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Monday, November 09, 2009

Big Match Review - Stourbridge 0 Walsall 1

FA Cup
Stourbridge 0-1 Walsall
Saturday November 7, War Memorial Ground, (Att: 2,014)

Steve Jones's first half goal was enough for League One Walsall to edge out Non League Stourbridge in the Black Country derby to make the second round of the FA Cup.

The away side began the more confident of the teams and Stuart Brock was called into action in the Stourbridge goal to save Troy Deeney's drive from outside the box.

However, he was powerless to prevent the Saddlers taking the lead just after the half hour mark. Jones seized on hesitancy in the home defence to cut inside and crash an unstoppable shot past Brock and in at the near post.

The Glassboys, backed by a full crowd at their War Memorial Ground, began to press for a way back into the game, and Clayton Ince had to be alert to push away Sean Evans shot for a corner.

Things became stretched in the second half as the Southern Premier team pushed for the equaliser, but only the linesman's flag spared them from falling two behind.

Jones outpaced the Stourbridge backline and swung in a cross that found Matt Richards, but his shot back across goal was touched in by Darren Byfield in an offside position.

Gary Hackett's men responded, and after a long throw caused panic in the Walsall box, they had appeals for a penalty turned down for a shot which appeared to strike the arm of a Saddlers defender.

The Worcestershire-side continued to attack, and Evans and substitute Linden Dovey both had late shots blocked as time began to ran out on the Non Leaguers.

And Chris Hutching's side almost wrapped up the tie when Jones sent Alex Nicholls through, but his thunderous drive hit the bar with Brock beaten. However, it didn't matter, with Walsall progressing through to a second round tie against either Gateshead or Brentford.

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