UK time is: 07:15:08
Vital Login
Social Login

Choose your club

Other Sites

Network Navigation

Vital Partners

'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Walsall 4-2 Stoke - 12 Years Today


As a football fan you always remember those remarkable nights in your clubs history and 12 years ago to this very day we had a night that not many will ever forget.

I was a teenager in 2001 and the thought of my own club reaching a Play-Off final was always a dream and under the stewardship of Sir Ray Graydon that dream became reality.

I dont endorse truancy but on 16th May 2001 I spent my day preparing for the big match rather than attending school. During that day I spent alot of my time watching past triumphs in the Play-Offs - our victory over Bristol City was played as much as the VHS would let me!

Onto the game itself, I can honestly say the noise in stadium that night will live long in the memory. A packed stadium with a vital match against our near neighbours Stoke had all the markings of a classic and it didnt dissappoint.

On 30 minutes the upbeat home crowd were silenced.

A great flick on by Rikadur Dadason fell to feet of Graham Kavanagh and the silver fox hit an unstoppable half 25 yard volley past the helpless Jimmy Walker.

On the stroke of half time Walsall were level. Gavin Ward who many would have thought was a Saddler that night, attempted to catch a tameless Tom Bennett corner and somehow managed to fumble it into his own net. To thank him for his calamity, we offered him a contract a few years later - Thanks Gavin!

Half Time, Walsall 1-1 Stoke

Two minutes into the second half, Pedro Matias found himself at the right hand side of the penalty area and calmly slotted the ball past Ward from a tight angle. Walsall fans all across the world went crazy!

As we were about to sit down, Walsall were awarded a free kick on the far right of the pitch and the little magician Dean Keates stepped up to take.

His swinging free kick eluded everyone in the penalty box and found its way into the corner of the net. Don Goodman's attempt at the flick bamboozled everyone including our man of the match, Gavin Ward.

On 61 minutes the game was put to bed.

That man again Pedro Matias hampered Stoke's Wayne Thomas who attempted to pass the ball back to Gavin Ward but Pedro's interception found its way into the bottom left corner and Walsall fans went into party mode!

Peter Thorne grabbed a late consolation for Stoke but there was no panic and Walsall were on their way to Cardiff!

Full Time, Walsall 4-2 Stoke

One memory I have about that night is my mate turning around to whom he thought was a Stoke fan and started singing 'your staying down with the Vale' to which the man replied 'im a walsall fan you *******'
think its safe to say it ruined my mates night!

Walsall fans invaded the pitch to celebrate with their heroes as we reached a major final!




Use your social login to comment on front page articles. Login using you Facebook, Twitter, Google or LinkedIn accounts and have your say!



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Kev Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday May 16 2013

Time: 8:45AM

 

Have Your Say

Log in...
with your social network     OR     with your Vital account

Recent Walsall Articles

Walsall 1-2 Yeovil Town (Wednesday August 20 2014)

Stats: Walsall v Yeovil (Wednesday August 20 2014)

Walsall v Yeovil - Preview (Tuesday August 19 2014)

An Evening With Gordon Banks (Monday August 18 2014)

The Butler Did It! (Monday August 18 2014)

Lalkovic Return? (Monday August 18 2014)

Walsall 0-0 Bradford City (Saturday August 16 2014)

Stats: Walsall v Bradford (Saturday August 16 2014)

The Guest Blog - Season 2, Episode 4 (Saturday August 16 2014)

Archived Walsall Articles

List All Vital Saddlers Articles
Have your say
Click here to suggest an article
Click here to suggest a poll

League Results (view all)

Latest Results
Walsall 1 - 2 Yeovil
Walsall 0 - 0 Bradford
Port Vale 1 - 1 Walsall

League Table (view table)

Team P W D L GD Pts
17. Rochdale 3 1 0 2 1 3
18. Sheff Utd 3 1 0 2 -1 3
19. Yeovil 3 1 0 2 -4 3
20. Walsall 3 0 2 1 -1 2
21. Oldham 3 0 2 1 -2 2
22. Colchester 3 0 1 2 -2 1
23. Crewe 3 0 0 3 -5 0

Breaking League News

Tuesday Reaction: City Share the Spoils
Coventry : 20/08/2014 23:00:00
MK Dons Meeting Postponed
Sheff Utd : 20/08/2014 21:26:00
JPT Date And Prices Confirmed
Oldham : 20/08/2014 21:19:00
Gills 2-2 Swindon Town
Gillingham : 20/08/2014 20:35:00
On The Up!!
Sheff Utd : 20/08/2014 19:38:00

Current Site Poll (view all polls)

Whose going to win the World Cup?
Suggested By:  
Brazil 8%
Argentina 25%
Spain 8%
Germany 31%
England 17%
Other 11%