Date:Monday March 11 2013
As we made our way to Swindon on Saturday we were all convinced that a draw was probably the best we could have hoped for..and we got it.
Once we managed to find our way past the 'magic roundabout' we were ready for the football. I must admit I was disapointed with the numbers we took to Swindon, 491 Saddlers in attendance for a 'local 6 pointer' is 600 shy of what I was expecting. Although credit to the hardy soles we managed to outsing our hosts all afternoon.
Onto the game, we remained unchanged from the side that had easily beaten Shrewsbury a week earlier. The only change came on the bench, with youngster Liam Roberts replacing David Grof who was sick.
The opening 10 minutes was exactly how we expected this crucial game, neither side had any clear cut chances and any effort on goal was a shot from distance....then came the opening goal.
Walsall found themselves on the backfoot and Andy Williams ran to the edge of the box before unleashing a shot that hit Andy Butler. There were calls for handball but those calls soon turned into cheers as the ball looped over Aaron McCarey and went into the top right corner. An unfortunate goal to conceed and it was now time for Walsall to show their resolve.
Walsall came back at Swindon and got the equaliser just 20 minutes later. Fine work and trickery from Febian Brandy brought a foul from Tommy Miller inside the box to give Walsall their 125th penalty of the season (slight exageration but we are having far more this year than ever before!). Will Grigg stepped up and put the ball to the 'keepers right, this had to be a well taken penalty as Wes Foderingham guessed the right way - only to be beaten by placement and power. Superb penalty!
The home fans started to become restless as their side just couldnt penetrate the Walsall backline and after our goal it was us who looked more likely to score...if only Paterson had brought his crossing boots!
Right on half time, Craig Westcarr was left unmarked at the far post but his shot went high and wide when he should have done far better.
Half time finally came and Walsall were able to go in with their heads held high, compared to Swindon who were booed off by the home support.
Half time at Swindon is like armaggedon - there were at least 100 people on the pitch at one point just running around!
The second half was a non existent affair until around 75 minutes. A pinpoint cross found its way to the backpost and Will Grigg was blatently tugged back when he was in the air. Walsall boss Dean Smith and the travelling contingent were furious.
Seconds later, Swindon broke down the right hand side and a shot which looked to be going wide was kept in by McCarey and pushed into the path of Simon Ferry, who passed it into a open goal. We were pig sick! A goal out of nothing gave the hosts a lead that to be fair neither side deserved.
With the seconds ticking away the Saddlers brought Ashley Hemmings on for Febian Brandy and it was the substitute that created the last chance of the game which led to our equaliser.
Hemmings ran down the left and swung in a delightful ball which found the head of Jamie Paterson ( yes you heard right) and he guided his header past a helpless Foderingham to send the travelling fans into ruptures...at this point I fell on the floor and was trying to avoid the stampede!
The referee then called time and both sides walked away with a well deserved point.
That stretched our unbeaten run to 8 and despite us unbeaten those play-offs are still as far away as they were a few weeks ago. 5 points seperate us and Brentford.
Dean Smith and the boys did us proud Saturday.
We now turn our attentions to two big games at home. First Tranmere on Tuesday and then Crawley on Saturday.
Date:Monday March 11 2013
League 1 2013-14 Roll Call (Sunday May 19 2013)
Aston Villa Friendly Announced (Friday May 17 2013)
Pre-Season Friendlies - Update (Thursday May 16 2013)
Walsall 4-2 Stoke - 12 Years Today (Thursday May 16 2013)
Exclusive - Simon Osborn Interview (Wednesday May 15 2013)
James Chambers Close To New Deal (Wednesday May 15 2013)
Richard O'Kelly Returns (Monday May 13 2013)
Walsall Make National Press For Wrong Reasons (Saturday May 11 2013)
Bax Enjoys First Season (Saturday May 11 2013)
Its Decision Time For Contract Offers (Friday May 10 2013)
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