Saddlers Memorable Matches
Walsall 1 Birmingham 0 8 October 1999
The 1998/99 season may not have been the most impressive come May but it certainly had its moments and the game against Brum live on Sky was one of these.
Not only was it an unexpected and much-needed victory it also saw the debut of one Pedro Matias in a Saddlers shirt. The pacy Spaniard became a fans favourite over the coming few seasons.
The game itself wasn't the greatest football wise but was memorable purely for the winning goal. After 75 minutes of tension but very few chances Andy Rammell poked hom from a couple of yards out to earn us all 3 points.
The ball broke to Rammell after Birmingham failed to clear a Darren Wrack cross properly and Pedro had his rebound blocked by the goalkeeper. The Walsall fans went wild and only a couple of weeks after beating Wolves at Molineux we had turned over another local rival.
This seemed to be a pattern that season as a week later we did it again this time defeating the Baggies at the Hawthorns.
Another reason why this Birmingham game was so memorable was due to the referee. I can safely say this is the only match that Paul Danson has refereed that he didn't turn into a farce. The main evidence I can think of for such a statement was when he returned to Bescot three years later for our Boxing Day game with Sheffield United.
What should have been a competetive match was made a joke by Danson's inability to referee. Thankfully though he didn't destroy the game against Birmingham and although we didn't survive that season it was still a huge result.
If you remember this match or you would like to rant about Mr Danson (please tell me there are other people out there who remember how bad he is) let us know on our forum.