Writer: Robyn Richards
Date:Sunday March 13 2011
Walsall had to settle for a point in a frustrating game for the Saddlers at Yeovil Town yesterday afternoon.
The sun was shining as the healthy away crowd gathered and a win could lift them to 19th spot, a loss and they could plummet to the bottom of the table.
The game opened with Nicholls replacing Ledesma in the starting lineup.
It was a pretty basic and non eventful opening as neither team really mounted a challenge.
Matthew Richards took a free kick on 12 minutes with Jon Macken wasting the ultimate chance.
Andrew Williams went close on 14 minutes but the ball went just over the target, Stephen Henderson tipped over a Julian Gray chance shortly after.
It was on 18 minutes that Walsall took the lead. A Matthew Richards corner fell nicely to Andy Butler's head and Macken was able to put thre shot away from close range. 0-1. The away end went wild that Walsall had finally found the net after nearly 200 minutes of play and the lead was theirs.
The Walsall were crowd in full vocal voice and giving the visiting side some much needed support.
Gbarssin and Williams did well and a Glovers danger eventually fell to a Walker save.
Nicholls had a chance as Stephen Henderson spilled the ball but failed to capitalise. Richard Taundry then shot straight at the recomposed keeper and was saved.
Dean Bowditch then went down under a Walker challenge, thankfully no penalty given.
Henderson spilled the ball again as the clock ticked down for half time but Gbarssin failed to take advantage.
However, on the stroke of half time the home side levelled. Lancashire failed to clear Luke Ayling and the ball fell to Andrew Williams who tucked the ball away with Andy Butler looking on. 1-1. Disappointment as they went into the break without the lead.
The second half began with Manny Smith replacing Oliver Lancashire, who had been suffering tight calf muscles.
It was another fairly non eventful start to the half with neither team posing any real dangers.
Richard Taundry was given ironic jeers as he came off on 60 minutes to make way for Darren Byfield.
The game really started to hot up on 69 minutes as Stephen Henderson stepped off the backline with the ball. The Walsall crowd were incensed as Matthew Richards made his objections clear to the referee. Darren Byfield was also unfairly booked for the protests.
Stewards lined the section below the Cowlin Stand where the away supporters were housed as they were becoming increasingly rowdy and adrenaline was pumping throughout Huish Park.
Ledesma came on shortly after for Jon Macken.
The Argentinian was quickly involved in an incident with Edward Upson. The youngster whacked Ledesma on the head after a challenge and he retaliated and after a heated exchange, both were awarded yellows.
He then missed two excellent chances to give the away side the lead. The first was created by Williams and he put the ball to the sky on 83 minutes, the second created by a Darren Byfield cross, the supporters ready to celebrate, but the shot cruelly met the bar. Oh So close but so far!
Andy Butler was then awarded a yellow as tension overflowed and the occasion was fast becoming out of control. Things just were not going right for the Saddlers.
The whistle could not come quick enough as more exchanges were seen as the game came to a close.
It was a disappointing day for the Saddlers and it is a worrying time as they try to dig themselves out of their predicament.
They remain in the same position and still are on equal points to 20th placed Dagenham and Redbridge. They have now played 5 games in 2 weeks and the fatique is showing. The Saddlers now have a week to recover, regroup and prepare for the home visit of Hartlepool United next Saturday.
Check out photos from the clash on Facebook! http://www.facebook.com/pages/VitalWalsall/177837635568236>
Up The Saddlers!
Date:Sunday March 13 2011
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