Walsall pulled off their first home win since the opening day of the season to beat Stevenage at the Banks's Stadium.

Ashley Hemmings set up Romaine Sawyers' side-footed opener on 11 minutes.

James Baxendale then released Craig Westcarr after the restart to make it 2-0, hammering a low left-footed shot for his seventh goal of the season.

Francois Zoko pulled one back on 72 minutes when keeper Richard O'Donnell dropped Luke Freeman's cross, but Boro then had Lucas Akins sent off late on.

The Stevenage striker received his marching orders in the 80th minute for punching Saddlers defender Paul Downing after the ball had gone, referee Andy Madley producing the red card after consulting with his fourth official.

VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Stevenage manager Graham Westley told BBC Three Counties Radio:

Post-match: Stevenage boss Westley

"Several of the lads were very unwell. When food poisoning hits your camp, it's difficult.

"Take nothing away from the opposition, they worked hard for the points. We were way short in the first half and I think it's understandable with the level of sickness we have had in the side.

On Akins' red card: "There was an arm to the body when he was trying to break free from a headlock.

"I think he [the fourth official] got the needle because I threw a ball on the pitch, and the next minute I'm having a player sent off and no one else had seen the incident."

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (6)

Walsall

  • 01 O'Donnell
  • 15 Chambers
  • 03 Taylor Booked
  • 08 Mantom
  • 04 Butler
  • 12 Downing
  • 16 Baxendale (Gray - 88' )
  • 07 Chambers
  • 10 Westcarr
  • 25 Sawyers (Hewitt - 84' )
  • 11 Hemmings (Lalkovic - 88' )

Substitutes

  • 02 Purkiss
  • 06 Featherstone
  • 09 Lalkovic
  • 13 Lewis
  • 14 Benning
  • 24 Hewitt
  • 27 Gray

Stevenage

  • 16 Day
  • 22 Gray Booked (Dunne - 62' )
  • 29 Hartley Booked (Andrade - 46' )
  • 20 Smith
  • 05 Ashton
  • 06 Jones
  • 07 Morais
  • 24 Doughty (Tansey - 46' )
  • 12 Zoko
  • 11 Akins Dismissed
  • 15 Freeman

Substitutes

  • 01 Arnold
  • 02 Wedgbury
  • 08 Dunne
  • 10 Burrow
  • 13 Parrett
  • 17 Tansey
  • 25 Andrade
Ref: Andy Madley
Att: 3,720

Match Stats

Shots

18 6

On target

6 2

Corners

5 7

Fouls

7 14

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Walsall 2, Stevenage 1.

90:00 +5:18 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Walsall 2, Stevenage 1.

90:00 +5:02

Corner, Walsall. Conceded by Luke Jones.

90:00 +4:40

Attempt blocked. Craig Westcarr (Walsall) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

90:00 +3:30

Corner, Walsall. Conceded by Luke Jones.

90:00 +3:01

Attempt saved. Julian Gray (Walsall) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

90:00 +1:04

Corner, Walsall. Conceded by Jimmy Smith.

90:00 +0:31

Craig Westcarr (Walsall) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

90:00 +0:31

Foul by Greg Tansey (Stevenage).

89:10

Adam Chambers (Walsall) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

89:10

Foul by Greg Tansey (Stevenage).

88:24

Foul by Adam Chambers (Walsall).

88:24

Francois Zoko (Stevenage) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

87:38 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Walsall. Milan Lalkovic replaces Ashley Hemmings.

87:18 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Walsall. Julian Gray replaces James Baxendale.

84:57

Attempt missed. Craig Westcarr (Walsall) header from the centre of the box misses to the left.

84:29

Ashley Hemmings (Walsall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

84:29

Foul by Jimmy Smith (Stevenage).

83:02 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Walsall. Troy Hewitt replaces Romaine Sawyers.

81:21

Foul by Sam Mantom (Walsall).

81:21

Francois Zoko (Stevenage) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

79:16 Dismissal

Dismissal Lucas Akins (Stevenage) is shown the red card for fighting.

76:20

Attempt missed. James Chambers (Walsall) right footed shot from more than 35 yards misses to the right.

73:31 Booking

Booking Andy Taylor (Walsall) is shown the yellow card.

73:22

Foul by Andy Taylor (Walsall).

73:22

Bruno Andrade (Stevenage) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

71:05 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Walsall 2, Stevenage 1. Francois Zoko (Stevenage) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the high centre of the goal.

70:12

Corner, Stevenage. Conceded by Andy Taylor.

67:47

Craig Westcarr (Walsall) wins a free kick on the right wing.

67:47

Foul by Jimmy Smith (Stevenage).

62:28

Foul by Adam Chambers (Walsall).

62:28

Francois Zoko (Stevenage) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

61:51 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Stevenage. James Dunne replaces David Gray.

61:32

Attempt missed. James Chambers (Walsall) header from the right side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the right.

60:50

Corner, Walsall. Conceded by David Gray.

60:11

Attempt saved. Ashley Hemmings (Walsall) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

57:48

Attempt missed. Andy Taylor (Walsall) left footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

57:23 Booking

Booking David Gray (Stevenage) is shown the yellow card.

57:16

Ashley Hemmings (Walsall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

57:16

Foul by David Gray (Stevenage).

56:23

Corner, Stevenage. Conceded by James Chambers.

55:00 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Walsall 2, Stevenage 0. Craig Westcarr (Walsall) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner.

54:03

Attempt missed. Ashley Hemmings (Walsall) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

52:51

Romaine Sawyers (Walsall) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

52:51

Foul by Greg Tansey (Stevenage).

51:08

Attempt missed. Sam Mantom (Walsall) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

49:54

Corner, Stevenage. Conceded by Andy Taylor.

48:59

Attempt missed. Jimmy Smith (Stevenage) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

48:25

Corner, Stevenage. Conceded by James Chambers.

47:00

Francois Zoko (Stevenage) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

46:59

Foul by James Chambers (Walsall).

45:27

Adam Chambers (Walsall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

45:27

Foul by Jimmy Smith (Stevenage).

45:16 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Stevenage. Bruno Andrade replaces Peter Hartley because of an injury.

45:00

Second Half begins Walsall 1, Stevenage 0.

45:00 +1:06 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Walsall 1, Stevenage 0.

45:00 +0:11 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Stevenage. Greg Tansey replaces Michael Doughty.

44:52

Andy Taylor (Walsall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

44:52

Foul by Lucas Akins (Stevenage).

43:19

Attempt missed. Luke Freeman (Stevenage) header from the centre of the box is too high.

39:40

Attempt missed. Craig Westcarr (Walsall) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

37:52

Ashley Hemmings (Walsall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

37:52

Foul by David Gray (Stevenage).

35:49

Attempt blocked. Craig Westcarr (Walsall) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

35:27

Attempt blocked. Craig Westcarr (Walsall) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

31:42

Attempt blocked. Sam Mantom (Walsall) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

30:46

Ashley Hemmings (Walsall) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

30:46

Foul by Francois Zoko (Stevenage).

27:22

Attempt missed. Luke Freeman (Stevenage) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

26:27

Attempt saved. Andy Taylor (Walsall) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

26:13

Attempt blocked. Sam Mantom (Walsall) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

24:05

Attempt missed. Lucas Akins (Stevenage) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

22:55

Corner, Walsall. Conceded by Jon Ashton.

22:31 Booking

Booking Peter Hartley (Stevenage) is shown the yellow card.

22:21

Ashley Hemmings (Walsall) wins a free kick on the left wing.

22:21

Foul by Peter Hartley (Stevenage).

18:17

Corner, Stevenage. Conceded by Andy Taylor.

16:29

Paul Downing (Walsall) wins a free kick on the left wing.

16:29

Foul by Lucas Akins (Stevenage).

12:24

Foul by James Chambers (Walsall).

12:24

Luke Freeman (Stevenage) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

10:34 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Walsall 1, Stevenage 0. Romaine Sawyers (Walsall) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner.

8:30

James Chambers (Walsall) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

8:30

Foul by Lucas Akins (Stevenage).

7:44

Attempt saved. Andy Taylor (Walsall) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

7:00

Craig Westcarr (Walsall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

6:54

Foul by Luke Jones (Stevenage).

5:24

Corner, Stevenage. Conceded by Adam Chambers.

5:03

Foul by Adam Chambers (Walsall).

5:03

Michael Doughty (Stevenage) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

4:40

Attempt saved. Jimmy Smith (Stevenage) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

2:55

Corner, Stevenage. Conceded by James Chambers.

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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