Writer: Robyn Richards
Date:Sunday April 24 2011
Walsall got a share of the spoils yesterday as they earnt a point against Sheffield Wednesday.
The game started with high expectation as the family funday was busy with lots of children outside the ground before kickoff and a packed floors to go upper. The sun shone, everyone was happy.
The teams entered the field of play and the rain started the pour. Not quite how the day had started.
The game got underway and Walsall were bright and chirpy enough.. A plethora of corners ensued, at least five in the first 10 minutes One hit Butler's head and flashed across the goal.
thankfully, Walsall took an early lead as Macken fired them in front. Taundry and Gray set him up nicely and he went for it and the gall found the back of the net. 1-0.
Taundry and Lancashire then defended well to fend away Lewis Buxton and Neil Mellor respectively.
Westlake got a risky yellow on 20 minutes for a challenge on Buxton.
Macken fired over the bar on 24 minutes after taking another stab at goal.
The game was ticking along nicely but Walsall couldn't mount a serious enough challenge to secure their lead and were punished on 26 minutes when Neil Mellor levelled for the visitors.
A silly goal to concede for the Saddlers as Walker didn't get a grip on the ball and pushed it away and Mellor was there to put it away. Williams got entangled in the netting as he arrived too late to save the danger. 1-1.
Walsall struggled for the rest of the half, the rain continued to pour down and there performance matched the conditions.
Saddler supporters held their breath on 28 minutes as Buxton passed to Nathan Modest but the ball flashed wide.
Loanee Jordan Cook had an excellent stab at goal on 32 minutes after being set up by Gray but the shot was saved.
Walker saved Butler's blushes on 35 minutes as he mis headed the ball into danger but the keeper kept a level head and diverted the ball away. Walsall head's were just above water as the clock ticked down to half time.
The Owls had a free kick on the stroke of half time in a dangerous area, luckily the ball was completely miskicked, much to the supporters relief and amusement.
The second half kicked off in much the same as the first. Walsall frustratingly lacking the guile and clinical passing required to put their stamp on the game.
Some rare passing was seen between Macken, Richards and Gray on 57 minutes but the chance was defended before Westlake defended well to ward off Tommy Spurr.
Walsall were clamatious, there were chances but the passing was sloppy, the ball went wide, over the bar, easily defended and ultimately wasted.
Richards did well on 68 minutes as he set the ball up for Taundry and eventually Macken went agonsingly wide.
The ball was headed wide on 75 minutes as Sheffield Wednesday delivered a good free kick.
Darren Byfield then replaced Westlake as Smith desperately tried to fire up the Saddlers. The atmosphere was quickly turning sour as Walsall supporters were getting frustrated.
Richards fired the ball in a good position from a corner on 81 minutes but Taundry put the ball over the net. Damn. The supporters made their dismay known.
As the clocked ticked down, Walsall had 2 more free kicks and 3 corners in the last ten minutes, all coming to nothing. Richards had the best chance in one of the last free kicks of the last but ball went straight into the wall.
The final whistle eventually blew and it was honours even.
Buoyed on by their early lead, Walsall had flashes of spark and managed some spells of play, but this was not the performance of a relegation threatened team. They looked lucklustre and exhausted in places and something must change before tomorrow's clash with Oldham Athletic
Deja Vu, anyone? 3 games to go!
Up The Saddlers!
Date:Sunday April 24 2011
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