Charlton topped the League 1 table after beating Walsall 2-0 at The Valley today in front of a crowd of 15,706, reports West Malling Addick Philippa Nicholson. Goals came in the first half from Llera and in the second from Wagstaff. Leeds are just behind them on goals scored having beaten Tranmere at home 3-0.
Richardson put in an early shot and drew a save from Clayton Ince in the Saddlers' goal, leading to a Shelvey corner. On five minutes Nick Bailey tried a close range header, but it went over the bar. An effort by Sam was blocked by a Walsall defender.
After Racon was fouled, the free kick was taken by Christian Dailly. Bailey crossed the ball from the left with great accuracy and Llera put a low shot from close range into the middle of the goal to made it 1-0 on 29 minutes.
In the closing minutes of the half, Sam had a go, but the shot was blocked and then an effort by Shelvey was saved by Ince.
Half time: Addicks 1, Saddlers 0
Charlton continued to win corners in the second half. Shelvey put in a right footed volley on 48 minutes, but Ince was able to save. Dailly took a free kick after Semedo was fouled. Bailey connected just inside the box, but his shot cleared the bar.
Desperation led Parkin to made an effort on goal for Walsall from outside the box, but it was wide of the post. Deeney then had a go, but Elliot made the save without difficulty.
Charlton kept up the pressure with a close range header by Bailey not far off target. Shelvey then tried from outside the box but without success. On 67 minutes Sam was taken off and replaced by Wagstaff.
This turned out to be an inspired substitution by the supposedly tactically inept Parkinson. Burton turned provider for Wagstaff who found himself one on one with the keeper and put the ball in the back of the net from inside the box on 71 minutes.
Bailey created danger by conceding a free kick for handball, but Dailly was able to clear. Walsall won a corner, but Elliot made the save. Then on 77 minutes Sam Parker put in a header from deep inside the area and hit the post. From the rebound Deeney put in a close range header but the ball went over.
Racon drew a save from Ince. It was evident that Walsall were not going to get back in the game and after three minutes of time added on the referee blew the whistle for another three points for the Addicks.
They were clearly dominant in the match with 59 per cent of the possession, eight corners to Walsall's five and eleven shots on target compared with four by Walsall. The visitors resorted to fouls, seventeen to Charlton's four, but it was Llera who was shown the only yellow card of the game.
Walsall are relatively easy to unsaddle, but you have to play whoever is in front of you. A Silver Biscuit was awarded to Semedo for a strong all-round performance.