Date: 11th March 2017 at 9:34pm
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The Saddlers travelled to The Valley hoping to secure a first away win of 2017 against a Charlton side who were boosted by their own mid-week victory over Scunthorpe United.

Walsall named an unchanged line-up from the victories over Oldham and Chesterfield and the visitors started strongly with Joe Edwards having plenty of early success down the left flank.

It was the Saddlers who had the first real chance of the game, and it was a guilt edge one, Oztumer did well down the left and played the ball across the box to an unmarked Simeon Jackson who somehow fired over from 6 yards out. Walsall continued to press during the first half and Rudd pulled off a couple of smart saves to deny Oztumer and Jackson.

At the other end, Ricky Holmes looked dangerous for the hosts and his direct style of play led to a couple of testing crosses for the Saddlers’ back line.

However, it was Walsall who made the breakthrough just before half time as Jackson raced clear of the Charlton defence and cooly finished past Rudd to put Jon Whitney’s side in front.

With the first half drawing to a close, Oztumer burst through on goal and just as he was closing in on the six yard box the referee inexplicably blew for half time. A very strange decision which left the Walsall players and management incensed.

That decision seemed to deflate the Saddlers and they started the second half slowly with Holmes and Tony Watt becoming more inolved in the hosts’ attacking play. It was Watt who netted the equaliser, a scramble in the Walsall box meant the ball fell to the Scotsman on the edge of the six yard box and he rifled his shot past Etheridge to make the score 1-1.

The goal seemed to rattle the visitors and Walsall never really looked like taking the lead again, substitute Bakayoko missed a decent chance but goalmouth action was sparse for the remainder of the game. 7 minutes of injury time petered out and it finished 1-1. Walsall slip to 9th in League One, 5 points off a play-off berth.


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