In what was some of the worst conditions the Saddlers have played in for some while we came away with a 2-0 win thanks to a headed goal from Scott Dann (59 mins) and a Alex Nicholls drive in the 64 minute. However the national spot light has been on the 100 to 150 hardy souls who made the 270 mile round journey, especially those who remained behind the goal when the others were offered the santuary of covered seats.
How close did the game come to been called off I don't know but seeing Clayton Ince kick the ball to just before the half way line, only for it to sail back towards his own goal and out for a corner!!! I have never been so thankful that he doesn't always kick straight, or it might have just sailed over his head into the net. Eithr way I can see the Saddlers back on question of Sport in what happens next, although it's not as good as Martin Oconnor been dropped off the stretcher and deciding to walk against Chesterfield, many moons ago.
So why does just another three points feel so good, is it because it is another good performance against a fancied side? Is it because the gloom following a bad weekend when we failed to score against Millwall, Foxy handed in a transfer request and Sweeney sneaked away to Leeds and some feared that the wheels could come off our current good run. Or perhaps it is the case that this is been done with a crop of players which have come in the main through the Walsall ranks. We have been used to old pros after one last pay cheque and hard working Journey men who have seen better days. However the truth is the feeling is these players are only going to get better, with the only question mark been how far will they go. The other thing about last night is we lost Ricketts to his thigh strain after the 54th minute, we were missing experienced Mooney, Dobson and Boertein and youngster Ishmel Demontagnac and yet the run continues 17 cup and league games unbeaten and a club record 12 away games without defeat, we have more away points gained than any other team in league one.
So yes the feel good factor has returned, the gloom lifted. We sit on 40 points with 21 games left our first target of 50 points in sight, a chance to put two fingers up at those who tipped us for relegation, especially after those first five games where we sat winless at the foot of the table.......well done Dickie Dosh and the boys.
So to the transfer window. The question seems to be do we need anyone or would that spoil the team spirit. In truth if no one came in we would do okay and probably settle into mid table. However if we dare dream of play offs or more we need to strenghten but this could be done by using the loan system to good effect. So no panic lets wait and see, as DD said last night when quized about Sweeney going to Leeds 'so what'.
In truth there is no pressure of expectation on this team, we are punching above our weight, it's a cliche but we are taking one game at a time, but we are going to lose we are then going to see the true character of the team it is how they react how they bounce back which will be the true test of our promotion creditials.
So I am starting to believe in the dream, we know it's Walsall we know it could all blow up in our faces,it usually does, but you just don't know, three games in January unbeaten is so unlike Walsall. If any other team had put a run of 17 games unbeaten to go from bottom to go fifth two points clear of 7th and 5 points clear of 8th, we would be saying watch them they are in with a chance....so perhaps we are!!