Walsall hit back to earn a draw through a Tom Bradshaw goal in an entertaining season-opener against Port Vale.

Vale deservedly led at the break through's Tom Pope close-range strike from Mark Marshall's low cross.

Pope then shot narrowly wide for the hosts, as did Michael O'Connor.

But the Saddlers responded and, after Ashley Grimes forced a fine save from Sam Johnson, Bradshaw levelled when he ran on to a Grimes pass and lifted the ball past the advancing goalkeeper.

Post match: Walsall manager Dean Smith

Walsall manager Dean Smith speaks to BBC WM:

"We played really well on the front foot, played some neat and tidy stuff. I'm pleased at the comeback and like to take a lot of confidence from this.

"We've got some really good players in the squad at the moment, I was really pleased.

"We're disappointed with their goal as it came from a deflected cross. We dealt with the aerial balls well and we'll take a lot of confidence from this game.

"We knew what to expect from Port Vale, we knew they put a lot of balls in the box which we couldn't stop the first one, we had to defend it. I'd say I thought we done that quite well."

Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (5)

Port Vale

  • 12 Johnson
  • 06 Duffy
  • 21 Veseli (Robertson - 86' )
  • 05 McGivern Booked
  • 03 Dickinson
  • 08 Dodds (Jennings - 74' )
  • 15 O'Connor
  • 20 Marshall
  • 10 Lines (Brown - 86' )
  • 09 Williamson
  • 11 Pope

Substitutes

  • 01 Neal
  • 02 Yates
  • 04 Robertson
  • 07 Birchall
  • 17 Brown
  • 18 Jennings
  • 22 Lloyd

Walsall

  • 01 O'Donnell
  • 15 Chambers
  • 03 Taylor
  • 04 O'Connor
  • 06 Downing
  • 14 Benning
  • 11 Baxendale (Clifford - 70' )
  • 10 Sawyers
  • 07 Chambers Booked
  • 09 Bradshaw (Bakayoko - 85' )
  • 24 Grimes

Substitutes

  • 05 Holden
  • 13 MacGillivray
  • 17 Flanagan
  • 18 Morris
  • 20 Bakayoko
  • 22 Kinsella
  • 26 Clifford
Ref: Darren Bond
Att: 7,050

Match Stats

Shots

9 9

On target

3 4

Corners

3 9

Fouls

13 8

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Port Vale 1, Walsall 1.

90:00 +4:22 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Port Vale 1, Walsall 1.

90:00 +4:01

Attempt missed. James Chambers (Walsall) header from the centre of the box is just a bit too high.

90:00 +3:50

Corner, Walsall. Conceded by Richard Duffy.

90:00 +3:18

Corner, Walsall. Conceded by Richard Duffy.

89:49

Attempt missed. Tom Pope (Port Vale) right footed shot from the right side of the box is just a bit too high.

87:31

Foul by Amadou Bakayoko (Walsall).

87:31

Richard Duffy (Port Vale) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

85:42 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Port Vale. Michael Brown replaces Chris Lines.

85:26 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Port Vale. Chris Robertson replaces Frederic Veseli.

84:55

Attempt missed. Andy Taylor (Walsall) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

84:30 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Walsall. Amadou Bakayoko replaces Tom Bradshaw.

84:09

Corner, Walsall. Conceded by Richard Duffy.

83:18

Corner, Walsall. Conceded by Ryan McGivern.

80:27

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

80:27

Foul by Tom Pope (Port Vale).

79:55

Attempt missed. Malvind Benning (Walsall) left footed shot from the left side of the box is just a bit too high.

78:26

Paul Downing (Walsall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

78:26

Foul by Tom Pope (Port Vale).

77:07

Corner, Walsall. Conceded by Sam Johnson.

76:57

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

76:19

Corner, Walsall. Conceded by Richard Duffy.

73:22 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Port Vale. Steven Jennings replaces Louis Dodds.

69:16 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Walsall. Billy Clifford replaces James Baxendale.

66:45 Booking

Booking Adam Chambers (Walsall) is shown the yellow card.

66:30

Foul by Adam Chambers (Walsall).

66:30

Chris Lines (Port Vale) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

65:10

Foul by Ashley Grimes (Walsall).

65:10

Michael O'Connor (Port Vale) wins a free kick on the left wing.

63:43

Corner, Walsall. Conceded by Frederic Veseli.

63:32 Booking

Booking Ryan McGivern (Port Vale) is shown the yellow card.

63:14

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

63:14

Foul by Ryan McGivern (Port Vale).

63:01

Attempt saved. Tom Pope (Port Vale) header from the centre of the box is saved in the top right corner.

62:32

Foul by Malvind Benning (Walsall).

62:32

Frederic Veseli (Port Vale) wins a free kick on the right wing.

61:41

Attempt missed. Romaine Sawyers (Walsall) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

58:12 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Port Vale 1, Walsall 1. Tom Bradshaw (Walsall) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Romaine Sawyers.

56:47

Corner, Walsall. Conceded by Sam Johnson.

56:34

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

53:36

Corner, Walsall. Conceded by Richard Duffy.

52:52

Ryan McGivern (Port Vale) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

52:52

Foul by Tom Bradshaw (Walsall).

51:40

Attempt missed. Michael O'Connor (Port Vale) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left from a direct free kick.

50:48

Ben Williamson (Port Vale) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

50:48

Foul by Paul Downing (Walsall).

47:46

Attempt blocked. Mark Marshall (Port Vale) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

47:07

Foul by Romaine Sawyers (Walsall).

47:07

Michael O'Connor (Port Vale) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

45:00

Second Half begins Port Vale 1, Walsall 0.

45:00 +1:02 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Port Vale 1, Walsall 0.

42:04

Attempt missed. Louis Dodds (Port Vale) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right.

38:23

Attempt missed. Chris Lines (Port Vale) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

35:35

Foul by Tom Pope (Port Vale).

35:35

Paul Downing (Walsall) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

33:24

Foul by Michael O'Connor (Port Vale).

33:24

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

32:38

Attempt missed. Ashley Grimes (Walsall) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high.

31:18

Tom Pope (Port Vale) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

31:18

Foul by Paul Downing (Walsall).

30:01

Foul by Ryan McGivern (Port Vale).

30:01

Tom Bradshaw (Walsall) wins a free kick on the left wing.

27:43

Attempt missed. Tom Pope (Port Vale) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right.

24:57 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Port Vale 1, Walsall 0. Tom Pope (Port Vale) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Mark Marshall.

21:27

Malvind Benning (Walsall) wins a free kick on the right wing.

21:27

Foul by Frederic Veseli (Port Vale).

17:02

Hand ball by Chris Lines (Port Vale).

14:17

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

14:17

Foul by Chris Lines (Port Vale).

13:28

Foul by Michael O'Connor (Port Vale).

13:28

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

11:18

Corner, Port Vale. Conceded by James Chambers.

10:56

Corner, Port Vale. Conceded by Paul Downing.

10:20

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

9:45

Foul by Louis Dodds (Port Vale).

9:45

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

9:13

Corner, Port Vale. Conceded by Paul Downing.

8:15

Attempt saved. Chris Lines (Port Vale) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

4:01

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

4:01

Foul by Chris Lines (Port Vale).

1:00

Foul by Michael O'Connor (Port Vale).

1:00

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

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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