Earlier today Walsall made the trip North to take on Fleetwood Town in the latest Sky Bet League One fixture of the season.
Earlier today Walsall made the trip North to take on Fleetwood Town in the latest Sky Bet League One fixture of the season.

Walsall arrived at the game following a disappointing 1-0 FA Cup exit at the hands of near rivals Shrewsbury Town, whilst the Fishermen's last outing was a 1-0 league defeat at the hands of Yeovil Town.

Walsall started the game well, and had several attacks on goal, Michael Cain testing 'keeper Maxwell early on following a James Baxendale through-ball.

Soon after Romaine Sawyers pressured Stephen Jordan, the defender forced to clear as Romaine threatened to take the ball.

Jordan Cook also started the game brightly, but slipped early on as he broke into the box.

Fleetwood started the game with a diamond in midfield, allowing Walsall freedom in the middle.

As the game reached it's seventh minute Fleetwood's Gareth Evans connected superbly with a Stephen Crainey cross, but volleyed just wide from inside the Walsall box.

Walsall continued to have the lion share of the game as Grimes tested Maxwell.

Soon after Leicester City's Michael Cain sent an effort over the bar after beating his marker just outside the area.

The Fishermen had a shot saved as Martin Paterson was allowed in on goal following a Downing slip.

Then Walsall's Richard O'Donnell did well to clear ahead of Tom Hitchcock, Paul Downing's soft back pass almost gifting the striker a goal.

Down the other end, Maxwell was also the victim of a poor pass, the 'keeper reacting well to clear ahead of the on-running Ashley Grimes.

As we reached the mid-point of the half Romaine Sawyers and James Baxendale linked up well, Maxwell just beating Grimes to the ball.

Walsall and Fleetwood continued to trade possession as the game continued, Steven Dobbie also shot straight at O'Donnell as he was allowed a sight of goal.


The Saddlers took the lead after thirty-five minutes, Romaine Sawyers with a left-footed low shot from outside the area, Maxwell with little time to react.

Adam Chambers followed up with a shot over the bar from distance, Fleetwood unable to keep the veteran underwraps.

Walsall maintained the momentum as the end of the half edged ever-closer, Grimes nearly putting Downing through as Fleetwood were forced to defend.

Jordan and Paterson were also denied for the home side as Walsall remained solid at the back.

Just before the half time whistle, Walsall's Andy Taylor went wide, Fleetwood's diamond in midfield allowing the defender space to roam out-wide.

Baxendale went wide as the game reached the half-way-stage.


Early in the second half Fleetwood's Conor McLaughlin was booked for a foul on Michael Cain, the loaned-in midfielder the subject of tight marking.

Andy Taylor curled his free kick in, as a defender headed clear, the resulting corner came to nothing as no-one gambled on the cross-field ball.

Soon after James Baxendale arrived late at the back post, only to hit the side netting with his effort. Romaine Sawyers also had a shot blocked, as Fleetwood continued to be forced back.

As we reached the hour mark Fleetwood manager Graham Alexander made a double change, with Hitchcock and Schumacher being replaced by Sarcevic and Morris, this would result in a change of shape, which ultimately gave the home side better attacking impetus.

Later Jordan Cook was fouled by Town captain Mark Roberts, Baxendale's free kick headed over from inside the six-yard-box.

Steven Dobbie sent an effort wide as Fleetwood looked to get forward.

The game continued in similar vein, as both sides enjoyed good passing spells, which was often met be good defending.

Just after the seventy minute mark Ashley Grimes was replaced by Anthony Forde as Dean Smith looked to freshen up his attacking options.

Soon after Walsall's Michael Cain had a shot blocked, whilst Fleetwood's Steven Dobbie's in-swinging free kick was also cleared.

Upon the eightieth minute, Fleetwood made their final change of the afternoon Nick Haughton replaced Mark Roberts, with the Fishermen sacrificing a defender as they sought to get back into the game.

Dobbie was once again involved, as he beat his marker and sent in a shot on goal, his effort was match by Richard O'Donnell who denied the Crystal Palace forward.

Just over a minute later Walsall's Paul Downing cleared off the line from Martin Paterson, who had rounded Richard O'Donnell before striking on goal.

Anthony Forde also sent an effort wide as Walsall looked to extend their lead.

With four minutes remaining Billy Clifford replaced James Baxendale, this was swiftly followed by Mathieu manset replacing Jordan Cook, who picked up a knock after a rather robust challenge.

In-between the two changes James Chambers reacted well to a quickly taken free kick, the veteran denying Fleetwood an opportunity to score.

As the game reached added on time, of which there were five minutes, Fleetwood were on top, and they continued to push Walsall back in search of an equaliser.

Gareth Evans' cross was cleared as the majority of the home side stayed high up the field.

Substitute Morris did well down the wing to find Dobbie, he could only slice his shot wide as the referee called time.

As a result of today's victory Walsall ended Fleetwood's unbeaten home run, and continue their good league form.

   GOALS      Sawyers 35'   

VENUE: Highbury Stadium, Fleetwood.
ATTENDANCE: 3,224 (440 Walsall)
REFEREE: Mr. Mark Haywood, West Yorkshire.

 FLEETWOOD TOWN  Maxwell; McLaughlin    , Roberts (Haughton 80'), Jordan, Crainey, Hughes, Schumacher (Morris 59'), Evans, Dobbie, Hitchcock (Sarcevic 59'), Paterson

 SUBS NOT USED  Lucas, Southern, Forbes, Pond

 WALSALL  O'Donnell; Purkiss, J.Chambers, Downing, Taylor; A.Chambers ©, Cain; Baxendale (Clifford 86'), Sawyers, Grimes (Forde 72'); Cook (Manset 88')

 SUBS NOT USED  MacGillivray; O'Connor; Flanagan, Morris
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