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April Fools= Walsall

2 - 0

Bloomfield Road

1st April 2006 3pm

Attendance: 6,129


A wonderful day, sun was shining the beer was cold, the company enjoyable...then it happened the game started and we failed to turn up. A performance more similar to that against Yeovil rather than those against the likes of Swansea,Southend,Colchester, and Tranmere.

We deserved to lose don't get me wrong but Blackpool were a very poor side. Our attitude was wrong and they wanted it more they closed down faster and got behind the ball quicker. The facts are if we don't resolve these basic requirements we will go down.

The first half was very much a non event, despite not stringing much together we were fairly comfortable in defence, with only two moments of concern. One where Roper was required to pull off a super last ditch tackle, taking the ball cleanly despite the howls of derision, from the built half of the stadium. The second was the comedy moment, when there forward had a free header into an empty net, only to find Andy Oakes who was walking back towards his goal ready to pick the ball out of the net. Apart from a free kick our forward play lacked the pace provided by the missing Ishmal or James or even Smith to a lesser extent. Devlin and Claridge were not on the same wave lenght and things were not 'sticking' up front.

The second half, Blackpool started brighter, Roper was lucky not to see red when he brought down Parker, no really he didn't dive this time. Mr Beeby deemed that yellow was sufficent. Walsall were still in second gear, but on the back foot and the firsy goal came when we gave Williams too much time on the edge of the box after he had been feed by Rory Prendergast, Williams took the offer to shoot and placed it low into the net. It would have been nice to see us step up a gear but we were stuck in first, and a second goal came shortly afterwards, Williams feed Southern who fired in from 25 yards, again not closed down and some will question Oakes who seemed to go down late but he might have been unsighted in his defence.

KB who was looking a disgruntled figure on the touch line tried to inject some attacking prowess to proceedings. However Timms for Wright, and Fitzgerald for the limping Osborn, and Barrowman for the tiring Claridge did little but upset the shape of the team and surrendered midfield to Blackpool. Who went on to have the majority of the procession with out creating anything clean cut, proving how poor Blackpool were on the day. But still better than us it must be said. We have had some poor performances away from home, Brenford and Bristol, Bradford spring to mind but due to the poor opposition this must rack as one of the worst.

Star Player

Best of a bad bunch Anthony Gerrard, tired and battled but his inexperienced showed with the goals conceeded.

Player Ratings

Andy Oakes

In truth had little to do for the majority of the game will be diappointed to let two in.

Daniel Fox

The youngster did well against the tricky Keigan Parker but found the player a hand full. Not his best performance.

Ian Roper

Like his defensive partner's stood firm with little support from midfield, cracking tackle to prevent a shot on goal in first half, lucky not to be judged last man in the second half. Not at his true best but better than some of his colleagues.

Anthony Gerrard

Another youngster who did well, but his inexperience showed at times.

Chris Westwood

Mixed bag for the defender who has yet to win over the fans, some excellent work followed by some poor work, needs to find the consistancy, but playing out of position doesn't help.

Mark Wright

Didn't really get at Wilcox but lacked service going forward.

Pablo Mills

Much was expected from his return from suspension, but perhaps his worse performance in a Walsall shirt.

Simon Osborn

Limped outin the second half, but in truth found it difficult to get the game flowing again not on the top of his game.

Dean Keates

Faded in second half after some promising interceptions during the first half, again perhaps one of his worse performances since returning.

Paul Devlin

Didn't link up with Claridge as well as hoped, suffered from a lack of service and his level of performance dipped well below that of recent games.

Steve Claridge

Difficult debut and having spent one week with the club suffered from the same lack of understanding an d service. We shouldn't judge him on this game.

Madds Timm

Tricks and difficult turns and passes didn't come off for him today did try to chase back but needs to learn when to do the simple things and when to try the tricks.

Scott Fitzgerald

Asked to play wide up front, not his natural position and not a performance to be proud of.

Andrew Barrowman

Added very little to proceedings, has yet to live up to the billing given by the bluenoses.But again hard to do much when poor balls are been fired at you to chase.

Manager Rating

They have shown that they are better than this showing.

Opponent Rating

Didn't have to do much we were that bad

The rest of the season

with 7 games left 5 at home we are capable of getting the three wins we need to stay up. However performances like todays will se us relegated.

The fans

Turned up in numbers and were let down badly. However it helps no one getting on the players backs, no matter how much they desreved it.

The Players

Should hang there heads in shame, no passion no desire and the wrong attitude, I honestly think they thought they just had to turn up to win, after recent away performances....guys time to wake up and smell the coffee.

Writer:Jorge's Jottings
Date:Saturday April 1 2006
Time: 8:22PM

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