Walsall 0 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1

Last updated : 11 January 2003 By Footymad Previewer

A nightmare mistake by Walsall goalkeeper James Walker gave Wolves a narrow win over their local rivals.

It was a comic blunder by Walker but it was due entirely to the uneven surface of the pitch as he missed a back pass to leave George Ndah with an easy tap in to clinch the points.

Wolves, without a win in their previous five league games, were involved in a battle on a glue pot of a pitch which reduced the match to something of a lottery as demonstrated by Ndah's second half winner.

In a disappointing first half Wolves failed to fire themselves up after their impressive cup win over Newcastle. They had been expected to have the superior firepower but this never materialised in a low-key first half.

Silky attacking moves were out of the question and Wolves were obviously put out of their stride by the adverse conditions.

As expected, Walsall, in front of a record home crowd, battled hard to keep in the game and were always prepared to attack following some industrious work from skipper Martin O'Connor and Danny Sonner.

O'Connor was the only player to create a real threat in the barren opening 45 minutes when he hammered a cracking shot just over the bar.

The limitations of Wolves attack were exposed by the inability of Mark Kennedy to make any impression as he was effectively shut out of the game Darren Bazeley.

But in the 62nd Walsall fell victim of the pitch when goalkeeper Walker attempted a fly kick at a back pass from Danny Hay and completely missed the ball.

He turned quickly and scooped out the ball but only to Ndah to score from less than a yard.

Walsall drafted in former Wolves utility player, Neil Emblen, in an attempt to inject more life in their attack but the Molineux men were able to hold out for a worthy victory.