A massively important game for Walsall, on home turf and The Saddlers started brightly, Emanuele Ledesma (in for Jamie Paterson)!testing the Colchester ‘keeper in the opening minutes.
Walsall earned a corner in the tenth minute, from which Colchester broke free.
Manny Smith did well to block a Gillespie effort, which then fell to Anthony Wordsworth Who curled a lovely long range effort from long range to put the U’s in the lead.
Ledesma had a drive blocked, before Manny Smith made a great block to deny Ian Henderson in an end to end spell.
Walsall continued to push, with Sadler proving unlucky, seeing an effort blocked and Manny Smith crashing a header against the underside of Colchester’s crossbar.
37 minutes in the much needed breakthrough arrived.
Walsall earnt a free kick fully 25 yards out, which Ledesma duly stepped up and fired beautifully into the top corner to equalise.
It looked for all the world like the teams were going in level at the break, but Walsall clearly didn’t read the script as a low Alex Nicholls cross was hammered home by Mat Sadler for his first Walsall goal.
The Saddlers began the second half brightly, with Hurst, Butler and Flo all going close with efforts.
A Colchester break almost saw the scores go level once again but a much needed goal line clearance from Mat Sadler saved the day.
In the 75th minute, the Saddlers’ lead was extended, some good work by the impressive Ledesma saw him loop a dangerous ball into the danger area, which was converted well by substitute George Bowerman.
Ledesma had another drive saved, before Walsall delighted our fans by teasing Colchester with a great period of posession.
Colchester had one last chance in a Steven Gillespie drive was well saved by David Grof.
Man of the match Emanuele Ledesma was given a deserved standing ovation as he was replaced by Paterson as Walsall calmly saw out the remaining few minutes.
A brilliant, if unexpected win, much needed see’s the boys climb out of the relegation zone, a performance which we can hopefully carry forward to Rochdale on Saturday.
Full time result: Walsall 3 – Ledesma 38′
Colchester – Wordsworth 11′
Attendance: 3,331 (85 away fans)
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