The Valley is never an easy place to go and play football, and yesterday was no exception, with most people probably having written off Walsall’s chances way before kick off.
Walsall though as they have proved on many an occasion, are usually reluctant to lie down and get brushed aside easily against the ‘big teams’.
Both sides fought for control early on and as Walsall began to look like a match for our southern counterparts, on loan Danny N’Guessan popped in the only goal of the game for The Addicks following a Grof mistake in the 35th minute.
The scoreline though, does not give a true reflection on the rest of the game.
Charlton predictably had a lot of the first half possession, testing Grof and our defenders a few times, and causing some panicky moments at times with some clever approach play.
Walsall though did not roll over and Alex Nicholls looked pretty lively first half and he and Ledesma were unlucky not to gain us something from the game.
Half Time: Charlton 1 Walsall 0
Second half Walsall started well, a Ledesma cross just evading Macken early doors. Ledesma was causing the Charlton defence all manner of problems causing free kicks to be conceded left right and centre.
While at the other end Charlton’s top scorer Bradley Wright-Phillips mildly tested Grof only once in a quiet game which probably makes him glad he doesn’t have to play us again following his double Walsall duck this season.
The dissapointing Kevan Hurst was replaced by Jamie Paterson, and Walsall continued to apply pressure, a couple of corners earned but spurned.
Jon Macken ended his shift by being replaced by George Bowerman, just before Grof was tested by a stinging drive from N’Guessan.
A tribute to how dominant the Saddlers had been second half was that coming towards the end of normal time, top of the league Charlton felt the need to time waste extensively and take the ball into the corner at every opportunity.
Walsall pushed for that late equaliser, a header from Manny Smith going over, and a shot from Ledesma gathered easily by the opposition goalkeeper, and unfortunately it wasn’t to be.
Walsall remain four points clear of relegation, as Chesterfield rand out 4-0 victors against Wycombe.
Charlton 1: Danny N’Guessan 35′
Attendance: 15,253 (277 Walsall)
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