Leek Town 2 Walsall Wood 2
BLUES turned in a lacklustre performance at Harrison Park on Saturday, and had to come from behind twice.
It was thanks to a Jordan Johnson brace that they secured a replay in the West Midlands last night (Tuesday).
Despite coming close on a couple of occasions in the opening stages, Blues fell behind on 28 minutes before drawing level on the stroke of half-time.
However, Walsall regained the lead following a corner on 56 minutes but Leek snatched a replay with a second equaliser 15 minutes from time.
Blues boss Lee Casswell made one enforced change to his side, Jamie Brough replacing Anthony Danylyk (chest infection). New signing Josh Croft won a seat on the bench.
The hosts went close in the second minute, when Jordan Johnson’s shot was blocked and Shelley drove over the crossbar following up.
Ben Chapman suffered a rush of blood to the head in the 12th minute, when he raced out of his area only to be beaten to the ball by Ahmet Bilgimer. Fortunately, the cross flew through the box before being cleared by Paul Donnelley.
Leek were guilty of some poor defending in the 28th minute when the ball was played into the box by Bilgimer for Harris to sweep home, despite Chapman getting a glove to the ball Blues carved out a chance when Matt Bell crossed for Shelley but his shot was blocked, then James Brough fired straight at the keeper.
With one minute of the first half remaining, Leek won a free kick on the edge of the box and Jordan Johnson despatched it into the roof of the net.
Leek almost snatched the lead a minute into added time, when Jordan Johnson’s cross was cleared off the line. Just as Blues were showing signs of getting on top at the start of the second-half, the visitors regained the lead in the 56th minute when giant defender Jack Stone rose at the back post to head home from a corner.
Two minutes later, the Walsall Wood keeper was forced to go down in his box to smother an effort from Shelley before Jordan was taken out by Harris, who picked up a caution.
Leek had loud appeals for a penalty turned down in the 66th minute when Stone went to ground dealing with a ball from Steve Brannan and appeared to handle.
Blues eventually got back on level terms in the 75th minute when Shelley played a corner into the sixyard box and the ball fell to Jordan Johnson, who found the net through a sea of legs.
In the 83rd minute John Johnston was brought down inside the box but again, the referee turned down the appeals.
Three minutes from time, Brannan struck a brilliant shot from distance and the keeper could only touch it onto the inside of the post.
It bounced down and trickled along the goal-line before the keeper realised where it was.
It was a strike worthy of winning any game – but Blues had to be satisfied with a re-run at Oak Park.
Leek Town: Chapman, Donnelly, Bell, Dicker, Bratt, Hall, Brough (Evans 70), Shelley, Kinsey (Brannan 61), Jordan Johnson, John Johnston. Subs not used: Bradbury, Croft, Hackney.
Walsall Wood: Wiggin, Currithers, Hayles, Stone, Stretton, Juxon, Bilgimer, Hancox, Taylor-Boyce, Harry Harris (Hawkins 70), Andre Gonzales. Subs not used: Alalade, Ashfall, Black, Morrell.
Man-of-the-match: Ryan Dicker.