Writer: Robyn Richards
Date:Saturday March 26 2011
Matthew Richards has reflected upon his 9th goal of the season and says that Walsall have grown so much that a point was not enough after the 1-1 draw with MK Dons last night.
It is plain for all to see the improvements Dean Smith has made to the side since taking over nearly 3 months ago and Richards says that they were unlucky to not come away with all three points as they potentially could have. The Saddlers battled away throughout the game and could have unsurprisingly got victory.
He told the official site: 'It shows how far we have come that we were disappointed with getting a point here.'
The MK Dons had been on winning run of 5 games going into the tie and are pushing ferociously for the playoffs. It would run through the nightmares of Saddlers the outcome should Hutchings been in charge now.
The game saw 26 year old Richards blast the Saddlers in front on 28 minutes in front of a healthy 728 away following. The ball was played after good work by Julian Gray and the Dons goalkeeper pushed the ball away from a Ledesma shot and Richards found the net with a skillful flick come volley into the net.
Peter Leven evened things up shortly after half time after with a dubious penalty as Manny Smith caught Luke Chadwick. Jimmy Walker went down like a sack of potatoes and Leven put the ball to the left of goal.
Richards added: 'They've been on a decent run, so to come here and get something has to be looked upon as a decent result on the face of it but it was a dubious penalty that gave them their equaliser.'
The second half was the better of the two as the Saddlers put their tails in the air and strung together positive passes and attacking play. Gray struck the bar on 52 minutes in one of the best (of many) chances Walsall had to take the lead. In another attack, Matthew Richards did excellently to retain possession and set up Julian Gray but the shot was saved.
Saddlers held their breath on 78 minutes as the ball bobbled around their goal in the opposite of where the Saddler fans were sat, gladly no celebrations reverberated around the MK Stadium. Footage of the event saw the ball rattle the underside of the bar from Angelo Balanta and skimmed the line on the side of the Saddlers. Lucky for the Saddlers, so close!
It was a great game to watch and as Richards says, was a great advertisement of their progress.
The Saddlers look toward the away game ton Plymouth Argle on 9th April.
Richards concluded: ''In many ways it is a pity we have such a break now because we've got momentum. That said, it's a chance for us to regroup and come back refreshed for our game at Plymouth.'
Up The Saddlers!
Date:Saturday March 26 2011
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