Vital Football

Latest Walsall FC News

FT: Walsall 1-1 Oldham Athletic

FT: Walsall 1-1 Oldham Athletic

The Saddlers grafted last night and won a deserved point against Oldham Athletic.

Under the rejuvenation of temporary manager Dean Smith, Walsall were organised and toothy throughout, keeping 6th placed Athletic at bay. It may only be a single point, but it's a sign in the right direction.

In another shake-up, injuries to Richard Taundry (ankle) and Manny Smith (unknown) saw Lancashire start in defence as Nicholls slotted in the right wing position, allowing Will Grigg back into the starting lineup up front.

The game started the home side the strongest as Grigg and Nicholls came close early on, with both efforts going wide of the target. Westlake then received a yellow for a tackle on Oldham's Dale Stephens.

The Saddlers continued the good work in passing the ball around with their heads held high. A stark contrast the defeats at the start of the month.

Despite the more positive effort, the first half was not without its heart stopping moments for the home supporters, and as the half was coming to a close, Chris Taylor skipped past the Walsall defence and looked to take the lead, but Walker was on hand to palm the ball away from danger. Grigg then had two good chance on goal but both times failed to find the vital strike.

Oldham took the lead on minute 39, disappointingly after a good first half for the Saddlers. Even more disappointingly, they conceded from another corner. The ball came in and it bobbled around the penalty area, the defence unable to get a boot on it and away from danger. It came out to Dale Stephens on the left who passed to Felipe Morais to put the ball away. 0-1. The Saddlers battling, but did not show as much finesse as their opponents. In the remaining minutes of the first 45, Walsall didn't quite re-find their feet and all were relieved when the whistle blew.

As the second half started, Athletic came out the better side. Lancashire was unable to deal with Oumare Tounkare alone as he pounced, but Walker saved any blushes by coming off his line and blocking his shot.

However, equilibrium was restored on 61 minutes as Westlake hit the Saddlers level. With the box crowded Gray found Macken, who touched it the waiting defender who fired with passion into the back of the net. An excellent strike from an unlikely source and it was game on for the Saddlers. 1-1

A few minutes later, Walker was on hand to block a Taylor shot for Athletic as they looked dangerous once again. The veteran goalie becoming ever more pinnacle in the Saddlers fight for survival.

A Butler shot a few minutes later was saved by Oldham goalkeeper Amos, who just about kept the ball out of the goal after he dubiously crossed reaching for the save. Unlucky for the Saddlers as that could have gifted them a goal.

As the remainder of the game was played out, it was fairly even for both sides, as they continued to pass the ball around with no increased threat from either side. Good to see the Saddlers coming up against stronger opposition and not letting themselves down at all.

As a revival goes, this is a step in the right direction. Walsall seemed to have a renewed confidence and they are playing with conviction. As they lie bottom with twenty points and a goal difference of -23, their future in league one is unknown but on performances like this they can rest a (little) bit easier.



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Robyn Richards
Date:Wednesday January 26 2011
Time: 4:34PM

Login to post a comment

Recent Walsall Articles

More Reliable Than A League 1 Octopus? (20/1/17)

A new season and finally a new special computer crunching the numbers to determine the final League One positions for 2016/17.

Riley Explains Postponements

It doesn't happen often in the Premier League or Championship thesedays, but League's 1 & 2 still suffer the odd postponement owing to the weather and Mike Riley...

Osbourne Named In EFL Team Of The Weekend

Isaiah Osbourne named in EFL team of the week following superb display against the Blades.

Duo In Team Of The Week

Versatile defender/midfielder and manager named in Football League Paper team of the weekend.

Archived Vital Saddlers Articles

Vital Saddlers articles from

Site Journalists

Kev
Editor email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

Where Will Walsall Finish?
Suggested By:
Automatic Promotion9%
Play Offs21%
Mid Table Medicority49%
Relegation21%

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Sheff Utd 28 17 6 5 57 21
2 Scunthorpe 27 16 7 4 55 27
3 Bolton 26 15 5 6 50 16
4 Fleetwood 27 13 7 7 46 11
5 Bradford 28 11 13 4 46 11
6 Rochdale 27 14 3 10 45 5
7 Southend 27 11 9 7 42 5
8 Peterborough 26 11 8 7 41 9
9 Millwall 27 11 7 9 40 2
10 Bristol Rovers 28 11 6 11 39 -3
11 Wimbledon 27 9 10 8 37 5
12 Oxford 27 10 7 10 37 4
13 Walsall 27 9 10 8 37 -2
14 Charlton 26 8 12 6 36 7
15 Port Vale 26 8 8 10 32 -10
16 MK Dons 26 8 7 11 31 -3
17 Gillingham 27 8 7 12 31 -9
18 Northampton 28 8 6 14 30 -9
19 Swindon 28 7 8 13 29 -14
20 Shrewsbury 28 7 7 14 28 -13
21 Bury 28 7 5 16 26 -12
22 Chesterfield 28 7 5 16 26 -17
23 Oldham 26 4 10 12 22 -15
24 Coventry 27 4 9 14 21 -16
Write for Vital Football
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
The Vital Football Members League

Recent Walsall Results (view all)

Walsall Fixtures (view all)

Jan 28 2017 3:00PM : Bury (a)
Sky Bet League One
Jan 31 2017 7:45PM : Millwall (a)
Sky Bet League One
Feb 4 2017 3:00PM : Northampton Town (H)
Sky Bet League One
Feb 11 2017 3:00PM : Bolton Wanderers (a)
Sky Bet League One
Feb 14 2017 7:45PM : Scunthorpe United (a)
Sky Bet League One
Feb 18 2017 3:00PM : Peterborough United (H)
Sky Bet League One
Vital Football Comment