Walsall have received a welcome boost ahead of their big Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Northern Area Final after scooping an award.The Saddlers, who are preparing to face Preston North End over two legs for a place at Wembley, have earned the Team of the Round accolade for their thrilling comeback victory in the Area Semi-Finals of the competition.
Dean Smith’s team looked to be heading out of the competition at 2-0 down at Tranmere Rovers with less than half an hour to play, but goals from Anthony Forde and Michael Cain forced penalties – and the Saddlers booked their place in the last four with a 5-4 triumph on spot-kicks.
The success put Walsall just two games from their first ever appearance at Wembley Stadium.
As well as winning a trophy, Walsall will also receive a prize of Johnstone’s Paint product to use on a club project.
Walsall manager Smith said: “The lads showed real grit and character to come from two goals behind at Tranmere, and then they showed great composure to win on penalties.
“We have had a tremendous run in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and to win the Team of the Round award is a real bonus.”
Ben Wilde, brand and sponsorship manager for Johnstone’s Paint, added: “Choosing the Team of the Round is always difficult and that was the case again here.
“Bristol City put in a really strong performance to beat Coventry City and Preston North End did well to win at Notts County.
“But the spirit Walsall showed to claw their way back into the game tipped the balance in their favour.”