Saddlers super start
5th August 3pm
Now lets not get carried away, the fact is we have beaten a very poor Rochdale side, who I am sorry to say we pretty clueless at times. Although we don't yet known what the standard of this league is, it is a fair bet that the level of performance Rochdale put in is more relegation form than promotion. Perhaps some credit should be given to the saddlers for pressing Rochdale into that type of performance, who knows.
In the first half the saddlers skippered by Michael Dobson had more of the play and created the better chances without having any real luck in front of goal. We failed to capitalise on defensive mistakes with there Keeper alert enough to keep us out. In fact Matthew Gilks pulled off two stunning saves at the end of the frst half to keep the score level.Whilst Clayton Ince watched one 4th minute shot go high over the bar and made to straight forward catches...no problem really.
The second half kicked off with Rochdale threatening from a harsh free kick given by a rather inconsistant referee.Once the danager had been dealt with the ball broke down the other end were good play between Sam and Wright saw the pass for Butler deflected into his path, and he side footed low into the corner, Gilks will be disappointed he didn't stop it after some fine first half keeping.
After that Rochdale tried to step up a gear but couldn't, our make shift defence was looking quiet solid despite the absence of Roper and Westwood. The fact that Alan Picken only actually arrived in the country midweek made his and the defensive performance creditable.
Michael Dobson and Mark Kinsella worked hard and controlled midfield but that lack of creativity is still concerning, a more creative approach might have yeilded more goals.
Wide, Mark Wright did well but his end product again was indifferent. Daniel Fox was adequate and linked up well showed little going forward.
despite this Butler ran his socks off as did Sam would went off later when he couldn't run any more. We could have scored more and wasted good oppourtunities to finish off the game. In the end despite 4 minutes of added time the game finished without any real panics, a Lambert free kick and high foot given as an indirect free kick just inside the box the only times the blood pressure rose.
A goal on his debut, non stop running and excellent movement off the ball and caused the defenders all kinds of problems.
Ran Martin Butler close for MOM
Pitch was nice though !!!