Walsall Web Fans looks back at the FA Cup Round One replays that the club have been involved in down the post war years. The game v. Exeter on Wednesday is the eleventh such replay at this stage. Walsall have a fairly good record, winning eight out of ten, prior to this game.
In 1955-6 following a 2-2 draw at Margate, Walsall had no problem in beating the non-league club from Kent in the replay at Fellows Park, recording a 6-1 win which consisted of a hat trick for Walsh, two for Richards and one for Mc Laren. There was a 14 year gap before the next replay was needed at this stage of the competition, which was a home game against Leyton Orient in the 1969-70 season. Following a 0-0 draw in the first game at Brisbane Road, Walsall enjoyed a fairly comfortable 2-0 win back here with goals from John Woodward and Colin Taylor before a gate of 10,646.
The 1972-3 season saw Walsall drawn at home to Kettering Town from the Southern League and the sides battled out an amazing 3-3 draw with a brace from Geoff Morris and John Woodward also found the net. The replay at Rockingham Road was another close affair but a rare goal from Nick Atthey and one from Chris Jones helped to secure a 2-1 win for The Saddlers with a remarkable attendance of 9,143. Four years later in the 1976-7 season Walsall slugged out a 0-0 draw at Fellows Park against Bradford City but ran out 2-0 winners in the replay at Valley Parade with Brian Taylor setting Walsall on their way and a late goal from Bernie Wright.
There then followed an 11 year wait for the next First Round replay which occured in the 1987-8 season. Walsall travelled to Roots Hall, Southend for this season’s tie which ended 0-0. The Fellows Park replay saw one of referee Kelvin Morton’s special displays where he awarded three penalties and five bookings - all were highly questionable. Walsall put in one of their worst performances in a long time and were booed off at half time. For the record the two Walsall penalties were scored by Paul Jones with Derek Hall converting the visitors penalty.
1991-2 saw a most unwanted bit of giant killing. Walsall were lucky to come away from Huish Park with a 1-1 draw in the first game against Yeovil Town for which Neil Tolson hit the target for The Saddlers however Bescot Stadium’s replay saw the Conference side knock out Walsall with the only goal of the game scored by Richard Cooper in the 4th minute of extra time.
Walsall were the subject of a live TV screening of the replay against Wrexham in the 1993-4 season. Kyle Lightbourne had earned his side a replay following the 1-1 draw at the Racecourse Ground. The same player was on target again in the Bescot Stadium replay along with Rod Mc Donald to give Saddlers a 2-0 win. These goals came in the 71st and 76th minute.
In the 1996-7 season Walsall ended all square 2-2 at Northwich Victoria with goals from Kevin Wilson and Kyle Lightbourne and both men found their shooting boots again back at Bescot with two more from ’Killer’ and a Wilson penalty in the 3-1 win.
Ten years later in 2006-7 Walsall crashed to Macclesfield Town in a Bescot replay. The first game at Moss Rose was 0-0 and Walsall were expected to progress back on home soil but Jimmy Mc Nulty scored Macc’s wnner in the 82nd minute. It was Macclesfield’s first win in 19 games and the first win for rookie manager Paul Ince. It was a massive disappointment for Richard Money who’s side were top of the table. Ince had his goalkeeper Jonny Brain to thank who became a bit of a hero for the visitors when he saved a last-ditch header from Dean Keates.
Last season it took two matches for The Saddlers to dispose of Fleetwood Town. Walsall were somewhat fortunate to earn a replay and were indebted to Jimmy Walker for a fine display. It could have been worse had Steve Mc Nulty’s penalty not crashed against the bar. Matt Richards had given Walsall an early lead but Jamie Mullan levelled for the home side. The record books show that Walsall won the replay 2-0 with both goals from on loan striker Rueben Reid but it was far from easy with Fleetwood playing the better football and it says everything that Jimmy Walker was again the man of the match.