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19 April 2019 Venue Banks's Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League One

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Match Previews

Big Preview: Walsall vs Southend United

18 April 2019

Walsall vs Southend United...

Blues travel to the Midlands to take on Walsall at the Banks’s Stadium tomorrow afternoon in the first game of a huge double-header over the Easter bank holiday weekend.

With Burton to come on Monday, first Southend must navigate a tricky trip to the Saddlers with both sides in desperate need of points as both find themselves in the bottom four.

Walsall, currently 23rd, are one point and one place below Blues in the table and a poor run of form in recent weeks has seen them lose all of their last six matches.  

Blues’ own winless run continued following last weekend’s defeat to Wycombe but both sides go into Friday’s game knowing that a win could see the victors jump out of the relegation zone.

Walsall: LLLLLL

Southend United: LDLLLL

23rd October 2018: Southend United (Bunn 2, Dieng) 3 vs 0 Walsall

3rd March 2018: Southend United 0 vs 3 (Oztumer 3) Walsall

28th October 2017: Walsall 0 vs 1 (Cox) Southend United

Blues full-back Jason Demetriou has been ruled out for the remainder of the season after picking up a knee injury, leaving the door open for Elvis Bwomono to slot in at right-back.

Kevin Bond may look to shake things up further at the back with Michael Turner and Taylor Moore options, while Rob Kiernan could fall back into defence having played the last two games in midfield.

Stephen McLaughlin returned from a calf injury to feature against Wycombe last weekend and he’ll be pushing for a start, although Luke Hyam remains out with a hamstring injury.

Walsall will be without the suspended Josh Gordon after the striker was sent off for two bookable offences in the Saddlers’ defeat to Accrington Stanley last weekend.

Zeli Ismail is the front-runner to come into the Walsall attack with Adam Chambers, Matt Jarvis and Kory Roberts the only other absentees for the home side. 

Kevin Bond, Southend United Manager:

"We are both in a similar situation.

"The pressure is very much on them as in the same way it is on us. It is also a game in which both teams need to win so I wouldn’t expect anything other than a totally committed performance from Walsall.

"We will be under no illusions, they’re not playing well at the moment and the same can be said for us but it’s not going to make our task any easier."

Martin O’Connor, Walsall Interim Manager:

“I know they have got confidence and I know they are good players. They need to have that belief within themselves to go out and perform, to compete and to embrace the challenge of the position we find ourselves in.

“We haven’t been good enough and we now find ourselves fighting a relegation battle that we have been in for two months and we are still in it.

“We could still get ourselves out of it though and that is the positive that I have been telling the players.”

Tickets come off sale at midday on Thursday from the Blues Box Office and will then be on sale on the day at Banks's Stadium.

Please note, prices on the day will increase by £2 and it's cash only at the turnstiles.

Friday: 

Coventry City vs Bradford City (1pm)
Oxford United vs Charlton Athletic (1pm)
AFC Wimbledon vs Bristol Rovers
Barnsley vs Shrewsbury Town
Burton Albion vs Portsmouth
Fleetwood Town vs Peterborough United
Gillingham vs Plymouth Argyle
Rochdale vs Wycombe Wanderers
Scunthorpe vs Blackpool
Sunderland vs Doncaster Rovers (5.15pm)

Saturday:
Accrington Stanley vs Luton Town (5.30pm)

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Match Reports

Match Report: Walsall 1-1 Southend

19 April 2019

Aramide Oteh’s last minute and hotly disputed penalty cost Blues a deserved three points away at Walsall after Simon Cox had put Kevin Bond’s side ahead with his 17th goal of the season.

Southend were dominant in the opening 45-minutes and made their pressure count when Cox showed great anticipation to get on the end of Mark Oxley’s long ball forward before rounding the Walsall goalkeeper Chris Dunn to slot the ball home.

Blues had chances to kill the game off in the second period, with the best opportunity falling to Elvis Bwomono on the break, but they were pegged back in the final minute when substitute Oteh went down in the area and the referee inexplicably pointed to the penalty spot.

The striker, who’s on loan from QPR, dusted himself off to send Oxley the wrong way and level the game up, costing Blues a win that would have seen them climb out of the relegation zone with three games remaining in the League One calendar.

Instead, Blues boss Kevin Bond was left scratching his head at how Southend hadn’t come away with their first win in exactly three months, but he would have taken a lot of positives away from the afternoon, despite the end result.  

Following last weekend’s defeat to Wycombe, Kevin Bond made six changes to his side that would face Walsall with Mark Oxley, Elvis Bwomono, Michael Turner, Dru Yearwood, Taylor Moore and Harry Bunn all coming in as Blues looked to end their winless run.  

The hosts Walsall made five changes of their own looking to arrest a run of six straight defeats in a row and they created the first meaningful chance of the game when a deep cross from Nicky Devlin evaded the reach of Oxley only for Andy Cook to miss the target from a tight angle.

From that point on though it was all Southend in the first-half and they went close when a set-piece routine ended with the ball coming out to Sam Hart on the edge of the box. The full-back caught the ball on the volley but his goal-bound effort was deflected over the crossbar by Dan Scarr.

Blues’ push continued with Hart having a couple of further efforts blocked before Rob Kiernan tried to better Hart’s earlier volleyed effort, volleying the ball from the edge of the penalty area and forcing goalkeeper Chris Dunn into a smart save.

Southend were well on top as the half progressed, but assistant Kevin Keen was visibly annoyed when referee Ross Joyce quelled the visitors’ momentum with a drinks break half an hour in, but Blues seemed unperturbed by the impromptu break and would go on to take a deserved lead.

Having struggled with the final ball throughout the half, all it took was an old-fashioned long ball from the back as Oxley’s long punt upfield was misjudged by Connor Johnson. Simon Cox anticipated the defender’s struggles to nip in and round Dunn before slotting the ball into the net to make it 1-0.

Bond and his team though felt that they should have had another one before the interval after Moore put the ball in the back of the net. Dunn fumbled a long ball from Hart before Moore put the loose ball in, but the referee had already blown for half-time to the annoyance of those in sky blue.

Having missed a good chance early in the first-half, Walsall’s number nine Cook missed another opportunity early after the interval when a cross from the Saddlers’ right fell kindly for the striker who screwed the ball wide of Oxley’s near-post.

The home side started to ramp up the pressure and went close again when Joe Edwards somehow kept hold of the ball despite being on the deck, teeing up Corey Blackett-Taylor to fizz the ball across the face of the six-yard box, only just missing the run of Cook at the far post.

Roared on by almost 600 travelling Blues fans, the visitors had the chance to seal the points late on when Bwomono nicked the ball in midfield to start a counter-attack. Southend flew forward as Bwomono found himself clean through on goal, but he put his shot wide.

As Walsall continued to push for an equaliser, Southend kept catching them on the break and had a great chance late on when Charlie Kelman was put through but the young striker didn’t catch his strike the way he would have wanted as Dunn held on.

And those missed opportunities would prove costly as Southend’s miserable luck this season reared its ugly head once more as Walsall were awarded a contentious penalty in the final minute of four added on for a foul on substitute Aramide Oteh.  

There appeared to be little contact on the substitute striker but referee Joyce thought otherwise despite Southend’s protestations. Oteh dusted himself off to send Oxley the wrong way and steal away a win and a vital three points from Blues.

Walsall XI: Dunn, Edwards, Leahy, Dobson (C), Devlin, Cook, Ismail (Norman 77’), Kinsella, Johnson, Scarr, Blackett-Taylor (Oteh 68’). Subs Not Used: Roberts, Guthrie, Fitzwater, Osbourne, Laird

Blues XI: Oxley, Bwomono, Turner, Cox, Kiernan, Yearwood (Hyam 65’), Mantom (C), Moore, Bunn (Kelman 79’), Hart (Hendrie 63’), White. Subs Not Used: Bishop, Kightly, McLaughlin, Lennon

Referee: Ross Joyce

Assistants: Gregory Read & Alix Pashley

Fourth Official: Benjamin Speedie

Scorers:

Walsall: Aramide Oteh (p)90+4’

Southend United: Simon Cox 43’

Yellow Cards:

Walsall: Connor Johnson 76’, Aramide Oteh 90+5’

Southend United: Sam Hart 53’, John White 80’, Michael Turner 90+4', Mark Oxley 90+4’

Attendance: 4,624 (595 Away)

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Ticket News

Tickets: Walsall (A) - Fri 19 April

15 April 2019

Tickets for Blues' match against Walsall at the Banks's Stadium on Good Friday are on sale.

We have sold over 350 tickets for this fixture so far, and you can get yours if you haven't already at the following prices:

Prices are as follows:

Category Price
Adults £20.50
Over 60's £15.50
Under 18's £15.50
Family Ticket (1 adult & 1 child)* £22.50

Tickets come off sale on Thursday at midday but will be available directly from Walsall on the day of the game. Please note, prices on the day will increase by £2 and it's cash only at the turnstiles.

*Fans wishing to purchase one additional junior ticket with the family ticket will pay £11 for the first ticket. The price will then increase to £15.50 for any further junior tickets.

*Please note the family ticket is only available from the Ticket office, either in person or via the phone on 08444 770077. This offer is open to family groups including a parent or grandparent but is not available to sibling groups or friends.

Ambulant and Wheelchair tickets are charged at the age relevant price with a free carer if required.

Walsall will have an ‘Away fans bar’ on the day of the game which opens at 1pm.

Car parking is £4 per car, mini buses £6, and coaches £12.

Away travel information for the Walsall game can be found here.

Purchase tickets for the game from the Blues Box Office, Online or by calling 08444 770077.

Want to watch the Walsall game in style?

Matchday hospitality packages can be purchased for £55pp or £27.50 (under 14’s) to include car parking, match programme, away stand ticket, 3 course pre match meal and access to licensed bar facilities. They can also offer a 2 course pre match meal for £16.50 per adult and £8.25 per under 14. 

To book hospitality for the Walsall game, please contact Walsall Football Club on 01922 651 400 or email josh.davis@walsallfc.co.uk

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