Saddlers see off unlucky Gills
By Rob Lancaster
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The home side were well on top in the opening half with new signings Chris Baird and Gary O'Neill to the fore in their first home appearance for The Saddlers.
They deservedly went in at the break a goal to the good with good work from Paul Merson and Vinny Samways down the right flank leading to Pedro Mathias driving in a low shot from outside the penalty area.
Gillingham had rarely threatened in the opening 45 minutes but the arrival of player-manager Andy Hessenthaler soon sparked his players into action.
The away team were awarded a penalty just three minutes into the second half when Samways handled inside the area and Wayne Brown coolly converted the spot-kick to level matters.
Chris Hope had a goal correctly disallowed for the visitors and Jorge Leitao headed wide from just four yards out as both sides went looking for a late winner.
With the game heading for a 1-1 draw, Chris Baird's long range volley was sliced into his own net by Hessenthaler.
It was Colin Lee's side who won out in the end, although they were indebted to keeper James Walker who brilliantly denied Tommy Johnson in injury time.
Click below for match summary:
Click here for updated league table