Posted by: Bescot Banter


This weekend Walsall Football Club play host to local rivals Shrewsbury Town in the First Round of this season's FA Cup tournament.
This weekend Walsall Football Club play host to local rivals Shrewsbury Town in the First Round of this season's FA Cup tournament.

Walsall arrive at the game on the back of an encouraging victory over Notts County, a result which sees the Saddlers' notch their first away victory of the season and continues the sides recovery from a slump in form.

Walsall manager Dean Smith continues to have an almost fully-fit squad to select from, as his sides injury crisis appears to be near an end.

Smith is unlikely to rotate his squad as he looks to progress through to the second round of the competition.

Shrewsbury arrive at this weekend's match on the back of a 2-1 away victory over Dagenham and Redbridge, along with an encouraging, albeit losing, effort against Chelsea in the Fourth Round of the Capital One Cup.

Top scorer Andy Mangan putting in goal scoring performances in both ties, encouraging plaudits from pundits and players alike.

This week the Shrews have agreed to extend the initial one-month loan deals for both Blackpool's Bobby Grant and Fulham's Jack Grimmer until January.

Manager Micky Mellon must decide between Liam Lawrence and fit-again James Wesolowski in midfield.

Striker Jean-Louis Akpa Akpro faces a late fitness test, while defender Jermaine Grandison is suspended.

Of the eighty-five previous encounters it is Walsall that hold the advantage, with thirty-nine wins to the Shrews' twenty-two. There have also been twenty-four draws between the two sides.

Their first meeting took place on 17th November 1945 in the First Round if the FA Cup, with Shrewsbury winning 5-0 at Gay Meadow.

In more modern times Walsall have a large win advantage over their opponents, with the Shrews only managing two victories in the last fifteen meetings (three draws, ten defeats). The Shrews have also failed to score a single goal in the last three meetings.

The match is set to be refereed by Mr. Darren Deadman, who is based in Cambridgeshire.

Peterborough born Deadman, started officiating in the Football League in 2005, having previously been an assistant referee in the lower Isthmian League.

He has officiated over thirteen games in various competitions this season, where he has issued fifty-two yellow and three red cards.

His most recent Walsall match was last season's Johnstone's Paint Trophy draw between the Saddlers and local rivals Wolverhampton Wanderers at Molineux.

The match, which took place on 3rd September 2013, ended all-square at 2-2 after normal time and went to penalties, which Wolves went on to win 4-2.

Walsall's Richard O'Donnell, Paul Downing and Milan Lalkovic all received bookings during the tie.

Paul Rees and Nicholas Gibbons are set to be assisting the referee, whilst Mark Jones is due to be Fourth Official.

Admission prices have been set, as follows: Adults £15, Concessions (U18s/over 60s) £10 and a Family Ticket (adult and child) £20. Matchday Packages will be available for £42.50 (adults) and £21.25 (concessions).

Please note that the Family Stand will be closed for this fixture. Home fans will be housed in the HomeServe Stand and Tile Choice Stand. Away supporters will be accommodated in the Away Stand.

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