On The Ropes!
The Banks' Stadium
24/03/08 : 15:00
Despite a traumatic first half which could have possibly seen his dismissal, Ian Roper the Walsall veteran had the last laugh with a last minute equaliser. The Saddlers who struggled once more were well deserving of a point and the Crewe goal came totally against the run of play.
Walsall tried hard in the first half but were struggling for penetration. Tommy Mooney had two good efforts saved by Ben Williams in the Crewe goal. While at the other end Dean Morgans missed a glaring opportunity to give the Alex the lead.
Walsall were fast out of the blocks in the second half but were still failing to find the killer pass. Richard Money acted quickly by bringing on young starlets Troy Denney and Alex Nicholls for Darren Wrack and the poor Kevin Betsy. Walsall were now improved ten fold as they brought a directness to their play. Denney held the ball up well and Nicholls brought attacking wing play back to the Banks'.
But this spell of pressure was finished by the opening goal which came from Nicky Maynard against the run of play. A loose ball was helped into the path of Maynard by Tom Pope, the talented prospect took the ball down and curled into the corner of the net.
Alex played with a degree of confidence now they had the lead and coming off the back of two fine wins. Walsall continued to press, Sonko was replaced by N'Dour who found it hard to adapt to the pace of the match. Just as it seemed Crewe had done enough and it was a bad day at the office for the Saddlers, Nicholls fought his way down the wing and forced a corner. For the first time in the match Holmes put a quality set piece into the area and Roper rose gallantly to head into the net with the aide of an deflection. Crewe restarted and the Referee blew up for the final whistle.
Walsall are need desperate need of energy in their play, this was helped by the introduction of Denney and Nicholls but Richard Money may have to look at the loan marker before it closes on Thursday.