Date: 3rd April 2010 at 9:14pm
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County found the net today for the first time in 9 hours and 45 minutes, but it wasn’t enough to see off the ten men of Walsall.

Again, Gary Ablett will be left frustrated and ruing the number of chances the attackers spurned – The Hatters had 25 shots on goal – while Walsall boss Chris Hutchings lives to fight another day as the under-pressure Walsall boss.

Jabo Ibehre remained cool against his former club and ignored the hand-waving and unsightly gestures from the travelling Walsall fans in the Railway End to fire home a penalty to give County a 17th minute lead.

A Richie Partridge corner found it’s way to Paul Huntington, and the ex-Leeds man turned and blasted a shot in at goal from all of three yards with ‘keeper Gilmartin stranded.

Luckily for our Brummie rivals, striker Troy Deeney was placed on the line to produce a stunning one-handed save, palming the ball away to his right. And duly standing up to receive his marching orders. Penalty, and Ibehre smashed it home.

The burden of the barren run in front of goal was lifted, and with the one-man advantage County should have made our visitors pay. But the game perhaps changed in the 30th minute, when midfielder David Perkins went into a seemingly innocuous challenge with Netan Sansara and found himself unable to run off the knock he picked up. He ran off down the tunnel for treatment and was replaced by Paul Turnbull – who was pretty disgracefully booed. Man of the Match at Wembley to this, how times change for us all.

The Saddlers posed little threat to the County back-line, not helped by the red card to striker Deeney. This was confirmed by the stat of five shots on goal all match from the away side.

But they were pretty unsurprisingly (against us anyway!) level just after half-time though, former Crystal Palace and Birmingham midfielder Julian Gray, whose played in the Premiership with both of his former sides, showed his guile and class to hook in a volley from a remarkably tight angle.

County seemed stunned by the equaliser, and went on to dominate the rest of the match.

We looked a much bigger threat with the return of Jemal Johnson, named man of the match by the sponsors, to the side on the right-hand side.

And it was ‘JJ’ who had numerous chances to give us the three points, firing shot after shot just past Gilmartin’s posts.

In between much time-wasting from the West Midlands club and a few wasted chances from the pretty enigmatic Jabo Ibehre, there was nothing to shout about and Walsall saw out the match to grab a point – though judging by the Walsall fans views today, manager Chris Hutchings’ future with the club is far from secure.