Archive for November, 2002

Portsmouth 3 Walsall 2

roger6 @ 11:58 pm Saturday 30 November 2002

A 20-man brawl, five goals, two Saddlers penalties, and a cracking performance from Colin Lee’s men ultimately brought no reward. Fists flew, tempers flared, and Stu from the UptheSaddlers barmy army was first to get back from the M3 and talk about the game on the message board – here are his thoughts:
Stu – The lads were superb this afternoon (although their last two goals were down to woeful defending). We matched a quality team, Merson didn’t have time on the ball, their front two were kept quiet and we knocked the ball about well. Junior was desperately unlucky with his free kick after 4 mins. When I qualified as a Ref, I was told if the last defending man brings down an opposition player its a free kick and sending off for a professional foul.
So, when Corica is through on Hislop inside the box, and Ritchie brings him down from behind. Its a penalty and a red card! Oh no, there top of the league, so its a penalty only. Awful decision and could be said to have cost us the match. Now 2nd rant. We’re in stoppage time in the first half, Hay gets a knock and is told to leave the field. He isn’t around to clear the resulting free kick, and they get a corner. He is back for the corner, but they score when its knocked out anyway! But, Foxe goes down in stoppage time when we have a corner! He must go off and come back on? No, different rule again. He can stay on and then clears the corner out with a header. What’s the difference between Hay and Foxe? Okay, Hay was on the pitch when they scored anyway, but if he’d been on for the free kick he might have put it up the field and away from danger! Third rant, we have the ball about 30 yards from goal on the flank. Their player on the edge of the box goes down, ref plays on. Bazeley gets in a good position on the touchline, ref blows up for some reason. Surely his spotted a free kick to them or penalty to us??? An 18man melee ensues, Hislop has one of our players in a headlock. Surely a few will get their marching orders now? No! What instead, he gives the ball to Hislop via a drop ball! But, didnt we have the ball in a great attacking position? He hasn’t given a foul, so why the drop ball to Hislop? All that equals a fucking awful display from the Referee. Yes, he gave us two penalties, but he could hardly turn them down. Superb thinking from Sonner on the 2nd penalty, they bought his run hook line and sinker. All he had to go was go down.
Meanwhile spare a thought for your correspondent, whose 8-way accumulator this afternoon fell agonisingly short when Gillingham failed to dispose of Sjoke. Instead of 1,500 notes it looks like Chicken McNuggets instead.


Wimbledon 2 Walsall 2

roger6 @ 12:33 am Saturday 30 November 2002

After getting to plough lane last night and realising wimbledon don’t play there anymore, I rushed over to selhurst. After parting with £18 I joined the rest of the die hard saddlers overlooking the half way line. Amazing to see wimbledon players progressing to the Walsall penalty area in the 1st half and seeing the top tier completely empty to met with a massive PALACE logo on the seats, poor old
Matty Carbon was never fit, a bad move by sir ray. Matt resigned to the touchline after a 50 50 challenge only to saunter on just in time to get inside the box and watch connelly put the ball away – a needless goal given away. Then guess what ? Matt was replaced by Roper. But we fought back well and deserved the leveller from Thorgerson, maybe a slight nick from byfield.
Second half , as the 1st, let them get on top early with their nippy right winger, Darlington causing ziggy numerous problems, finally resulting in the only booking of the match. Then travesty, poor Tony Barras with an attempted clearance that fell to the lucky Connelly, a toe poke and it was there, very unlucky. Then we decided to battle again and 2 great saves from their keeper one from a byfield header and a tip over from a great shot fron sub Deano who replaced Thorgerson. Well done to sir ray for bringing on the 2 subs, we were a different team.
Some battling displays, hats off to Bennett, Carlos showed some neat footwork at times and both Darrens did well. But last but not least the portuguese man of war JORGE LEITAO what a strike, superb and didn’t he love it too, racing over to the 150 or so saddlers with great emotion, JORGE IS BACK.

Walsall 1 Gillingham 0

roger6 @ 11:58 pm Saturday 23 November 2002

A highly satisfactory debut for the Purple stand today as Walsall collected 3 points with a 1-0 home win over Gillingham to draw slightly clearer of the dreaded drop zone. Junior got the goal early on, but a failure to convert further chances meant the Saddlers were under pressure for much of the second half, although Jimmy Walker was hardly tested. Many UptheSaddlers regulars were at today’s historic game – here’s a selection of their thoughts:
Paul G – It was finger nail chewing stuff even though I can’t remember Gillingham having a decent effort all game. Jimmy’s only save came from Wracks chested back pass. Gills were poor. We seriously need to consider signing Junior up long term. Clearly we can not play the ball to him in the air but on the floor he is full of tricks and has linked well with Leitao and Corica. Heard Colin Lee telling WM he wants to bring another player in on the way home. Personally I’d keep the cash for Junior.
Geoff Whiting – All in all perhaps a rather Graydon-esque victory, but a very vital three points from a non-too-satisfying display, and some useful results for us elsewhere to go with it. Well it’s about time our fortunes changed a bit after some cruel results lately.
Dave Mickle – We do seem to panic a little at the back when we come under pressure, so many times second half we tried to knock the ball away blindly and gave it straight back to them. A little composure is needed. Good inter-change play again up front and we should have had more goals, we may have paid dearly if the opposition had have been better. Clear penalty for the Gills second half could not believe neither the ref or assistant gave it but we are owed a few decisions this year.

Wimbledon 3 Walsall 2

roger6 @ 11:59 pm Sunday 17 November 2002

Another late show shocker for Saddlers fans as Wimbledon grabbed a 94th minute winner in a game overshadowed by the referee. Let’s hope Colin Lee brings in the quality loan signing at left back this week that is much rumoured – in the meantime here is fan reaction from Selhurst Park:
Surrey Saddler – Just back from gloomy Thornton Heath. Once again we went down in a match we could well have won. The Dons were dominant in the first 10 or 15 minutes. We were playing three at the back, i.e. Pollet, Hay and Carbon and as time went by we came more into it. Bazeley was doing well on the right but it would have been good to see Wrack in a more attacking role on the left. He seemed to be covering for Carbon and playing in a very defensive way. They got one against the run of play but our heads held high and Junior scrambled an equaliser just before half time. We had plenty of posession in the second half and looked much the better side. Then they got a penalty. Too far away to see what it was all about but there were prolonged protest from our lads resulting in the usual yellow cards. The ref gave us a penalty when Jorge was felled and Sonner converted superbly. It seemed that the ref wanted to equal matters up!! So much for the first pen! We continued to push. O’Connor was superb throughout.Then what is coming to be the inevitable happened. Same old story I am afraid.
Sheffield Saddler – Very worrying that only Grimsby and Stoke have conceeded more goals than us. I just cannot understand how this can happen when we have a defensive squad of Carbon, Hay, Roper, Bazeley and Aranalde. With Pollet now from the Wolves. Basically all except Roper and Aranalde have come from clubs who are now in the premiership(Hay and Carbon) or have a decent first division status(Pollet and Bazeley). The only thing I can put it down to is lack of concentration and sloppy mistakes.

Leicester 2 Walsall 0

roger6 @ 11:59 pm Saturday 09 November 2002

The Saddlers completed an exhausting week with a 2-0 defeat at high-flying Leicester, a club more than £20 million in debt. But fair play to Micky Adams’ team, by all accounts they were the best outfit we’ve faced this season, and if they get back to the Premiership, maybe those debts will ease. They certainly don’t seem to be missing pint-sized thug Dennis Wise. Our own Sheffield Saddler was at the game, and he faxed us his post-match thoughts:
Just got back from Leicester.
Thought today we played the best team in the division we have met so far by miles. We were basically outclassed for about 80 minutes, except for a 10 minute spell at the beginning of the second half.
If it wasnt for some sorry finishing and the brilliance of SUPER JIM, we would have been 4-0 down at half time. To get away with a 2-0 defeat was incredible. Still we had to meet a good team one week, as I have not been impressed by one team so far this season apart from today. Walker and Roper our best players by a mile. Can’t really say much more.

Blackburn 2 Walsall 2

roger6 @ 12:00 am Wednesday 06 November 2002

The Saddlers were denied tonight in a penalty shootout at cup holders Blackburn – and those of us who couldn’t make it had to put up with what passes for BBC Radio 5′s coverage of live football. Two blokes in a studio taking the piss out of a reporter at the game who didn’t have a clue who any of the players taking the penalties were. Listen lads, next time don’t bother – take the £3 billion licence fee money and keep spending it on quality like Fame Academy or BBC management seminars. If Arsenal or Chelsea had been involved, would we have got the failed attempt at satire? Probably not…

Walsall 4 Stoke 2

roger6 @ 12:00 am Saturday 02 November 2002

The Saddlers home scoring spree continued against struggling Stoke today, and this time the team hung on to their lead, emerging with a 4-2 victory. All the goals came in the second half – Leitao grabbing the first two, then Junior (scoring for the third consecutive game). Just when Saddlers fans though they could sit back, a controversial goal from Stoke which Ward thought hadn’t crossed the line was given, and another a few minutes later increased the nerves. But sanity was restored when substitute Zdrilic was pushed in the box, and Zigor continued his impressive penalty scoring record with an emphatic drive. Walsall move up to 15th in the table – six points clear of the drop zone, eight off the play-offs. Three tricky away games now to look forward to – away to holders Blackburn in the Worthingtons midweek, then to 2nd place Leicester, before a London visit to supporter-less Wimbledon, who had a good win today over Norwich.

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