this time Downing sliced his effort across the face of goal.

Leyton Orient put in a few dangerous crosses but were surprisingly toothless in the opening half an hour for a team that has 70 league goals this season.

However, as the half neared its end the Os started to turn up the heat. A fortunate ricochet nearly found its way to the opportunistic Chris Dagnall before Downing had to hack clear a goal-bound effort.

Andy Taylor skied a promising looking free kick with the last kick of the half but the Saddlers could have been proud of their display in the opening 45.

H/T: Walsall 1 Leyton Orient 0

David Mooney blasted over with a speculative shot in what was a scrappy start to the second period.

Orient began to build up a head of steam as the half went on and Walsall dropped deep, but Milan Lalkovic could have scored a superb counter-attacking goal for the Saddlers.

The Slovakian broke clear of the defence only to have on-loan Hull keeper Jakupovic swipe the ball off his toes. There were penalty appeals but it was a good claim from the goalkeeper.

Craig Westcarr then did well, cutting inside from the left and getting a shot away which Jakupovic parried at his near post.

It was inevitable Russell Slade's men would get some chances and, with around half an hour to go, they had two within a minute.

First a low volley from Dagnall was brilliantly stopped by the legs of Richard O'Donnell, and the the Saddlers stopper had to be alert at his other post to push Mooney's strike away for a corner.

At the other end Sawyers poked a tame shot right at Jakupovic as Walsall tried to grab the illusive second goal.

And the visitors made Walsall pay for not adding more goals with 12 minutes to go. The goal will go to captain Nathan Clarke but his speculative half volley took a huge deflection off Downing.

O'Donnell was already committed to diving right and the deflection off Downing's hip sent the ball into an unguarded middle of the net.

Mooney headed over from six yards and nodded another straight at the keeper in an entertaining climax where both teams were gunning for a winner.

It ended 1-1 though and the Saddlers slip to ninth following Swindon's win over Preston.

F/T: Walsall 1 (Downing 14') Leyton Orient 1 (Clarke 78')
ATT: 5,779 (613)
REF: Tim Robinson

By: Scott Brotherton.

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