Archive for August, 2001

Walsall 1 Birmingham 2

roger6 @ 12:42 am Monday 27 August 2001

Reflections on Saturday’s first league defeat at home to Birmingham by contributors to the message board:
Pelsall Saddler
Well, our first defeat of the season, and it felt frighteningly like the last time in Div 1 – don’t take your chances and you get punished. Remember points lost last time against Ipswich, Norwich, Q.P.R. etc………
Having said that, Walsall will play worse than that, and win this season.Once again, it was in midfield where we missed out. Martin O’Conner will not have an easier afternoon than today, Bennett worked hard, but never imposed himself on the game,Deanno, for all his effort looked out of his league, the only bit of class came from Fitzroy when he came on. Up front, I thought we did O.K. apart from missing too many chances, Erivelto, when he was given a free role, looked a different class, and Don typically worked his nuts off.
Blues? Well they are a nasty side, with nasty players, and nasty fans, and they will get a lot more sendings-off this season, but they took their chances, and fought like tigers in the second half, and you can’t really deny them the points. They will be close to the top come the end of the season. I don’t think we need to panic, but I do think we need some new faces in centre midfield.

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Watford 2 Walsall 1

roger6 @ 12:41 am Monday 27 August 2001

A second 2-1 defeat in 48 hours – this time at Watford, a disappointment for Saddlers fans particularly as for so long today it looked as though we could/should have got so much more.
Vialli’s Watford have a number of new faces and are clearly adapting to the former Chelsea boss’s influence – early season was definitely the time to play them. But no points to show for our efforts today.
Sir Ray made 3 changes from Saturday, surprisingly dropping Leitao to the bench, as well as Byfield and Tillson, bringing in Goodman, Gadsby and Wrack, Erivelto moving up front alongside Don. A lacklustre first half saw Walsall have the best chance, Don Goodman heading wide on 2 minutes just four yards out, though for much of the other 44 minutes Walsall had very little of the ball. The break did the business however, as Jorge came on and scored with his first touch – heading home completely unmarked from a great ball from courtesy of a Dean Keates free-kick. Almost exactly the same chance Don had missed 45 minutes earlier!
We did look fairly comfortable for the next few minutes until Watford’s veteran Italian defender Galli headed in on 68 minutes.
Twelve minutes later Allan Neilsen won it for the Hornets when he followed up Marcus Gayle’s free-kick which Jimmy Walker could only flap straight into the Dane’s path.
So 4 points from 2 games has now turned into 4 from 4, and with away league games at Crewe and Burnley next on the agenda, things are beginning to get a bit tense – points are needed swiftly and an extra midfielder may be required to get them.

Exeter 0 Walsall 1

roger6 @ 12:42 am Tuesday 21 August 2001

A goal midway through the second half by Erivelto was enough to send the Saddlers into the next round in a game where Exeter battled bravely without reward – Christian Roberts in particular forcing a number of saves from Lee Harper in the Walsall goal.
The goal came when Don Goodman got on the end of a through ball from Fitzroy Simpson – Goodman’s initial effort was blocked by the keeper, but the ball rebounded to our Brazilian who tapped it in.

Preston 1 Walsall 1

roger6 @ 12:43 am Sunday 19 August 2001

A very good result and a decent performance to match against an awkward and talented PNE and an awkward and biased set of officials.
Gadsby was excellent, Byfield non-stop, Barras a rock and a special mention for Wrack who came on and did superbly and very nearly won it for us at the death.
The only negative was Bennett who wasn’t challenging for the ball, his control was poor and he gave away possession far too often and nearly cost us the game. He was perhaps busy admiring Sean Gregan who was superb for them (apart from a horrible tackle on Deano). If Gregan & Bennett had swapped sides we’d have won and we’d look as though we really belong at this level, which is credit to the rest of the lads and the management

It Started With a Win

roger6 @ 12:43 am Saturday 11 August 2001

A superb start for Sir Ray and the lads today in the big opening-day derby with the Baggies. Jorge Leitao continued where he left off last season with a powerful header on 38 minutes from a superb cross by debut-boy Herivelto – our new Brazilian winger. After missing chances to increase the lead West Brom equalised on 55 minutes through Neil Clement via a free kick, but the Saddlers stormed back to take all 3 points courtesy of Tony Barras – who bundled the ball over the line after keeper Hoult failed to hold Tony’s initial effort following a Dean Keates free-kick.
Other notable opening day results – Preston, who we play next, smashed 5-0 at Gillingham.

Fitz Back at Bescot

roger6 @ 12:44 am Thursday 09 August 2001

Word reaches us this morning that midfielder Fitzroy Simpson has signed for the Saddlers – a dramatic u-turn for the club who announced last month they had failed to agree terms. Simpson played a significant role in our promotion push after joining on loan in March.
The official Hearts website has confirmed the news with this statement:
“Hearts can today confirm that midfielder Fitzroy Simpson has been released from his contract in order that he can negotiate a permanent move to Walsall, which we understand may well be concluded and announced later in the day.”
More news as we get it….please note we are several hours ahead of the official site with this story.

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