Walsall Hero's fall to Bolton
In the poll this week 40% said we would only beat Bolton if they fielded a weak team. Well at the end of the day you were right but how close were Walsall in pulling off what would have been the shock of the round.
With the game tied at 1-1 the killer blow was applied by Campo who sent the travelling fans wild with a far post header. If that was enough the score line was given a vastly unjust feel by Anelka scoring deep into time added on. The response from the crowd was magnificant in defeat, the players were disappointed, showing the level of performance attained.
In truth we had nothing to lose and everything to gain and this freedom enabled us to match Bolton blow for blow with chances going begging for both teams in the first half. Walsall with stood some determined play from Bolton who quiet often showed the slow build up and skill so evident in the premiurship. Yet they could not over come the energetic organised Walsall side, who also displayed skill at a level higher than there league position would sugest.
The second half saw Walsall start brightly and causing the Bolton defence some worring times but the game turned when sub Nolan turned in a cross from Anelka after some neat play. However after turning down what seemed a clear foul on Mark Wright the ref awarded a free kick eventually on the edge of the Bolton box, Michael Dobsons kick beat Walker only to come back off the wood work for Bulter to finish. Game on !
The turning point was hotly disputed when Bolton sub Dioup fell in what could be described as a 9.9 scoring dive, players and Richard Money in particular were incensed by the ref giving a foul, this turned to anger as the resultant free kick was headed home. Anelka made the game safe in stoppage time giving Big Sam something to smile about.
A word about the support for the team tonight, fantastic. The fans responded to the performance on the pitch which lifted them even higher an true twelveth man performance.
That performance of energy desire and no little skill if it can be repeated on a consistant level will take this team far. In league two not many teams will be able to live with us. However a word of caution that game took a lot out of the players in what is a busy month, how we react on saturday will be vital.