Golden oldie Dave Beasant is set to save Albion from a goalkeeping crisis.

Boss Steve Coppell was hoping to sign the 43-year-old today and he could go straight into the side to face Walsall on Saturday.

Coppell has called upon Beasant as he may be without an experienced keeper for the key trip to the Bescot Stadium.

First choice Michel Kuipers is out for weeks after tearing a thigh muscle during the recent FA Cup exit at Norwich.

Ben Roberts, on loan from Charlton for a month to cover for Kuipers, is suffering from gastric flu and is still doubtful for his away debut.

Roberts can also be instantly recalled by Charlton so Coppell does not want to run the risk of being left with only one shot-stopper, Kuipers' rookie understudy Will Packham.

Beasant is currently with Second Division leaders Wigan Athletic. He joined them at the end of October for the rest of the season as cover for John Filan.

The Willesden-born veteran has made one first team appearance so far for Wigan, a 1-0 defeat at home to Doncaster in the LDV Vans Trophy in November.

He kept a clean sheet for the reserves earlier this week in a 1-0 victory at Rochdale.

Beasant has played more than 750 League games in a 24-year career including spells with Wimbledon, Newcastle, Chelsea and Southampton.

Last season he made 27 appearances for Albion's south coast rivals Portsmouth in the First Division.

He also won two England caps and went to the 1990 World Cup, when Bobby Robson's side reached the semi-finals, as third choice behind Peter Shilton and Chris Woods.

Beasant could become Albion's oldest post-War player and the second oldest in the club's history behind Sam Cowan.

Trainer Cowan played at Bournemouth in October 1945, aged 44 and 156 days.

Meanwhile, Walsall's new pitch was only half-laid by yesterday lunchtime and they had snow overnight, but a spokeswoman for the Saddlers said today they still expect the match to go ahead.