Writer: Alsop Richards
Date:Sunday March 23 2008
Walsall dropped completely out of the play off places as they suffered their third defeat in their last four matches and results went against them. In truth Leeds Uniyed never got out of second gear and strolled to victory against a Saddlers team that severly lacks quality and self believe currently.
Ian Roper continued his recent abysmal form at the back and made it even more evident that Manny Smith needs to brought into the first team. Only after a couple of minutes, Roper let the ball bounce, he was rolled by Beckford but the inform striker placed his shot wide with the goal gaping.
Walsall came back into the match and won a number of free kicks, but Holmes was clearly wearing the wrong boots as he failed to beat the first defender every time. Mooney was frustrated up front and it was crystal clear to everybody that the service he was provided with was abysmal.
It was a midfielder at fault that led to the opening goal, Kevin Betsy was caught dwelling on the ball by Kilkenny. The former Blues man played an incisive through ball to Beckford and with Roper struggling, Beckford ran on and rounded Ince and slotted home from a difficult angle. Walsall were happy at half time only to be a goal down.
The second half saw a much brighter Walsall performance up to the hour mark. Holmes was trying his best to provide support on the left, Wrack pushed on in aide to help Mooney. Then the moment that turned the match a fantastic cross by Holmes into the area that was not dealt with by the nervous Leeds defence, with the whole goal to aim for Tommy Mooney decided to go for his trademark rising volley and somehow managed to sky the ball over. This was even more frustrating since Mooney had managed to do exactly the same thing against Northampton Town a fortnight ago. Who knows how the match would have ended if Mooney had scored.
Roper recieved a deserved yellow card for a terrible tackle and Walsall fans feared the worse when Kilkenny was through on goal only to be hauled down by the lumbersome defender a couple of minutes later. The Ref looked fortunately on Roper and failed to give him another deserved yellow card and ultimate red.
Leeds were coming back into the match knowing they needed another goal to kill the match off as the Saddlers started to pour forward. Beckford was unlucky not to win a dangerous free kick when Roper tried to exchange shirts on the edge of the area, the hitman scuffed his shot wide and the Ref played on. All was over soon afterwards, Dobson who at this point had been impressive, gave the ball away cheaply to a Leeds player. The through ball was to Beckford's feet who took a heavy touch but made up for it with a deft touch over the advancing body of Ince. After that Walsall head's dropped and it was always going to be Leeds to add to the scoring.
In all Roper once again had a nightmare at the back, the midfield once again failed to offer any creativity and Betsy didn't do a thing right or appear to playing. Mooney struggles up front on his own, he's being offered no support or service but he has to put away the slim chances he does get.
Walsall needs a confidence building victory against a Crewe Alexander side fighting for their lives on monday.
Date:Sunday March 23 2008
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