Point Gained But Ground Lost
1st February 2010
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Walsall FC kept an unchanged team for the trip to Gillingham last Saturday as manager Chris Hutchings kept faith with the team who lost at home to Norwich the previous Tuesday. The Saddlers started brightly enough in the first ten minutes or so and striker Darren Byfield- who had a spell at the Preiestfield Stadium-got in an early shot from some distance that went wide.  Giant defender Clayton Mc Donald saw a header cleared off the line and Troy Deeney went close too in the early exchanges.

Gillingham gradually got into the game and in the first half created a number of good openings and with better finishing could have gone into the interval with a couple of goals to their name. A combination of poor finishing and a few smart saves by keeper Clayton Ince prevented the home side taking the lead. Walsall's early promise had faded and everyone was hoping for a better second half display.

It was Gillingham who had the first real chance when Andy Barcham tried a shot but again Ince was alert to save. Saddlers did have a rare shot on goal as Dwayne Mattis found time and space to shoot but dragged it wide. The Walsall defence were holding firm and with centre backs Manny Smith and Clayton Mc Donald outstanding. Walsall's problem was trying to break down the home defence but were making no in roads at all.

Walsall made two second half substitutions with Richard Taundry and Alex Nicholls introduced. Nicholls had a couple of late chances but it wasn't to be for the Saddlers who had to settle for a point. With defences on top throughout it wasn't a very good game to watch especially after paying £23 to sit in a windy, temporary stand. It was a point gained however unless a miracle happens its going to be another average mid-table season.


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