The Lions Den
The New Den
Walsall got their first victory of the season, in a well fought encounter with a hardworking Millwall side. But just as England stumbled across a solution the previous week (Barry and Heskey) fate played a key role in this Saddlers victory.
As both sides fought to break the deadlock the Saddlers looked solid but showed little attacking intent. But Ian Roper came off injured with a bout of concussion after being smashed in the head with the ball from close range. Eddie Sunshine Sonko came on and Gerrard dropped back into the back four. Now the Saddlers looked charged and dangerous as Sonko pushed up from centre midfield to help out the ever tireless Paul Hall and Martin Butler. It was the Saddlers who took the lead just before half time. A deep cross to the back post was misjudged by former Celtic keeper Rab Douglas and Wrack looped a header back into the six yard box. Millwall dallied in defence and watched the ball bounces before Daniel Fox unleashed an overhead kick into the roof of the net.
The Saddlers knew that the Lions would fight back with their ever disgruntled supporters demanding a result. But Walsall worked hard just as hard as Millwall and defended well, Ince was not troubled as the Lions had to settle for efforts outside the error. But a lapse in concentration will be harshly punished in this higher divison and that's exactly what happened in the eighty third minute. A cross into the box found the unmarked fullback Andrew Frampton who thumped the ball past Ince.
Still a decent point for the Saddlers but no victory in the first five. Millwall now had their sights set on a much needed three points. As Walsall broke in the closing moments, three Millwall attackers watched on from the Saddlers' half. The ever improving Darren Wrack played a perfectly weighted ball down the right flank to Edrissa Sonko who fired a low cross across the goal. Butler at the near post missed and so did his Millwall marker, but the ball found the feet of sub Troy Denney at the back to flick into the goal.
Walsall are ever improving and if they beat bottom of the table Oldham Athletic next saturaday will then be discussed a playoffs hopefuls after been written off as divison whipping boys. How three points changes perceptions? Richard Money post match spoke that despite options to bring in loan players he decided not to after seeing the Vale display where he believed the side were finally coming together. Sounds like the team now have got to keep on getting the results or new faces will be in. The match wasn't pretty but the result was sweet and the football world will not be surprised if its the end of Willie Donachie reign on monday. Losing or drawing to the Saddlers is just unacceptable ask the Carlisle board.