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Match Reports

BIG PREVIEW | Walsall v Southend

26 November 2016

REPORT | Walsall 0-0 Southend

Blues had to settle for a second successive draw at Walsall which does maintain their unbeaten league run.

To be hard to beat is certainly one positive to take from Banks's Stadium where both sides were unable to break the other down.

Penalty calls will be the story for Blues as on at least two occassions Ranger went to ground in the box but the referee waved both away.

It's now eight league games since Blues last tasted defeat.

Phil Brown named an unchanged side from Tuesday's 1-1 draw with Swindon Town, meaning Michael Timlin kept his place at left back.

Blues made a good start to the game as Leonard's long throw was cleared away for a corner before Neil Etheridge punched away.

The best chance though in the early stages fell to the hosts who hit the post through Andreas Makris - a huge let off for Brown's side.

The Saddlers' striker then had a low shot which was straight at Oxley after a period of pressure on Mark Oxley's goal.

A quarter of an hour in, Stephen McLaughlin headed narrowly wide of the right post and moments later Ranger went on a mazy run from inside his own half, skipping past three or four Walsall shirts before getting hauled down in the box. Unfortunaltey the ref waved play on but on another day it could well have been a penalty for Blues.

McLaughlin had another go at breaking the deadlock, this time the swing of his left foot catching a sweet strike which Etheridge tipped over the bar.

Blues piled on the pressure at the end of the first half but couldn't make the breakthrough. Wordsworth had two attempts, the first of which went agonisingly wide of the left post and the second forcing Etheridge into a fine save.

HALF TIME | Walsall 0-0 Southend

Blues made the better start to the second half but it was Walsall who had the better chance ten minuets after the break.

Erhun Oztumer picked up possession inside his own half and ran at the Blues backline but his shot went wide of the left post.

Ranger had the second of his penalty shouts soon after, but again the ref said no as he was shoved to ground.

Walsall showed the threat they had on the counter as Joe Edwards hit one wide from long range.

Left back Scott Laird headed over after a deep cross from the right found him at the back post.

The hosts were becoming more and more threatening and giving Blues more to do defensively than they would have liked.

But in a rare Blues attack, McLaughlin had an opening to give Blues the lead as a mix up at the back for Walsall allowed him in, but his shot was denied by the legs of Etheridge.

And so it finished goalless and with both sets of players having to be separated in some unsavoury scenes after the full time whistle which saw Anton Ferdinand and Scott Laird booked.

SOUTHEND XI | Oxley, Demetriou, Thompson, Ferdinand, Timlin, Atkinson, Leonard, Wordsworth, McLaughlin, Cox, Ranger.

SUBS | Smith, O'Neill, White, Sokolik, King, McGlashan, Fortune.

WALSALL XI | Etheridge, McCarthy, O'Connor, Toner, Laird, Edwards, Chambers, Morris, Oztumer, Ginnelly, Makris

SUBS | MacGillivray, Dobson, Jackson, Osbourne, Kinsella, Preston, Bakayogo

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