Skip to main content

Match Report


Posted Thu 12 Aug 10 at 16:28 PM


Alex Nicholls scored one and made one as Walsall handed Brentford an away defeat in the west Midlands.

The home side came from behind to cancel out Charlie MacDonald's early goal and take the points.

And there was little doubt they deserved it after The Bees underperformed badly in the second half after a good showing in the first 45 when they were unlucky to go in 1-1.

Walsall started well - Wojciech Szczesny had to make a low save from a Nicholls shot and Troy Deeney lashed a volley over - but Brentford had much the better of the first half hour.

Myles Weston came close when he headed a MacDonald cross wide and just past the quarter hour The Bees went in front.

Tommy Smith took a quick throw in to Mark Phillips, his cross found MacDonald, who controlled and lashed it into the roof of the net.

At that point, Brentford were in the ascendency with Ben Strevens and MacDonald linking to great effect and Sam Saunders in the action on the right.

Strevens was nearly presented with a second when a poor Clayton Ince clearance fell to him 25 yards out, he attempted to loft it back over the goalkeeper but could only shoot into his chest.

The Bees were playing good football, with Toumani Diagouraga taking control of the centre of the field, but they couldn't create many openings.

And Walsall came back into it.

Having spent most of the first half hour on the defensive they equalised with ten minutes remaining in the first period.

Darren Byfield, who was at the centre of most of the hosts' attacking moves throughout, found space on the right side of the area from a Darryl Westlake pass and got past Leon Legge, he picked out Nicholls, who slotted home.

The goal invigorated Walsall and they pushed forward but Brentford ended the half with the upper hand.

Saunders shot well over after a nice turn and then crossed for Smith to head inches wide.

Diagouraga almost scored a fine goal when he burst from midfield and exchanged passes with MacDonald before slipping past Dwayne Mattis - he steadied himself but fired into the side netting.

Ince made a decent save just before the break from a curling Saunders free kick as The Bees took control.

Walsall started the second half well and should have taken the lead when Byfield headed a Matt Richards cross wide from eight yards.

Richard Taundry shot over soon after and Szczesny saved a Clayton McDonald header after a corner was half cleared.

It took a great tackle from Jamie Vincent to deny Danny Foster after he latched on to a Strevens lay off, and Ince denied Strevens from the resulting corner, but Walsall were on top.

Szczesny saved a Nicholls header at the second attempt, Legge had to make a last ditch tackle to deny Byfield after the striker had robbed him and Deeney volleyed over.

Nicholls volleyed over and lashed an effort across the face of goal while Byfield slipped at the vital moment after finding space in the area and slipping past Diagouraga.

Walsall looked set for the winning goal when Byfield beat Phillips to a long ball but the centre back recovered to make a brilliant last ditch tackle.

However, it only delayed the inevitable.

The Bees contributed to their own downfall when Smith played Diagouraga into trouble in midfield and Walsall won the ball back and broke quickly - Taundry fed Nicholls on the right and his cross was inch perfect for Deeney to head home at the far post.

Brentford sought a way back into the game but could not create the openings to find an equaliser.

Walsall: Ince; Westlake (sub Smith h/t), McDonald, Vincent, Richards; Nicholls, Taundry, Mattis (sub Bradley 52 mins), Gray; Byfield, Deeney

Subs (not used): Sansara, Hughes, Jones, O'Keefe, Gilmartin

Bookings: McDonald (73 mins), Deeney (79 mins), Smith (90 mins)

Brentford: Szczesny; Foster, Legge (sub Cort 88 mins), Phillips, Smith; Saunders (sub Ainsworth 83 mins), O'Connor, Diagouraga, Weston; MacDonald, Strevens

Subs (not used): Price, Osborne, Hunt, Bean, Wood

Bookings: Smith (89 mins) (second of season)

Attendance: 3,616 (475 away fans)

By Chris Wickham

    Latest Match Reports