Nobody would have given Walsall any hope of beating Charlton at The Valley last Sunday but remarkably The Saddlers came away with all three points and were even disappointed it wasn't a greater margin than 1-0. That scoreline may look like a 'smash and grab' performance but nothing could be further from the truth.
There was a blow pre-match when veteran goal keeper Jimmy Walker, who has been in such fine form since his return to the Banks's Stadium,was ruled out of the game with a hamstring problem. This meant a return for keeper Jonny Brain but in truth the 27 year-old didn't have much to do as thankfully, for Walsall, Charlton had a bit off an off day.
The winning goal came thanks to a composed strike by Matt Richards, who is carving out a reputation this season for for notching goals to win matches which is most welcome. There was a welcome return for winger Steve Jones who has been out for a big part of the season.
Walsall were on top for long spells in the first half but couldn't force the ball home. The goal came in the 69th minute. Alex Nicholls floated the ball over, Julian Gray knocked the ball into Richards path and he cooly slotted home to the delight of the 114 Saddlers fans present.
Substitute Jamie Patterson almost scored with his first touch when he came on and Alex Nicholls went close on a couple of occassions. Richard Taundry was superb in midfield and Andy Butler at the heart of the defence.
This unexpected win has give Walsall a bit of hope for the weeks ahead. There's a difficult home game against Southampton thn come a few matches where it is hoped points will be picked up further.