Archive for April, 2003

Walsall 3 Derby 2

roger6 @ 11:47 pm Sunday 27 April 2003

The last day of standing at Bescot saw a fine game well won by a Walsall side relaxed and up for it after banishing relegation fears last week. All our goals were scored by Brazilian Junior, whose hat-trick will increase the club’s desire to get him to sign on for another year. Have we got the cash to afford him? The regulars give their post-match reaction:
Sheffield Saddler – I thought we played some really good football today. Obviously Junior was superb, seemed today to put himself about a lot more, this is what I wanted to see in Junior as I dont think he does enough of this. Took his goals really well and him and Jorge really seem to get on together both on and off the pitch by the looks, they looked liked best buddies. Also thought Roper had his usual superb game, who would have thought a few years back he would give Ravanelli a run for his money? Quite unbelievable how good Roper is, I get more and more amazed every match, what a credit to himself and Walsall FC. Samways was brilliant in midfield, we will relaly miss him I think, still think Robinson could give us something next season if Pompey decide to get rid.
Don Rodgers – Now that was better! We even got a wave from CL! Good to see Zigor moving forward and having the thought and skill to collect Jimmy’s clearances. Much better than the normal big hoof upfield and hope. Not convinced about Robinson – what was up with Lawrence today? CL also doesn’t seem to have given up totally on Samways, so we will have to wait and see. Mind you, if there are to be budget cuts, there will have to be a bit of a clear out before anyone else comes in. Shame to see the terraces go – there was the old atmosphere back today!
Popperpancake – Great game to end the home season with. Everyone played well. Samways is an excellent player, i’d like him to stay (along with robinson). Looking to next season the only players i’d like to see leave are simpson, zdrilic, hawley and birch (wright if he’s not gonna play too). I think matias is a useful member of the squad personally. Junior for me is great, i know people say he’s lazy and he doesn’t win much in the air (he could/should have had a hat-trick of headers today) but he’s a goalscorer. In fact he’s more of a goalscorer than jorge is. I maintain as i have done all season that they are an excellent partnership for us to have. Beautiful to see stoke having to go to the last game (hopefully brighton can do it) and congrats to ray and rammell……back in full effect. Happy.

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Safety assured

roger6 @ 11:47 pm Monday 21 April 2003

The Saddlers have made history by securing a third successive year of first division football with a 1-0 win over Grimsby, a result which sends the Mariners down. Junior’s goal early in the second half was the only effort Colin Lee’s men could convert, but they could have had four or five, as Jorge, Martin O’Connor and Pedro all missed great chances.
So the tension is over now for all Saddlers fans, who can now only look forward to next season and a determined push up the table. Great strides have been made on and off the pitch, and congratulations to all associated with Walsall FC. Just a shame the mighty Luton Town have failed to join us in the 1st division, despite the millions of investment from their septuagenerian chairman.

Walsall 0 Norwich 0

roger6 @ 11:48 pm Saturday 19 April 2003

An entertaining game at Bescot on Easter Saturday spoilt only by the failure of both teams to take their chances. Jimmy Walker once again made some great saves – but Jorge Leitao had the best chance of the game when clean through in the first half, but he couldn’t take the ball far enough round the keeper, who made a smothering stop.
With first division football next season only a point or two away, fans on the message board are talking about exactly how strong our squad is compared to our rivals – and whether we’ve under or over achieved this season.

Walsall 0 Coventry 0

roger6 @ 11:48 pm Wednesday 16 April 2003

Our second goalless draw with the Sky Blues this season – but it is an important further point towards safety. Views from the upthesaddlers regulars:
Salop Saddler – Without doubt, the most woeful visiting side I’ve seen in this division, but in saying that, one must understand the constraints that Coventry are working under, and hats off to them for having the guts to do it. Our inability to break open a side as weak as that must be giving CL more than a few sleepless night. He must, MUST, address his own tactical shortcomings. Pedro would have provided the link ups which would have caused more problems than the Coventry defence ever could have coped with, and withdrawing Junior was a mistake. The only positive was another clean sheet, thanks to JW.
Stu – Coventry came to defend and get the point they need for safety. Norwich, on the other hand, need 12 points out of 12 to stand any chance of making the Play Offs. Thus, they’ll come to attack, they’ll come to play football and it’ll be the sort of game that suits us. We’ve always struggled to break down a team who puts men behind the ball, whilst when teams let us play football and leave gaps we seem to play quite well. It seems Driller must be on his way out, failed to make the bench in the last 3 games. Which begs the question, why did we let Hawley go out on loan as we now don’t have a 3rd striker?

Gillingham 0 Walsall 1

roger6 @ 11:48 pm Sunday 13 April 2003

A vital three points for the Saddlers thanks to Jorge Leitao’s early second half strike, and some inspired keeping from Gavin Ward. It takes Colin Lee’s men to the verge of safety – with two home games now to secure it. Your views on the win over the Gills:
Surrey Saddler – Three vital points for the lads at sunny Gillingham today. A strange team selection, however. Wracky was at right back and Zigor was on the left wing. We could have gone one up in the first minute when Aranalde put a low cross in which just missed the advancing Junior. Apart from that, Ziggy looked out of place on the wing- strange selection, given that Pedro was on the bench. We looked more than a match for the Gills in the first half but had to wait for 5 minutes after half time when the persistance of Jorge put us one up. Gillingham then had most of the possession and the game ended with us grinding out a result. Not pretty in the second half but 3 vital points. Jorge ran and ran, Junior put himself about. Both Ropes and Hay went off injured- Hay on a stretcher. Ward played well.
Jonny Baracuda – Bazelely’s cameo was interesting for the second time he played behind the central defenders, sweeping, as it were but very effectively.A ploy that may do well in the future against players of pace.

Walsall 1 Portsmouth 2

roger6 @ 11:49 pm Saturday 05 April 2003

For 44 minutes we were completely outplayed, but a brilliant finish by Junior spearing home a shot from a difficult angle sparked a passionate second half performance from Walsall, although we couldn’t quite grab the equaliser. Full credit to Colin Lee’s men – at 2-0 down it didn’t look good, but in the end you could say a point would have been reward for the effort in the second 45 minutes. Two amazing incidents in a good game of football – first Ian Roper’s sensational goal line clearance to prevent a third goal for Pompey, and second the ref’s glaring failure to spot a Hislop handball outside his area.

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