Archive for October, 2003

Sunderland 1 Walsall 0

roger6 @ 11:58 am Saturday 18 October 2003

Marcus Stewart’s 43rd minute strike gave Mick McCarthy’s Sunderland side all three points against ten men Walsall at the Stadium of Light. It was Walsall’s fifth defeat in seven away trips this season and leaves the Saddlers in 19th position.
Without injured skipper Paul Merson, Colin Lee gave a debut to on loan full back Jamie Vincent in place of Zigor Aranalde whilst Gary Birch and Darren Bazeley were recalled to the starting line up.
Sunderland dominated the first half but were restricted to long range efforts from George McCartney, Jeff Whitley and Colin Healy. Kevin Kyle headed wide before Stewart made it 1-0. Paul Ritchie was caught out of position after winning a tackle and the former Ipswich striker cut inside Danny Hay before firing left footed past Walker.
It went from bad to worse moments later when Chris Baird was sent off. The on loan full back has endured horrific luck during his time at Bescot with the red card following an own goal at Watford and the concession of a penalty against Gillingham. Baird was harshly adjudged by the referee to have fouled winger John Oster on the edge of the area and was promptly dismissed. TV replays later showed that Baird won the ball and – thanks to the presence of debutant Jamie Vincent – was not the last defender. Thankfully the free kick came to nothing.
Playing 4-4-1, the Saddlers were unable to force an equaliser after the break although Gary Birch twice came close. At the other end Tommy smith and Stewart were dangerous on the break for the Black Cats.

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Vincent Joins On Loan

roger6 @ 11:59 am Thursday 16 October 2003

Reports from the south coast tonight indicate Jamie Vincent has become the latest Portsmouth player to join Walsall on loan. His arrival, initially for one month, means he makes the same journey from Pompey to Bescot as trodden by Merse, O’Neill and Burton. Meanwhile what has happened to the much vaunted link up with Manchester United, a deal that led to a lot of speculation Walsall would benefit from a loanee from the Premiership champions this season – so far nothing has emerged. And in a week when Colin Lee’s named has been mentioned in connection with other first division vacancies, The Guardian reveals Walsall have had 48 managers in 115 years – one of the highest turnover rates of all league clubs.

Watford 1 Walsall 1

roger6 @ 11:59 am Tuesday 14 October 2003

Matty Fryatt was at last given his first Saddlers start but the 17 year old wonderkid was unable to help the Saddlers to all three points at Vicarage Road.
Fryatt partnered Jorge Leitao with Paul Merson playing just behind the front two in a 4-3-1-2 formation. Ritchie returned from suspension and Simon Osborn came in for the suspended Vinny Samways. Defender Danny Hay had the Saddlers best chance as early as the second minute after a free kick from Merson, but his shot from close in was brilliantly saved by Alec Chamberlain. Walsall took the lead against the run of play five minutes before the interval, when Simon Osborn looped a header in from the edge of the box after a poor punch by Chamberlain.
The Hornets equalised on 61 minutes, when Chris Baird turned a cross from Paul Devlin into his own net. Ten minutes later, Fryatt’s promising performance was brought to an end when he was replaced by Gary Birch. Gary O’Neil had the best chance to snatch all three points after a great ball from Merson but the on loan midfielder was thwarted by Chamberlain with Leitao better placed.

Burnley 3 Walsall 1

roger6 @ 12:00 pm Saturday 04 October 2003

A hat trick from Delroy Facey condemned Walsall to their fifth defeat of the season away at Burnley today. Colin Lee made only one change to the 16 who defeated both Preston and Gillingham at the start of the week, with Danny Hay replacing the suspended Paul Ritchie. Burnley were only able to name three substitutes due to an injury crisis at Turf Moor.
The Clarets took the lead after only four minutes when Facey – on loan from Bolton – hammered home a cross from Dean West after a mistake from Pedro Matias. The Saddlers immediately changed from 3-5-2 to 4-4-2 but almost fell two down on 15, when West rattled the bar from 20 yards. Robbie Blake then saw a long range effort pushed onto the woodwork by Jimmy Walker before the Saddlers equalised against the run of play. Vinny Samways corner was headed goalwards by Hay and turned in from close range by captain Paul Merson.
Walsall could have taken the lead but Jorge Leitao missed a hatful of chances, heading wide and missing another chance whilst Merson fired wide when clean through. Leitao eventually found the net but was flagged offside before Facey won the match, netting in the 82nd and 87th minutes.

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