Walsall progressed to the second round of the LDV Vans Trophy after a 1-0 win over Rushden at Bescot tonight. Jorge Leitao scrambled home a 75th minute winner after Matty Fryatt’s drive had been parried by keeper Billy Turley. It could have been more, as player manager Paul Merson struck the bar with a late chip. The Saddlers were also indebted to keeper Mark Paston, who dived to his left to save David Bell’s first half spot kick.
Archive for September, 2004
Walsall were unbeaten at home. Brentford were yet to win away. John Solakoâ€™s thirtieth minute penalty changed all that at Bescot today, as the Bees beat the Saddlers 1-0 this afternoon.
Manager Paul Merson made several changes after last Saturdayâ€™s dismal defeat at Chesterfield, bringing in Daryl and Kris Taylor, dropping himself and coach Simon Osborn and switching formations to 4-4-2.
The changes failed to stop the rot however, and Solako sent Paston the wrong way from twelve yards after skipper Wrack had fouled Isiah Rankin. Brentford created far more chances in a scrappy match, with a Solako cross hitting the bar and a Rankin effort trickling past the post.
Merson threw on Atieno and played with three strikers for the final 34 minutes but still the Saddlers couldnâ€™t break through. Solako struck the bar (71) with a fierce drive whilst ex Walsall loanee Deon Burton had a header cleared off the line from Mark Wright. Leitaoâ€™s late effort, palmed aside by keeper Stuart Nelson, was the closest we came to equalising and even that may not have been on target.
Walsall were deservedly beaten 1-0 by Chesterfield at Saltergate today thanks to Mark Hudsonâ€™s 21st minute strike.
The Saddlers rarely threatened in a poor first half, although Michael Standing did have a goal disallowed for offside and Julian Bennettâ€™s overhead kick was well saved by Carl Muggleton. Top scorer Tcham N’Toya-Zoa and man of the match Jamal Campbell-Ryce â€“ on loan from Charlton â€“ terrorised the Saddlers with their pace and Emblen, Kinsella and Leitao were all booked. Hudson then prodded home the winner when N’Toyaâ€™s effort was superbly palmed away by Paston.
Emblen was replaced by Roper at the break to save the skipper from an inevitable red card. Taylor and Williams were also sent on as wingers in a bid to save the game but when â€œthe best midfield in the leagueâ€ (quote Paul Merson) are made to look invisible by Chesterfield (!), things are not looking good. Walsall did pin the Spireites into their own half for the final twenty minutes but Fryatt, Williams. Leitao and Taylor were unable to find a break through. Merson curled a shot just wide, Leitao ran 50 yards before managing a weak shot whilst Kinsellaâ€™s powerful drive was blocked.
Walsall: Paston, Bennett, Emblen (Roper 45), Wright, Wrack, Merson, Kinsella (Williams 75), Osborn, Standing (Daryl Taylor 53), Leitao, Fryatt. Subs Not Used: McKinney, Birch.
Michael Standingâ€™s first goal for Walsall was not enough to earn all three points for the Saddlers at home to Sheffield Wednesday today.
Manager Paul Merson made changes following a 1-3 defeat at Doncaster last time around, bringing in new signing Jon Brewers in place of Darren Bazeley. Kofi Dakinah replaced an out of sorts Neil Emblen, Mark Kinsella came into the midfield alongside Standing and Leroy Williams made his first Walsall start.
Wednesday took the lead after 16 minutes following a series of errors in the home defence; Mark Paston almost stopped Steve Maclean from scoring only for Glenn Whelan to beat Julian Bennett to the lose ball to put the Owls ahead.
Dakinahâ€™s debut was cut short by a hamstring injury sustained as the Dane stretched to make a clearance. On came Neil Emblen, and it was his far post header from Aranaldeâ€™s free kick which enabled Standing to fire through Lucasâ€™s legs from a few yards out (39).
Whelan then hit the bar with a rasping volley as half time approached.
Paston produced two reflex stops to deny Ndumbu-Nsungu and Whelan before Ndumbu-Nsungu somehow headed wide from six yards out. Walsall sent on Fryatt and Merson for Osborn and Williams as Walsall pressed for victory. Merson immediately set up Wrack, who was far too casual and saw his close range effort palmed away.
Two seasons ago, Doncaster and Walsall were three divisions apart. Today Rovers further dented Walsallâ€™s League One promotion hopes, inflicting yet another away defeat on the Saddlers, who were beaten 3-1 in an eventful game. Nicky Fenton opened the scoring after 20 minutes and it could have been 2-0 thirteen minutes later when Neil Emblen was adjudged to have handled in the area. Coach Iffy Onoura was banished to the stands for protesting about the decision, claiming that Emblen had been trying to protect his face. Thankfully for the Saddlers, Mark Paston denied McIndoe from the spot with the first of several super stops. Daryl Taylor replaced Joe Broad at half time but Rovers soon doubled their lead thanks to the highly rated Michael McIndoe (50).
Walsall pressed forward and soon put the ball in the net, when Darren Wrackâ€™s effort was spilled by the home keeper, Andy Warrington. The ball trickled goal wards and would have crossed the line. To make sure, Jorge Leitao touched the ball over the line prompting the referee to rule the goal out â€“ Mondayâ€™s goalscoring hero was in an offside position. Matty Fryatt emerged form the bench â€“ in place of Birchy – after a foot injury to bag his fifth goal in six games (73) after a fine run and shot as Walsall pressed forward. Simon Osborn and Taylor both came close to dramatic late equalisers before Greg Blundell sealed victory after a mistake by Zigor Aranalde (88).