The Fat Lady Sings
22nd April 2006 3pm
Well the fat lady cleared her throat over the Easter weekend and finally broke out into verse on Saturday, when Walsall failed to beat Huddersfield. In truth we huffed and puffed but never looked good enough. Recent performances have sent a very low standard, and yes this was an improvement on the Bristol, Yeovil Blackpool games but it was way below the standard required to maintain league one status.Again you can question the passion desire and attitude of the team. I am not saying that they didn't care but they certainly didn't believe they could do it.
A good start where Walsall threatened with out extending Paul Rachubka in the terriers goal. Then almost against the run of play David Graham found the ball at his feet 25 yards from goal. With the defence in the 5-3-2 formation on there heals, Graham took the invite to shot and dispatched a low shot into the corner of the net. As Huddersfield celebrated any remaining confidence visably drained away. Worse was to follow as the recalled Mads Timm who was providing the only source of creativity was forced off on the half hour after stretching for a ball whilst been fouled on the edge of the box, Kevin James came on but the free kick hit the wall.
The second half brought a slight improvement with Kevin James playing just behind the front two, worried the visitors defence when running at them but never found the final ball. Constable looked certain score at the far post when he was pulled back, the ref gave nothing, and in truth he shouldn't have had to make a descision as Constable had enough of the ball to score.
In a game with plently of niggles, Claridge and Clarke already been booked for a tussell, things went from bad to worse. Westwood in the 71st minute reacted to an Andy Booth challenge and kicked out at the Huddersfield man, quite rightly Westwood was dismissed and so went any faint hope of getting a result.
As Walsall continued to push forward, Huddersfield looked dangerous on the break and controlled the ball for long periods of time using the extra man well. It was no suprise when three minutes after coming on Pawel Abbott found space in the centre to volley against the post from a right wing cross, the rebound fell to his feet to tap into the now unguarded net.
Micheal Leary pulled one back with a deflected shot from the edge of the box as the board went up indicating 3 minutes of stoppage time. It was in that third minute that a far post diving header by Andy Booth restored the two goal margin. The left wing cross also lead to Kevin James lipping out as his return from injury proved too soon and cramp had set in.
The end of the game brought increased vocal protests against Jeff Bonser and a small demonstration followed outside the ground.....two games left to get some pride back.
If the right bid came in I wouldn't be suprised if he went. If he stays he needs to win over the Walsall faithful, but be in doubt he could be a useful player in league two.
We will need to be disciplined and organised, something we lost under Paul Merson.
The squad will need to change to break the losing habbit, but I do feel in the younger players we have a nucleus of a good team with the right manager.
Any team that is going to be competitive needs a goal scorer look at any team in league one or any of top teams in league two......we need to invest in a striker.