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  • Soccerex 2017

League One side Walsall celebrate first ever visit to Wembley after Jonhstone's Paint victory


League One side Walsall have booked their first ever visit to Wembley after overcoming Preston North End in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy Northern Area Final.

The Saddlers held a 2-0 advantage from the first leg at Deepdale, having kept Preston at bay before finding two late goals to give them a commanding edge.

But the second leg was a nervy affair as Preston looked to overturn the deficit, but the visitors failed to create any clear cut chances until the final few minutes of the second half, where they bombarded the Walsall goal.

They hit the bar through former Wolves man Sylvan Ebanks Blake, and several efforts were cleared off the line, amongst some fine goalkeeping from Richard O'Donnell.

An attendance of 10,038 at Bescot was a season best for the club, with the chance to get to Wembley for the first time drawing the crowds.

Fans invaded the pitch at full time as the game ended 0-0 on the night, as Walsall booked a place at Wembley on 22 March against the winners of Thursday's southern area final between Bristol City - who hold a 4-2 first-leg advantage - and Gillingham.

Walsall have been a game away from Wembley on four previous occasions, and also had the bad luck of making the play-off finals when the stadium was being rebuilt, meaning their 3-2 win at Reading was played at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. 
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