Saddlers stay up – the Great Escape

roger6 @ 4:51 pm Saturday 07 May 2011

Nine points off safety at the beginning of the year, but today Dean Smith and the Walsall lads have stormed back from the brink to escape relegation and secure League One football for another season.

Hundreds of Saddlers fans are on the south coast celebrating – if you weren’t able to make it, leave your thoughts on the message board.

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Two year sentence for Smith

Exile @ 8:26 pm Thursday 31 March 2011

From the blogosphere, it looks like some information has been leaked, then covered up, surrounding the future of Dean Smith, currently our manager to the end of the season.

Looks like BRMB’s ‘thegoalzone’ jumped the gun, tweeting about a two year contract for Deano, which was picked up very quickly and retweeted by Darren Byfield. ‘thegoalzone’ have now taken down their original message, but too late.

Now Late Kick Off are saying that a Midland club have a press conference tomorrow.

If this news has a kernel of truth, it would be rude to offer it without a poll:


Two years for Smith is...
  • a good thing (77%, 226 Votes)
  • too early to tell (20%, 60 Votes)
  • a bad thing (3%, 9 Votes)

Total Voters: 295

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Tranmere 3-3 Walsall

Exile @ 7:54 pm Monday 10 January 2011

The sacking of Chris Hutchings brought a small change of fortune as Walsall managed to come back from the depths against a poor Tranmere side who thought they’d done enough to win over 85 minutes and forgot that a f ootball match lasts 90. Still, one point is better than none as we look to arrest our appalling run of form and turn it into something decent enough to give us at least a chance of survival. UTS regular The Red Prince was at the match:

Whilst we were a bit unlucky with the own goal, and their 3rd when Butler was down injured, apart from the last 10 mins we were crud!

We were trying hoofball against a big, physical Tranmere side, and I don’t think the players knew where they were supposed to be (Variously Nicholls, Paterson, Jones and Grigg were playing the wings).

However, when Gray came on we became more balanced, with Nicholls back on the right and Grigg up front with Macken, this, combined with a change to playing along the ground seemed to work wonders and the lucky 2nd goal gave us a real lift, and you always knew the 3rd was coming. Richards could even have won it in the dying seconds.

As for the team:

Bevan: Looked much more solid than Brain (that said, so does a paper bag), couldn’t really do much for the 3 goals, but could do with a bit of work on his kicking. Also has a lovely beard.
Westlake: Got turned a few times but got a few tackles in.
Lescott: Sunday League footballer
Smith: Managed to keep Showumni fairly shackled.
Butler: Distribution was a bit patchy but showed some class
Paterson: Seemed to be playing on the left at first, which really didn’t suit him, switched to the right which didn’t either. Tried to take on his man and failed most of the time – needs to be judged in his proper position though.
Jones: Ineffective
Marshall: Poor at taking corners, sweet shot as we pushed for the equaliser which was well saved by Warner, but didn’t look up to it.
Richards: MOTM; Industrious, took his goal well, maybe wouldn’t have scored the OG if he had hair on his slap bonce.
Nicholls: Fairly anonymous, tried a couple of shots but not much else.
Macken: Had no chance with the hoofs played to him against Goodison, much better when Goodison went off – he held the ball up much better when passed to feet.

Subs:

Grigg: Looks promising, showed some good touches.
Gray: Balanced the midfield out.

Lets hope the change of play in the last 10 mins, and confidence it created can be carried over to Tuesday. We can play well when passing it around (we seemed to control the ball much better too) and we have a keeper we can be more confident in, however unless we start getting wins it may be too little, too late.

TRP’s comments regarding our comparative success playing football instead of hoofball have been echoed by many other fans over the season – we have a team that can play OK when they’re allowed to and when they put their minds to it – here’s hoping they can believe in themselves enough over the rest of the season to continue to do so.

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