Walsall 1-1 Notts County - Report
Certainly a game of two halves, where we seemed to boss the first half and they had the better of the second.
County came out in their change strip, which can only be described as 'girly pink', presumably because it was adjudged that this clashed with red much less than the black and white stripes that County usually wear. There was also a decent atmosphere in the ground today, as the standers in Block 4 made an emphatic point to the moaners in the adjacent blocks who think football grounds should resemble libraries.
We had a good chance to take the lead early on as Paterson broke and, when in a position where you would normally expect him to pull the trigger, played in Grigg who was unlucky not to put us in front. Paterson did however shoot a split second before nearly being chopped in half by the visiting goalkeeper for our penalty. The ball was cleared off the line by the defender, which is kind of a good job as the ref had already blown up for the spot kick. One might think that because the ball needed to be cleared off the line that Paterson's attempt may have indicated that it was a goalscoring opportunity, and that the goalkeeper may have been in a bit of trouble. The ref walked over to him...then patted him on the back and sent him back to his line, before walking over to the 4th official to report a flare thrown onto the pitch by the County fans; presumably incase the man with the electronic board had missed the huge plume of smoke eminating from the visitors penalty area. Grigg did well to keep his composure and score the penalty after what was quite a long delay. However, the smoke must have gone to his head as he ran to celebrate in front of the far end of the family stand, a good 50 yards from the nearest Saddlers supporter.
I'd like to be able to describe the Notts equaliser, but I appear to have already erased it from my memory. I remember thinking 'They're gonna score in a minute if we're not careful', and then they did, but that's about all I can recall.
This may be because my mind is full of the two additional penalties we didn't get, the first being when Brandy was hauled down for a stonewall penalty. Just incase the ref missed it, County then immediately brought down Westcarr about half a second later, just to make sure they conceded a second penalty. However, to everyones amazement, they didn't. I can only assume the ref didn't fancy giving us two in one game. He did however fancy booking Brandy, who recovered to challenge the County right back, only to be duped by the defender who slowed down, allowing a frustrated Brandy to run into the back of him. Clearly a worse foul than the keepers on Paterson in the first half, as the latter foul resulted in a yellow card, and the penalty didn't.
County, wise to the fact they could now get away with murder inside their own area, proceded to bring down Brandy for what should have been our third penalty, but again the appeals were mysteriously waved away. It may be worth suggesting to Europol that they probe the 'How many penalties will be awarded?' for this game, as it was never going to be more than one.
However, it would be unfair on County to suggest we did enough to deserve to win the game. We didn't. Our only real chance of the second half came when Paterson, again showing an uncharacteristic reluctance to shoot by playing in Westcarr, who opted to waste the chance in his usual cumbersome manner. Considering the state of the pitch it was a good point. It keeps us 9th and if we finish there we'll have had a successful season.
EDIT: Just seen the County goal on Sky Sports News. Sloppy goal from a right wing cross which we should have defended better.