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Walsall 2 Crewe 2 - match report

Sport | Published:

Walsall blew another 2-0 lead after Crewe snatched a injury-time leveller to continue the Saddlers' winless run.

Chucks Aneke's 90th minute header broke Walsall hearts after Jamie Paterson and Florent Cuvelier put them in control.

Mark Ellis pulled one back for Alex before half time as the Saddlers' winless run stretched to five.

It was also the third time this season Dean Smith's men had lost a 2-0 advantage after 2-2 draws with Brentford and Port Vale.

Will Grigg was denied by Alan Martin in the second half and Crewe were fuming after their penalty claims were ignored when Andy Taylor felled Mathias Pogba.

But the Railway men deserved a point after Walsall faded following their blistering start.

George Bowerman was dropped as Grigg returned after international duty in the only change and the Northern Ireland hitman almost made an instant impact when his shot deflected wide after a minute.

Again, the Saddlers started brightly, their vibrant passing outsmarting Crewe as they nursed the ball carefully.

Crewe's early threat came from Harry Davis' free kick which Karl Darlow tipped over on 10 minutes but two minutes later the Saddlers took the lead.

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Cuveliver's crunching tackle won the ball by the half way line and his delicious pass sent Paterson clear on the left for the winger to cut inside and guide the ball into the corner.

It was a delightful third goal of the season for Paterson to underline the hosts' early dominance as they passed Crewe to death.

The visitors offered little with Cuvelier their tormentor-in-chief and on 25 minutes the Stoke loanee doubled the Saddlers' lead.

After a patient build-up Adam Chambers found the impressive Grigg on the left of the area and his cross was smashed in from four yards by Cuvelier.

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Dean Holden was booked was clattering Max Clayton four minutes before the break and two minutes later the visitors grabbed a lifeline.

Luke Murphy tossed in a free kick from the right which missed everyone except Ellis who prodded past Darlow from three yards.

The Alex had wrestled their way back into the game - but not enough to warrant a goal – and Chambers almost restored the two-goal advantage when his low drive skidded wide.

Cuvelier shot over immediately after the re-start and Grigg was thwarted one-on-one by Martin's outstretched arm on 51 minutes.

But their lead was slender and Darlow preserved it when he beat away Byron Moore's fierce drive.

The Saddlers couldn't rediscover their first-half control as the game turned into a scrappy, even, affair.

Bowerman replaced Nicky Featherstone with 17 minutes to go and the Saddlers survived a huge penalty claim from Crewe shortly afterwards.

Pogba turned Andy Taylor and when he cut across the flailing left-back Taylor's clumsy challenge brought him down.

David Webb immediately waved away Crewe's protests as the hosts finished the stronger and Abdul Osman blazed over in stoppage time.

But Aneke grabbed the equaliser at the death when he rose to head in Pogba's cross from four yards.

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