Archive for October, 2007

Anton Reid inquest

WSOne @ 7:00 pm Tuesday 30 October 2007

Youth team player Anton Reid died of natural causes, an inquest heard today. The 16-year-old defender passed away after collapsing during a training session in August. Pathologist Dr Ye Lin Hock told coroner Robin Balmain that tests revealed Reid had a heart condition known as idiopathic left ventricular hypertrophy.

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Important: Shrewsbury FA Cup tie free ticket vouchers

Exile @ 11:53 pm Monday 29 October 2007

If you’re one of the lucky season ticket holders who have a free voucher for the first home cup game this season, that’s this match!  Don’t forget you can’t just turn up with the voucher to get in, you have to redeem it at the ticket office for a real ticket.

We urge all fans with vouchers to get their ticket as soon as possible.  Remember, you’re not guaranteed your regular seat as this is not a season ticket match.

Saddlers draw Shrewsbury

WSOne @ 5:20 pm Saturday 27 October 2007

Walsall have been drawn at home to Shropshire rivals Shrewsbury in round one of this season’s FA Cup. Our last meeting with Gary Peter’s men came on Boxing Day when Mark Wright’s second-half strike seperated the sides.

Chasetown’s reward for overcoming Conference North outfit Nuneaton is an away trip to Team Bath, who are coached by former Saddlers centre-half Andy Tillson. But Rushall could not join their non-League neighbours in the first round proper after being thrashed 6-0 at York earlier today.

FT: Bournemouth 1-1 Walsall

Exile @ 5:05 pm Saturday 27 October 2007

Match report based on Saddlersworld commentary.  Report may not reflect actual game.

Three minutes of stoppage time and a couple of heart-stoppers from Ince drew the curtain on this otherwise dull encounter on the South Coast.

Walsall lined up in a 451 formation, hoping to emulate the success off recent road trips, but failed to gain the traction  from kick-off that they needed.  At the 19 minute mark, in the first real chance of the game, Kuffour gave Bournemouth a lead they barely deserved, after Gerrard and Fox got confused as to who was covering who, allowing a cross to find Kuffour, who gave Ince no chance at close range.

Walsall’s game was based on two wide men, Sonko and Demontagnac,  but too often they found themselves compressed in the middle of the park, and this, coupled with the respect given to a poor Bournemouth team, meant that for large parts of the game we were starved of possession, and had no outlet when we did find the ball.

The game meandered along as Dicky Dosh turned to hisbench to get things moving our way, with Hall replacing Sonko and then Deeney for Dobson and McDermott for Demontagnac.  We finally started playing at around the 80 minute mark, with two up front and some decent possession.  The goal came after Deeney(?) started a lively run, and had his attempted shot/cross fall to McDermott.  He managed to lay the ball off to Wrack, whose shot hit the onion bag for a share of the spoils.

It sounds as though this was a very poor performance, but at a desperate Bournemouth it may have been arrogant to expect them to hand over all 3 points.  Maybe if the Saddlers learn to go in for the tackle, and play to the width of the pitch, they’ll have better luck next time.

HT: Bournemouth 1-0 Walsall

Exile @ 3:50 pm Saturday 27 October 2007

A piledriver of a shot from Kuffour was the difference between two poor teams at the half-time whistle.  Bournemouth are showing exactly why they’re bottom of the league, and Walsall are playing worse.

Full report to follow at full time.

Bournemouth v Walsall Preview

Exile @ 10:47 am Friday 26 October 2007

Bournemouth.  An away trip that conjures up the best in seaside memories for Saddlers fans.  Unfortunately it’s in the middle of England’s Costa Del Crustie, and most of the youth is trying to move elsewhere – generally Southampton or London, leaving a rather genteel Victorian atmosphere and elderly population.  None of this should deter our fans from attending a seaside special, with football, pubs, clubs and Monkeyworld on the agenda for this special away game.

The upside of this away trip is that the Cherries are without half their squad through injury, although they’re trickling back in dribs and drabs.  What should worry us is the fact that their club chairman has only this week offered his manager his full support; the kiss of death to both manager and visitors, historically.  Sadly for AFCB he probably means it, as they’ve only got 12 available first team players up, and have less money than a Brummie tramp for replacements.  Big Issue ought to be the name of their fanzine.

On the Walsall front, pretty much everyone’s available including, after his recent injury, Asbo.  He’d better remember to set his alarm if he wants to be considered.  Definitely still out are Carneiro and Boertein (both 4 – 6 weeks away from consideration), and although Picken may make a surprise appearance on the bench, we’d expect the same squad to be announced that lost to Sarfend last week.

Bournemouth are rooted to the bottom of the table, and Walsall’s away form suggests that a 3 point haul ought to be a formality.  Being long-term  supporters, the front page team knows this is no certainty.  It’s difficult to pop a Cherry at the best of times – let’s hope our side can manage it in the 90 minutes available.

Geordie’s pub guide to Bournemouth

Exile @ 8:27 pm Thursday 25 October 2007

The first of two successive visits to the seaside for Saddlers fans begins with a pleasant trip to Bournemouth.

Unfortunately the ground is a fair distance from the town and railway station, but the sea-front is clean and well worth a visit if you have the time.

Thereabouts pub-wise one encounters the usual themed lager-dispensaries associated with the English sea-front. In Bournemouth’s case Edward’s bar is probably the pick, especially if the sun is shining (!!!) as there is a nice upstairs decked area.

Heading from the station logically takes you up Holdenhurst Road, which is well populated with several avoidable bars, the pick of the pubs in this street is at the far end and also the nearest to the ground, namely the Queens Park Hotel (just across the park from the ground).

Anyone approaching from the Boscombe sea-frontage has Neptune as the immediate tacky option, followed by The Portman, a large corner pub on Ashley Road heading up inland towards the ground which although a bit rough around the edges does boast connections to the football club and has a reasonable pre-match atmosphere.

At the ground itself the Cherry Tree has a variable reputation for away friendliness over the years, but in recent times seems to have become more welcoming and relaxed towards visitors and is attached to the re-built main stand.

Reserves win at Huddersfield

WSOne @ 11:30 am Wednesday 24 October 2007

Darren Wrack scored the only goal of the game as the second-string defeated their Huddersfield counterparts at Galpharm Stadium last night. Wrack’s free-kick found the net just before the break after Terriers youngster Tom Jackson received his marching orders for a professional foul on Paul Hall.

Walsall vs Southend – report

Exile @ 8:55 pm Sunday 21 October 2007

This piece from Geordie:

Just as hope was starting to morph into expectation, bang on cue the Saddlers produced a display to remind us that this is likely to be a season of inconsistency.

Whether that was due to the absent Mattis and Ishy exposing a lack of depth in the squad or because several players just didn’t perform is open to debate, but there was no hiding from a return to a pedestrian display punctuated by key defensive errors.

Southend were a tidy outfit, just how good was difficult to tell as second gear was enough for them yesterday. The trio of Bailey, Gower, and Leon Clarke clearly had a good understanding and they cut through the home defence as early as the fifth minute to send Ince scrambling to save from the white-booted Gower. The warning signs were there

Neither side produced much attacking flair in the first half, and Saddlers’ ample possession often looked problematic with Dann and Gerrard having one of those uncomfortable days on the ball. The visitor’s opening goal on 37 minutes resulted from a woefully defended corner, Peter Clarke heading home unchallenged, an effort similar to the opener conceded at Doncaster.

DD shuffled his pack at the break with Wrack replacing McDermott in a 442, but despite an increase in noise from the the occupants of the Floors 2 Go the fightback was over before it began.

Gerrard conceded possession, Gower waltzed through on the left again and when Ince parried the shot Leon Clarke reacted sharper than the home defence to net, 0-2 game over.

As the game meandered on, Nicholls and Hall replaced Deeney and Bradley, but despite a flashing header from Mooney and a neat shot from Hall The Saddlers were merely jabbing at a opponent that by now had them at arms length as expectation reverted to hope once again in the hearts of the Saddlers faithful.

Mooney took the sponsor’s man of the match for his usual industrious display, but it wasn’t a difficult choice as unfortunately few others reached the standards of recent weeks.

Saddlers 0-2 Southend

WSOne @ 6:00 pm Saturday 20 October 2007

A Clarke double saw Southend take all three points at Banks’s Stadium this afternoon. Peter Clarke headed home Steve Hammell’s corner for the opener on 38 minutes before on-loan striker Leon Clarke added a second shortly after the interval. Geordie’s match report to follow…

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