It was a useful pre season workout for Pelsall IIIs yesterday at Woverhampton Royal School versus Penn.
Skipper Danny Clenton lost the toss, but the Pelsall team reacted well for the first 35 or so overs, following the excellent start of two quick wickets from Gareth Williams. Rustiness, however, let Penn gallop away for the last 15 overs and they posted a challenging 196. The reply was again encouraging, as several players got in without being able to capitalise, including Ravenscroft, Priest, Instone Sr and Instone Jr, but the mainstay . . . . . .
Oh, wrong game is it? Sorry!
Walsall went down to Kent yesterday and actually came back with an away win against the old enemy.
Kinsella had lost the injured Smith and the disappointing Timm and decided, thankfully, to also dispense with the services of Leary, leaving only the most hungry of the loanees, Mills, Claridge and James in the team. Back came Wright, Roper and Demontagnac in a straight 4 4 2, with Mills and Keates holding and the wingers breaking forward.
This was no classic game, with the hosts looking poor as well as not that bothered, but it was a welcome, fighting one. Gillingham, despite having three golden chances in the first half, couldn’t score and the match was won when their ‘keeper spilled a not terribly difficult Keates free kick into the path of Claridge, just three yards out, who gleefully hit home his opening goal for the Saddlers.
Claridge also, of course, had the pleasure of scoring against a former employer, but, in his case, just about every goal he scores must be!
Even the Gillingham Rivals site, GillsConnect, admitted that the Saddlers deserved all three points (and, incidently, complimented the travelling fans and wished us well for next season):
Perhaps the thought that is best to hang on to here is that the history of this football club really changed one afternoon at the Priestfield Stadium, when a bunch of no hopers, tipped by the Bookies to go down, scrapped and fought for a 1 – 0 win, which came courtesy of an own goal.
The Manager that day was Ray Graydon and the team went on that season to gain promotion to the second tier of English football and the rest is history.
Perhaps the Priestfield yesterday saw the start of the fight back that will wipe out the pain and suffering of the last two appalling seasons. We’ll see more next week against Barnsley.