Writer: Alsop Richards
Date:Sunday February 10 2008
The Banks Sradium
Walsall took another three points in their promotion push to keep them in the thick of the action at the top end of the table. After the disappointment of playing so well at Carlisle the previous weekend and losing it was the reverse on this occasion.
Walsall made one change with Troy Denney coming in, the Banks' pitch looked in bad shape. The first half was a non event for most of the watching spectators. Ince made two saves, one from a vicious Kirk volley and a fine tip over when Jamie Peters closed in on goal. Walsall's first effort came half way through the first half when Sonko turned smartly and fired towards goal but it was well saved by Mildenhall.
The Walsall team looked tired and a little sorry for themselves, while Yeovil struggled for ideas. But the key moment happened ten minutes before half time, Mooney challenged for a high ball with Mildenhall and the goalkeeper collapsed backwards under the challenge. The Referee blew for a foul and ultimately booked Mooney for backing in. Mildenhall was in quite some discomfort and needed much treatment before he limped on towards the half time whistle. It was disappointing that the Saddlers failed to take advantage of the Keeper's discomfort.
The second half started with small defender Craig Alcock replacing Mildenhall between the sticks. The youngster looked tense and his handling skills were soon apparent. Holmes putting a freekick into the box, Alcock caught and dropped the ball but there was no Saddlers player to put the ball into the net.
Soon Walsall should have broken the deadlock, Holmes crossed well into the box but Mooney and Betsy failed to connect, the ball fell to Sonko but with the goal at his mercy he volleyed over.
Five minutes later they did have the lead, Sonko sent a pinpoint cross to Holmes who flicked the ball past Alcock with a deft touch, two in two for the Derby winger. With Yeovil so devoid of ideas it seemed that the Saddlers with that goal had won the much and they pretty much had.
In the closing moments it was over, a Gerrard header over the top was raced onto by subsitute Nicholls who accelerated towards goal. His low shot was poor and easily saved by Alcock but the ball broke free to Betsy who sent the ball low into the net.
A poor performance from the Saddlers but they were solid and it's results that matter at this time of the season. It was apparent how missed Scott Dann is and Money may have to look at bringing in a centre half sooner rather than later. Roper though solid at the back, reminded Saddlers' fans of his abysmal distrubtion of the ball from the back and his clumsy close control when the ball's at his feet. But maybe the big man is just rusty and needs to get a few more games under his belt.
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Date:Sunday February 10 2008
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