Walsall fell behind to a second minute header from Dean Yates following a centre by Adrian Thorpe in this play off semi final at Meadow Lane following some poor defending. In the 40th minute Walsall were back on level terms following a cheeky David Kelly back flick from a Craig Shakespeare pass that left Mick Leonard stranded.
A minute into the second half Craig Shakespeare gave Saddlers the lead following an excellent Willie Naughton cross that was knocked down by Trevor Christie. It was that man David Kelly again who fired Walsall into a 3-1 lead on 55 minutes following Richard O'Kelly's flick and despite being fouled in the box 'Ned' kept his composure and drilled home.
Referee Keith Hackett missed a head butt from Ian Mc Parland on Graeme Forbes and later Fred Barber was trodden on by Wayne Fairclough but Saddlers were unruffled to take a two goal advantage back to Fellows Park.
The team line ups were -
NOTTS COUNTY - Leonard, Mc Stay, Withe, Fairclough, Yates, Birtles, Mills, Mc Parland, ( Barnes ), Lund, Pike, Thorpe.
WALSALL - Barber, Taylor, O'Kelly, Shakespeare, Forbes, Goodwin, Hawker, Hart, Christie, Kelly, Naughton.
Two goal hero Ned.