Walsall’s miserable slide steepened last night as they were knocked out of the FA Cup in extra time by Blue Square Premier outfit Lincoln City at a nearly empty Banks’s Stadium.
The Saddlers, now without a win in 11 games, suffered a disastrous setback as the non-league side shut down a vital source of revenue for the League One club.
Less than 1,500 Walsall fans attended the game to remind the club just how important the end of their FA Cup run will be to the Saddlers.
It was a cruel night for the Dean Smith's side who made the better chances in a poor match and only had themselves to blame after they failed to put the tie to bed.
Walsall were up against it from the moment Alan Power raced through to open the scoring after 50 minutes – although the home side's vehement protests for offside did appear to have some merit.
Smith, in charge of his 100th game at Walsall, watched his men plug away and grab a deserved equaliser with nine minutes left when Richard Taundry drilled home from the edge of the area.
Walsall always looked the more forceful side but the finishing touch remained elusive and as the game went into extra time, a rare corner for Lincoln proved disastrous.
Substitute Vadaine Oliver headed home direct from a Power corner and a shocked Saddlers were staring down the barrel.
Their night was summed up in the 127th minute when an under powered back-header by James Chambers left keeper David Grof stranded and Oliver slid between them to score.
Jamie Paterson pulled another goal back with a deflected shot from a free-kick with seconds remaining but it was too little too late – and Walsall were left to ponder where their promising start to the season has vanished to.Subscribe to our Newsletter