Walsall at last seized their first away win of the season with a 1-0 success at basement boys Stockport. Darren Wrack fired the only goal of the game â€“ his third in consecutive games â€“ converting Paul Mersonâ€™s 14th minute cross. Merson resisted the temptation to drop himself, making only one change by bringing in Michael Standing for Simon Osborn. Jorge Leitao had an effort cleared off the line by County skipper Danny Griffin just before half time whilst substitute Matty Fryatt prodded wide late on. Julian Bennett replaced the injured Ian Roper, but defensive partner Neil Emblen picked up his fifth booking of the season and will miss Tuesday nightâ€™s LDV clash with Leyton Orient. The Saddlersâ€™ first set of back to back wins moves them up to 15th place, just six points of the play off places.
Archive for November, 2004
Transfer listed midfielder Kris Taylor looks set to join Burton Albion on loan for a month. The 20 year old former Man Utd youngster is out of favour at Bescot and – after netting twice for the Saddlers against the non-leaguers in a recent Birmingham senior cup tie – Taylor is wanted by Brewers’ boss Nigel Clough.
Walsall today released two more defenders, following yesterday’s departure of full back Darren Bazeley. Right back Jonathan Bewers, 22, formerly on the books of Aston Villa departed after only one appearance for the Saddlers – a home defeat to Sheffield Wednesday in September.
“Jonathan had three weeks remaining on his current contract and as we are not going to renew it there is no point keeping him here,” said Merson. “Therefore it is best for all concerned to let him leave now and try to get fixed up elsewhere.”
Also gone is Dane Kofi Dakinah. The 24 year old former Herfoelge player appeared twice for the Saddlers – both of which were against Sheffield Wednesday.
“It’s a shame that things did not work out for him here,” said player-manager, Paul Merson. “He is a nice, hard-working lad but we need to strengthen the squad with players who are ready to challenge for the first-team.”
Just a few days ago, Paul Merson joked that he didnâ€™t know that the FA Cup had a first round. He does now, after his Walsall side were dumped out of the competition by Slough Town. Slough languish in the Ryman Premier league, a whole four divisions below the Saddlers, but goals from postman Ian Hodges (24) and PE assistant Glen Harris (73) secured the Southerners a place in round two.
Darren Wrack had given Walsall hope, making the score 1-1 after 31 minutes when he headed in the rebound after former Walsall loanee Shaun Allaway had palmed out Jorge Leitaoâ€™s shot.
Despite dominating possession, Mersonâ€™s men were unable to score again and with time running out, their indiscipline got the better of them – Julian Bennett shown a second yellow after a series of rash challenges.
Pedro Matias today signed for League Two side Kidderminster Harriers on a non contract basis. The popular Spaniard, who scored 27 goals in 162 appearances for the Saddlers, joins Dean Keates and Tom Bennett in the Kiddy midfield. The move means that 3/4 of the midfield that helped Walsall to promotion under Ray Graydon in 2001 have now been reunited just down the road at Aggborough. Pedro has travelled a bit since arriving in England, featuring for Macclesfield Town, Tranmere Rovers, Blackpool and Bristol Rovers. He goes straight into the Harriers squad to face Grimsby at Blundell Park tomorrow.
Walsall have transfer listed former Man United and England youngster Kris Taylor. The 20 year old, who can play in midfield or at left back, joined in February 2003 and played 17 times for the Saddlers. â€œKris is not likely to play regularly at the moment, so I donâ€™t want to hold him back,â€ said manager Paul Merson.
The club have also released midfielder Danny Bryne after an unsuccessful trial at Bescot. The 19 year old Republic of Ireland teenager was released by United and featured in two Walsall reserve games. However, Merson said â€œWe have too many players already here who are similar in style to Danny. Therefore we have decided not to pursue our interest.â€
Walsall are lining up a double swoop on Cambridge United. Striker Dan Chillingworth, 23, guested for the Saddlers in a private match on Thursday and scored twice. A former England schoolboy international, Chillingworth requested a transfer last week and could move to Bescot on loan. He has scored twice in eleven starts so far this season but netted seven in ten during an injury ravaged 2003/04 season.
Also featuring for Walsall in that private match was Stev Angus. The 24 year old defender joined Cambridge in 2001 after being released by West Ham. He is described as pacy, classy and versatile and has featured at right back recently desite joining United as a centre half. Cambridge are currently Â£2 million in debt and could be forced to part with several players.
Paul Merson has apparently failed in a bid to bring controversial Australian Mark Bosnich to Bescot. The former Villa and Man United keeper, who was sacked by Chelsea for failing a drugs test, was approached by Merson. However, a source told The People newspaper that â€œPaul wanted to see if Mark fancied being a player again. Bossie was keen but wouldnâ€™t make the trip to see him.â€
Walsall were soundly beaten 3-1 at the KC Stadium after a dreadful first half performance against Hull today.
Walsall made three changes from their LDV victory over Cheltenham, bringing in Fryatt, Wright and Osborn for Kris Taylor, Bazeley and Birch.
However, Hull were ahead after only nine seconds when Nicky Barmby fired home Stuart Greenâ€™s low right wing cross. Stuart Elliot then fired in a 34th minute strike, his drive deflecting off Michael Standing and leaving Joe Murphy rooted to the spot, to make the score 2-0. Five minutes later Junior Lewis burst into the area, evaded the challenge of Mark Wright and fired low past Murphy to make it 3-0 to City.
Walsall came out strongly after the break, and dominated for long periods. Standing pulled a goal back (48) with a low 25 yard drive but the Saddlers were unable to net again. Merson somehow missed from Aranaldeâ€™s cross, while the Spaniard fired wide and a Fryatt effort was blocked when the 18 year old top scorer should have scored. Merson then came close with a long distance strike but City emerged victorious as Mersonâ€™s Walsall continue to struggle.
Walsall squeezed through to the next round of the LDV Vans Trophy with a 4-3 penalty shoot out victory over Cheltenham.
Steve Guinan fired JJ Melliganâ€™s cross past Joe Murphy (23) to give the Robins the lead but Jorge Leitao equalised (56) when he headed home a cross from substitute Daryl Taylor.
The match went into extra time and the home side again took the lead, when John Brough fired home a free kick (111). Leitao again sprung to the rescue however, bravely firing home in the 114th minute.
The match went to penalties and â€“ despite Darren Bazeleyâ€™s miss for the Saddlers – Michael Standing, Leroy Williams, Paul Merson and Darren Wrack netted for Walsall. Joe Murphy denied Damien Spencer and Martin Devaney to send Mersonâ€™s men through to the area quarter finals.