Walsall’s Worst Goalkeeper?

Exile @ 10:42 pm Sunday 22 December 2013

There’s been a bit of debate recently on the messageboards as to who was the worst keeper to wear the gloves for Walsall. We’ve narrowed it down to four awful examples from recent memory, and now it’s over to you to decide!

Was it Jonny Brain, whose 17 suspect appearances for Walsall were sandwiched in between being Macclesfield’s player of the season before (they were relegated), and Nantwich’s after?

Could it be Richard McKinney, who had just three games and was behind Murphy, Oakes and Coleman at Paul Merson’s Walsall before being released?

There was also Allen McKnight, often nicknamed McKnightmare for his regular keeping cockups. He played 8 times for Walsall at the rag end of a career of bit parts, and his next contract was in South China.

Finally, how about Andy Petterson, whose three-match spell leaked ten goals in a season where we were relegated on goal difference?

here’s the poll:

Who was the worst between the sticks?
  • Petterson (48%, 119 Votes)
  • Brain (33%, 81 Votes)
  • McKnight (13%, 32 Votes)
  • McKinney (6%, 14 Votes)

Total Voters: 246

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Walsall 0-0 Daggers (2-3 on pens): Sweet FA

Exile @ 12:18 am Wednesday 14 December 2011

By all accounts the faithful were served up a dish of dross at the pre-Christmas feast for famine night at Bescot. On the positive side, we kept another clean sheet in open play, but that’s the only positive. A shameful result, the bad taste of which will linger for a long time.

Asps was at the match and saw it like this:

An abject disgrace of a performance. Smith needs to take a long look at himself and the players he’s signed.

In addition to all said by other posters above, it was a terrible use of subs again tonight. All ours used by 70 minutes, when all could see extra time was coming.

Nichols should never wear the shirt again. How anyone can try to bend a penalty around an imaginary wall is beyond me. He can retire and clean cars at the end of this season.

Freezing cold night & no warm drinks after 60 minutes as shop shut – ffs only at Walsall.

You can comment on the match thread here and from there you can navigate to All About Walsall and have your say about the rest of the season, Smith and whatever else tickles your fancy, or makes your butt itch.

Walsall vs Fleetwood preview: Caught in a nightmare

Exile @ 7:51 pm Monday 15 November 2010

Guest preview by UTS regular, Bangor Cymru Saddler:

Another Monday, another blanket of silence falls over Walsall – with no news of the departure of Chris Hutchings as manager of Walsall F.C. Will this nightmare ever end?

Apparently there is an important match on Tuesday evening, where our multi-talented professional football and management team will attempt to halt the seemingly irreversible decline of Walsall FC with a lucky, hard working, 10 man performance againt the un-lucky Fleetwood Town. There are rumours circulating that we may attempt to get 3 players sent off from the kick-off to get ourselves a boost and improve our chances of winning three-fold – whether this maverick plan will be implemented by our manager remains to be seen.

Fleetwood Town come into this 1st round FA Cup tie on the back of a hard-earned 0-0 draw against Rushden and Diamonds, moving up into 4th place in the Blue Square Premier. A side that is built on a hearty defence, which includes the large and uncomprising centre back pairing of Steve McNulty and loan signing Sean Gregan from Oldham. Elsewhere, a considerable threat will come from first leg scorer Jamie Mullan. Fleetwood will be hoping top scorer (12 goals) Magno Viera will be fit for the tie, and hope to introduce Gareth Seddon back into the first team after missing out the draw against Rushden. Elsewhere, the experienced Peter Cavanagh (former Accrington Stanley) will be hoping to provide good delivery from right-back, with the ex-Villa left back Alan Wright hoping to do the same from the other flank. Another ex-Accrington Stanley player, Ian Craney, will be hoping to provide experience and know-how in the middle of the park.

Walsall come into this game with injury headaches and selection dilemmas. Martin Devaney may be fit enough to return to the fold, but should not be rushed back into action straight away. Jon Macken missed the capitulation to Bournemouth at the weekend and may be available. One player that will certainly be missing is first-leg sending off-ee, Ryan McGivern who has been called up into the full North Ireland squad for their friendly against Morocco. It has been rumoured his exceptional skill in getting sent off to boost the morale of our side was the kicker in Nigel Worthington’s decision. Young talent, Will Grigg will also miss the game due to his under-21 call up for the same home nation. New signing Andy Butler should play after his performance on Saturday against the Cherries, when asked whether Butler did well in the game, Hutchings’ gave a detailed description of his playing career thus far – answering the question, without actually answering the question… let’s see if he plays. Clayton MacDonald may shake off a calf problem – giving Hutchings a selection dilemma.

We should revert back to a 4 4 2 formation for this game, but anything is possible with Hutchings in charge. If we do, which one of our midfield maestros will be dropped? My money is on the untried Paul Marshall, who has been given limited first team opportunities this season. The likely line up is therefore: Walker, Westlake, Butler, Smith, Lescott, Jones, Richards, Taundry, Gray, Dickinson, Reid. Steve Jones coming in for Paul Masrhall – is the only tactical change we can really make – with Jones moving to the right wing, and Reid moving up front to partner the on-fire Liam Dickinson.

Prediction? We really should beat Fleetwood at home, but as we have witnessed this season, anything is possible. If we have worked hard in training all week, watched the DVD several times of the Bournemouth game, said prayer to the giant rabbits foot, placed horseshoe’s all over the Banksss stadium – then we should be ok. But will we be? I predict a scrappy 1-0 win, but do not be surprised if we lose after extra time on penalties.

Regardless of the result, Chris Hutchings should be removed from his position as manager with immediate effect. We are cut adrift at the bottom of the league, with dwindling attendances – Jimmy Mullen was sacked for a lot less. If we want to salvage anything from this season, then we need a complete overhaul of the managerial staff, we need fresh impetus in order to make our climb out of the relegation positions we currently find ourselves rooted in. Over to you Jeff – prove you are the self-confessed number one fan and listen to the overwhelming oppositon to the current manager in charge. The attendance will be an interesting one.

Leyton Orient 0-0 Walsall: Groundhog Day

Exile @ 3:03 am Wednesday 29 September 2010

After close on 20 games without a clean sheet and 6 consecutive defeats, you’d think that a 0-0 draw away from home would steady the nerves, stop the rot, lead toward a bright future, etc. etc., wouldn’t you? I suggest the answer is no. There’s still a lot to do and blagging 0-0 against a team considered as a relegation candidate on the same night Carlisle put 4 unanswered goals past the side that beat us on Saturday rams it home.

0-0 at Leyton is...
  • a fluke result on the road to relegation (74%, 177 Votes)
  • a welcome turning point (26%, 62 Votes)

Total Voters: 239

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UTS regular saddlersam was at the game, and sums it up by phone on the way home, such is his dedication. Paragraphs and spacing are by the editor:

Not a great performance at all but not quite as bad as some will make out.

We just couldn’t get the ball on the deck at all, choosing to (as usual) smash it down the line to anyone daft enough to chase it. We seemed fairly up for it to start with but Orient were able to pass it round us far too comfortably at times, too much time and space on the ball. Same problems, different game.

Brain was a lot better than he has been. Got lucky with his ‘kick ‘n’ slip’ but made a terrific finger tip save over the bar midway through the second half.

Lescott gave far too much space away and McGivern’s crossing still hasn’t improved although some of his overlapping was better tonight.

Lancashire was fairly solid but there’s no communication between himself and Smith. That’s the inexperience showing for me.

Nicholls was poor on the right. He may not be a winger but he just doesn’t do anything to grab his chance. He has pace he doesn’t use and no strength whatsoever.

Richards was having to clean up an awful lot of wayward balls and Gray did some fantastic defensive work during the second half.

Davis would certainly put his foot in but never win that second ball.

Upfront I can definitely understand Reid and Macken’s frustrations, no service from the start, nothing was sticking and the latter showed it by clattering their defender early on. Was very late indeed.

On a positive note, we seemed to come alive slightly once Grigg came on and he seemed to unnerve the Orient defence in the closing stages.1 shot on target though is very poor but i’ll take the point after our recent run of poor form.

We made as much noise in the away end as we could really and regardless of the result both Hutchings and Mart have to go. I’d still feel that way had we nicked it. Apologies if this is a ramble, i’ve typed it up on my phone.

It would appear that the current injuries are causing problems as senior players remain out of the side. What might also be causing problems is the manager’s unwillingness to change what has been a losing team. Grigg, for example, as has been pointed out in the match thread here has played more for his country than his club, and this continues a longstanding Walsall tradition of being too scared to play the kids, even when it is patently obvious that the first choice team isn’t cutting the mustard. Is this poor play or poor management?

The big question remains – does a point away at Leyton constitute the turning point in what has been the worst start to a season in Walsall’s modern history or is it just a pause in a long litany of poor football? The disappointment in Leyton demonstrated here would suggest the latter.

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