Vital Football

Latest Walsall FC News

It's goodnight from us

Doncaster Rovers
1 - 0


17th April 2006 3pm



Its the report I don't won't to right, it's where the call for help from International rescue has turned into mission impossible.

In a game which sums up Walsall since Christmas the feeling was made worse when the news filtered through that we were rock bottom of the division. The truth is that if you put on those rose tinted glasses if we win our last three games we will stay up, but the stark reality is we are down playing for pride.

So what abouts this afternoons events, well we came across a Doncaster team showing little urgency and in the first half were content to play it around at the back then look for the long ball to the head of Leo Fortune West, one of four changes to there team from saturday. Things might have been different if Andrew Barrowman a suprise choice in place of saturdays goalscorer James Constable had taken his chances. In fact he had one good chance, one half chance and the miss of the season blazing over from eight yards.Our performance again showed promise but lack creativity and that cutting edge. Andy Oakes in fact had little to do in the first half. Then in the 43minute Micheal Standing was pulled up for hand ball in the D in front of goal, although it did hit him the Walsall players protested it was ball to hand but to no avail. Up stepped Coppinger who bent it slightly around the wall and into the net past the stationary Oakes. Oakes blamed the wall the wall blamed Oakes for not linning them up right!!!

Half time results came through and the gloom grew darker. The second half started and Walsall as in so many games had plenty of the ball and initially the ball spent more time in the Doncaster half, but we rarely looked like scoring and didn't trouble the Doncaster goal. KB brought on Daryl Taylor on for his first appearence since returning from his loan spell at Hereford, he replaced the ineffectual Standing. Later subsitutions of Ishmel Demontagnac and James Constable in place of Grant Smith and Andrew Barrowman still couldn't find the break through. Although Constable missed a sitter from 6 yards, the linesmans raised flag saved his blushes. Doncaster started to come into the game more and hada couple of good chances to seal the victory on the break, also with our inability to mark there strikers. Then in the final moments and the four minutes of stoppage time we had a couple of chances when the ball played ping pong in the area but we didn't have the luck or the killer instinct to pull a goal back. Even sending Andy Oakes up for late corner failed to provide anything except a comedy moment.

When the final whistle blew it was evident the players knew the consequence of the result against a Doncaster team which if the truth is known were there for the taking. We are bottom of the league, if you don't take you chances and give away sloppy goals thats all that you can expect. My lasting memory of my last vist to the Earth Stadium will be at the end when the whistle went and club captain Chris Westwood slumped down head on his hands.... I wonder what he was thinking.

Star Player

Don't really want to single out one player but if pushed I would go for Steve Claridge, again gave his all and wore his heart on his sleeve, very rarely gave the ball away. Was guilty of comming too deep for the ball in his desperation to get things going. But the black mark is he has yet to hit the net in a Saddlers shirt...three consectutive hatricks would be nice.

Player Ratings

Andy Oakes

Did little wrong dropped one cross and got on the second bounce, even punched one clear. Made some good stops but for a visiting Keeper wasn't tested too oftern.

Craig Pead

Same as, solid not spectacular defended well didn't show much going forward. Should be ok in league two.

Chris Westwood.

Some good interceptions and battled well against the powerful Leo Fortune West. Not mistake free but his current form is certainly better than the start of the season.

Pablo Mills

Solid performance like his defensive partner got his foot in to prevent chances developing, was pushed further up field late on to help provide that all important goal....alas to no avail

Daniel Fox

Lucky not to be sent off after a couple of rash tackles following a previous booking. A question mark on how well he can handle the pressure, these are important lessons which the youngster will need to learn from.

Micheal Standing

After his subs appearance saturday was worth his start but in truth struggled to get into the game. Is it just me but he is a central midfielder not a wide midfielder, he doesn't seem to know and neither does the coaching staff.

Dean Keates

Another player which you know what you are going to get when pulls on the shirt, but he will never provide a consistant creative threat. His league two experience will be useful next season.

Micheal Leary

Playing in the centre midfield role he looked much more suited to this than the wide midfield role. His first touch let him down.

Grant Smith

Better but doesn't look like repeating his performances of games such as Tranmere etc

Andrew Barrowman

Chased lost causes but missed the chances which could have made the difference in the first half. The weight of expectations seem too heavy for one rated so highly at St Andrews.

Steve Claridge

Worked hard and my star man 40years old playing his second game in three days, it doesn't say much about the rest really. Is lacking the goals which his link up play deserves.

Daryl Taylor

You even like him or hate him. Last seasons good start was spoilt by abject displays like those at Port Vale. His return from serious knee problems showed a mental weakness as he lost the metal to put his injured leg in for the challenge. The truth is we may be relying on him providing something different next year.

James Constable

Why oh why didn't he start, the excuse that he is from non league and two games in three days doesn't wash with me. Showed more than Andrew Barrowman.

Ishmel Demontagnac

Despite his suspect temperment again we will be looking to him next season. Pace and the ability to get a cross in but like all wingers can't do anything if he isn't given the ball in the right areas.

Manager Rating

KB showed his frustrations in an animated sideline display head held in hands as chances went begging. The verbal volley at Daniel Fox to use his head said it all.

The fact Simon Osborn and James Constable couldn't make two games in three days says a lot about the training of the previous manager especially if forty year old Claridge can last 90 minutes in both games. I feel sorry for KB who is in danger of been made a scape goat for a situation not of his making. But I do question that perhaps the players are not suited to his style of play, and that is his choice.

Where to now

We are bottom and going down, do we go down with a wimper or a fight. I know what I would do, play two wingers and go all out attack if we lose 4-0 so what at least we gave it a go.
Also lets find out which loan players want to play in league two for us, if they don't don't play them lets build for next season.

Kris Taylor

Bring him back, tell him he has a new manager and three games to prove he is worth a starting place in the first tem next season, I would rather have a moody Kris Taylor than a soon to be gone Micheal Leary or Grant Smith.

Pablo Mills

Offer him a contract he is the only one worth keeping, However some how despite his brother been at the club and his local connections I doubt he will want to stay a saddler he can play at a higher level.

Writer:Jorge's Jottings
Date:Monday April 17 2006
Time: 6:35PM

Best of Vital Network


i was hoping that if we stayed up so would you- i love the encounters bettween us- but it looks like you are doomed after todays result.
17/04/2006 21:57:00
Page 1/1
  1. 1

Login to post a comment

Site Journalists

Vital Walsall
Editor email
no email

Current Poll (see more polls)

Will Walsall Stay Up?
Suggested By:
Vital Football Comment
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News
Write for Vital Football

Recent Walsall Results (view all)

The Vital Football Members League