Football

Walsall on the brink of first ever Wembley appearance

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Walsall are just 90 minutes away from securing a first Wembley appearance in their 127-year history following a dramatic victory at Deepdale. 

Two late goals from Anthony Forde and Tom Bradshaw secured a surprise win for the Saddlers which took a gigantic step towards the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final. 

The Saddlers were under the cosh for most of the first half. Paul Gallagher and Jermaine Beckford were causing all sorts of problems. Beckford will be having nightmares about Richard O'Donnell after the goalkeeper made a string of incredible saves, denying the former Leeds man a goal which would have gave Preston the lead their pressure perhaps deserved.

Saddlers show fight

The Saddlers stood firm in the first half against the automatic promotion hopefuls. Infact they had the majority of the possesion but weren't as penetrating as their hosts.

Their only chance of the first half came from an Andy Taylor free kick which bounced of the post and then off Stuckmann with Bradshaw waiting to pounce. 

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Preston pay price for missed chances

Walsall started to grow into the game more in the second half. Preston grew in frustration while the Saddlers gained in confidence. 

They were rewarded for their hard work six minutes from time when Stuckmanns poor clearance was latched onto by Romaine Sawyers who then burst towards the penalty are but was fouled outside the box. Forde stepped up and beautifully curled a his effort into the bottom left hand corner. 

Just when Walsall fans thought it couldn't get any better Bradshaw pounced on Scott Wiseman's poor backpass and the welshman squeezed the ball through Stuckmann's legs to score his 15th goal in just 21 appearances. He has a similar goals to game ratio to Sergio Aguero and Diego Costa but it's safe it say he is as valuable to Dean Smith's side as Aguero and Costa are to theirs. 

Walsall now need to hold on to their advantage when the two sides meet on February 3rd in what could be a historic day at the Banks's Stadium.

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Topics:
Walsall
Preston North End
Football

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