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Walsall
2 - 0
Yeovil

The Banks Sradium

09/02/08

Attendance: 5035

Referee:

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.

Star Player

Edrissa Sonko- the Gambian is quickly becoming the low budget version of Claude Makelele as he breaks up the opposition posession in the centre of the pitch. Sonko has in recent works adjusted to the speed of the English game and his performance at Vale P.ark on Boxing Day will soon be forgotten


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Writer:Alsop Richards
Date:Sunday February 10 2008
Time: 3:23PM

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League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
1 Wigan 44 23 15 6 84 36
2 Burton 44 24 9 11 81 19
3 Walsall 44 22 12 10 78 15
4 Millwall 44 22 9 13 75 20
5 Bradford 44 21 11 12 74 12
6 Barnsley 44 21 7 16 70 13
7 Gillingham 44 19 12 13 69 17
8 Scunthorpe 44 19 11 14 68 10
9 Sheff Utd 44 18 12 14 66 9
10 Rochdale 44 18 11 15 65 6
11 Port Vale 44 18 11 15 65 4
12 Coventry 44 17 12 15 63 14
13 Southend 44 16 11 17 59 -4
14 Peterborough 44 17 6 21 57 4
15 Bury 44 15 12 17 57 -15
16 Swindon 44 15 10 19 55 -10
17 Oldham 44 12 18 14 54 -9
18 Chesterfield 44 14 8 22 50 -13
19 Shrewsbury 44 13 11 20 50 -17
20 Fleetwood 44 11 15 18 48 -4
21 Blackpool 44 12 10 22 46 -15
22 Doncaster 44 11 12 21 45 -14
R Colchester 44 9 12 23 39 -41
R Crewe 44 6 13 25 31 -37
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