Writer: Dan Malin
Date:Sunday September 18 2011
If you didn`t laugh you`d have to cry really wouldn`t you. Although it was completely undeserved, we were in a fantastic position to win the game and we fluffed our lines yet again and something is obviously declining in the players` mentalities. Scunny were the better side of that there is no question but to be 2-1 up at home going into injury time you really would hope to take all 3 points.
On my way to the game, listening to WM, the show host said that he worries about Walsall because our goals are only ever screamers or set-pieces. I`d love to say we proved him wrong yesterday but a Chambers header from a free-kick and an incredibly well struck volley from Will Grigg were our only 2 good chances of the game and, fortunately, both found their way into the back of the net. The word fortunately would possibly suggest to you that these goals were lucky in nature and in the first case, for those who haven`t seen it, you would be correct. The young Scunthorpe keeper, on loan from Man United, committed himself to clearing a ball he could not get to and Chambers flicked the long free-kick into the empty net with young Sam Johnstone stranded. Before that Scunthorpe had all the possession and after that Scunthorpe had all the possession but we were 1-0 up and that`s what mattered; until 12 minutes from time anyway. A goal-mouth scramble 6 yards away from Walker`s goal led to Scunny-sub Garry Thompson poking home but what concerned me was the scramble itself. The nature of a scramble is that is usually contested by 2 or more opposing players trying desperately to get anything on the ball to force it either towards or away from goal. This scramble, however, was between 4 Scunthorpe players with absolutely no one in a red shirt challenging the ball. 6 yards from goal at home in a winning position no Walsall players were throwing anything at the ball and, in the end, Wacka had no chance. 1-1 and it looked like Scunthorpe would go on and win it but 5 minutes after their sickening equaliser Will Grigg stepped up and truly, truly delivered. Richard Taundry`s cross from deep found Will Grigg completely unmarked 10 yards out at a tight angle. Everyone could see what Grigg was going to do but it is still quite a sight to see someone pull off a strike of such remarkable technique and ability and the volley rocketed into the top corner. At 2-1, spirits were high and we should have gone on and won it. Alas, we are Walsall so of course we blew it at the end. In the 4th minute of injury time, we didn`t close down Jimmy Ryan quickly enough on the edge of the box and the substitute midfielder`s strike fizzed into the bottom corner. What an absolute kick in the teeth.
Unfortunately, my account of the last goal comes straight from the Football League show as, at the end of the game, about 20 people decided to stand in front of the disabled section so that they could leave early but catch the last few minutes of the game. I am not one for moaning and I know that before I had to deal with being in a disabled situation I would not have thought about them either but it is so frustrating to pay the exact same money as these people only for them to block your view because they decided to leave early then re-consider their decision when something happens. If you are going to leave a game early then go but don`t ruin it for the people who are actually behind the club enough to stay until the very end of games regardless of the result. We were sat next to a couple of lads from Tottenham who had made the impulse decision to come to a Walsall match and the severely disabled son missed the last goal of his first, and probably only, Walsall game because of some inconsiderate people who hate the club so much that they buy a season ticket every year but leave early shouting their mouths off at the linesman and the players then turn up again just a week later. I`m sorry to moan but it drives me mad and if you aren't getting behind the lads until the end then do us, the team and yourself a favour and don't pay the ticket price and stay home with an Emmerdale omnibus and a cuppa. If you are going to show up and moan every week at least have the courtesy to not ruin someone else`s experience just because you are an inconsiderate hypocrite. Rant over.
Next week we go to Colchester looking for our first win in nearly a month and the one saving grace is that our away form tends to be better than our home. They are not a bad side by any stretch of the imagination but we need to be beating the teams of similar stature to ourselves because the sooner we can reach mid-table obscurity the better. Come on you Saddlers!!!
Date:Sunday September 18 2011
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