Exeter City will look to get their form back on track this weekend as they head to the Midlands to take on Walsall. Here's all you need to know about the Grecians' opponents...
- Founded: 1888
- Nickname: The Saddlers
- Honours: Fourth Division/League Two (1959-60, 2006-07)
Walsall FC were founded in 1888 as Walsall Town Swifts after a merger between Walsall Town and Walsall Swifts and played at the Chuckery. They played their first ever match against Aston Villa, drawing 0-0 in the Birmingham Charity Cup. They were admitted into the Football League in 1892 as a founder of the new Second Division and groundshared with West Bromwich Albion ahead of their Fellows Park ground being built. The club dropped their suffix and simply became Walsall FC in 1896, joining the Midland League before founding the Third Division North in 1921. They’ve remained a Football League club ever since.
They lifted their first ever league title in 1959-60 – the Fourth Division - scoring 102 goals in the process and then once again were promoted after finishing second in the Third Division. They recorded a 14th place finish in their first ever second tier season.
After just under 100 years at Fellows Park, the club moved to the Bescot Stadium in 1990, opening with a 4-0 defeat to Aston Villa, It brought stability to the club after two successive relegations, before manager Kenny Hibbitt was sacked in 1994. New boss Chris Nicholl then led the club back to the third tier.
The club reached their first ever Wembley final in 2015 as they faced Bristol City in the Football League Trophy Final, where they were beaten 2-0 in front of 72,315 people.
Last Time Out
Walsall 2 Port Vale 2 | February 22, 2020 | Sky Bet League Two
Walsall came from behind twice to earn a valuable point against Port Vale at the Banks’s Stadium.
Former Mansfield Town and Hartlepool United midfielder Darrell Clarke is at the helm at the Bescot Stadium having made the move to the Midlands in May 2019. After his departure from Bristol Rovers – where he was the fourth longest serving manager in the EFL – he joined the Saddlers and signed 16 new players in his first transfer window.
At Rovers he took the club back into the Football League at the first time of asking through the National League play-offs before gaining promotion to League One in their first season. He also has managerial honours with his first club Salisbury City, where he took them through the Southern League and National League South play-offs to get them into the National League.
- Name: Banks’s Stadium
- Capacity: 11,300
- Year Opened: 1990
- Address: Bescot Crescent, Bescot, Walsall, West Midlands, WS1 4SA.
Built in 1990, the Bescot Stadium - currently known as the Banks's Stadium for sponsorship reasons - replaced Walsall's old home with was named Fellow's Park. Sir Stanley Matthews opened the stadium prior to a friendly match with Aston Villa. The ground has a capacity of 11,300. Visiting supporters are housed behind one goal in the University of Wolverhampton Stand, which is complete with a licensed bar and TVs.
There are 10 pitch-level wheelchair bays in the Community Stand for away supporters.
One To Watch
Striker Josh Gordon is the one to watch for the Saddlers this weekend, with the forward having scored three goals in his last four games for the club. He has tallied 12 goals in total this campaign, with three of those coming in the side’s 6-0 win over Forest Green in the EFL Trophy. The former Leicester City man scored the leveler as Walsall drew 2-2 with Port Vale in their last outing.
Exeter City 3 Walsall 3 | December 21, 2019 | Sky Bet League Two
Exeter City battled back from three goals down to earn an incredible point at home to Walsall back in December.
Exeter City 4 Walsall 2 | April 21, 2012 | npower League One
Alan Gow's double helped Exeter beat Walsall to keep their slim hopes of League One survival alive.
Head to Head
- Walsall wins: 5
- Draw: 2
- Exeter City wins: 4
Tickets can now be purchased on the day at the stadium. Click here for the full details.
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