25.8.1990. Walsall 2 Torquay United 2.

League football at Bescot Stadium kicked off on Saturday 25th August 1990 in a Fourth Division fixture against Torquay United. New manager Kenny Hibbitt was hopeful of his team getting off to a good start in the new stadium and so were the supporters - who had witnessed a double relegation.

Things didn't get off to a good start - 19 year old loanee defender Matt Bryant had the distinction of scoring the first ever league goal at Bescot - albeit through his own net - as he put too much weight on a headed pass to stranded keeper Ronnie Green. This calamity was after just 65 seconds.

On the half hour mark Torquay doubled their lead with a thumping drive from Matt Elliott. However Saddlers got back in the game just two minutes later thanks to a brilliant goal by Stuart Rimmer. Chris Marsh threaded an excellent through ball for Saddlers ace marksman to pelt past Elliott and finish well from a very tight angle. In doing so Stuart Rimmer became the first Walsall player to score at the Bescot.

With 15 minutes remaining, Kenny Hibbitt introduced young striker Martin Goldsmith, who replaced Tony Grealish. He pounced upon a blocked Stuart Rimmer shot and powered the ball through a ruck of players to earn Saddlers a point in this historic game. 5,215 spectators were present on a hot afternoon.

The teams on duty were...

WALSALL - Green, Hutchings, Mower, Grealish, ( Goldsmith ) Bryant, Skipper, Ntamark, Kelly, ( Barnett ) Rimmer, Cecere, Marsh.

TORQUAY - Howells, Whiston, Lloyd, Uzzell, Elliott, Musker, Holmes, Edwards, Tynan, Saunders, Loram.

Dismay for Ronnie Green and his defenders, following Matt Bryant's own goal after 65 seconds.

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