Walsall 0-2 Yeovil (AET) - REPORT
09/08/2016 - 19:45
Anyone in danger of getting carried away following Saturdays impressive opening day display against Wimbledon was brought back down to Earth with a considerable thud tonight as the Saddlers turned in a tepid non-performance against our apparent bogey side Yeovil. The Glovers have always been known to spring the odd upset in the cup and, whilst this wasn`t exactly Sunderland in 1949 for them, they`ve still knocked out a side from a higher division away from home.
The first 90 minutes was so forgettable I`m already struggling to think of anything to include in the report; in fact, the only reason I`m writing this now instead of in the morning is so I can go to bed tonight, wake up tomorrow and never have to think about this game again. I can remember Morris winning us a corner in about the 55th minute which left me wondering when we`d brought him on such was his anonymity for the first 54. Despite this, when the sponsors named him Man Of The Match, I was still struggling to think of someone more deserving of it.
Just to prove how dire a spectacle it was, the highlight of the initial 90 minutes was the introduction of new star striker and club record signing Andreas Makris. Then, as we seem to do with pretty much every striker we ever sign, we forced him to spend his debut playing on the wing. He did almost score with his first touch, which saw an effort blocked, and then his second, which was also blocked. That proved to be as good as it got for him or us, to the point when Yeovil were awarded a free kick in injury time at the end of the second half I found myself willing it in, just to spare us from having to watch anymore.
Extra time however proved to be far more comical, but for all the wrong reasons. Defending a free kick from out wide that Preston had conceded for playing the ball. Yeovil crossed in, the ball was headed back across goal, and there was our very own Amadou Bakayoko to power an unstoppable bullet header past Neil Etheridge. Now, this wasn`t a misplaced defensive clearance that had bounced off his head at a funny angle, he properly went for it, almost as though he`d forgotten we`d changed ends again for extra time. I half expected him to follow it up by wheeling away in celebration until he realised what he`d done. He did at least attempt to make amends, fizzing a shot against the crossbar moments later as the referee drew the first period of extra time to a close.
If Bakayoko feared he`d produced the worst moment of the night he needn`t have worried, as in the second period Etheridge somehow managed to out-stupid him, with one of the most haphazard pieces of goalkeeping you`ll see all season. Having taken a free kick from the right flank, about 15 yards inside his own off, Etheridge switched off his Jonny Brain and forgot he was then supposed to retreat back to his goal. Instead he just stood there, and stood there, and stood there, until eventually Matthew Dolan decided he may as well pop the ball in the net from 70 yards, which he duly did.
It didn`t really make a difference, as we barely in the tie at 0-0 let alone 0-1, but the fact that it was a goal you could see coming a good ten seconds before it happened did make you want to run on the pitch and shake him.
That said, if Saturday`s result was met with reactions of "Let`s not get carried away, it`s only one game", then tonight`s reaction should be similar. We always lose to Yeovil, we weren`t gonna win the cup, and as the trophy has failed to attract a sponsor there`ll probably be B teams in it next season, meaning we`ll all be boycotting it and nobody will care anyway.
See you all at Oldham on Saturday.