“Cause when you can’t see the light, you must see the Robins in flight"
- Tomorrow Robins Will Sing, Stevie Wonder (1995)
Buoyed by a promising start to 2020 and renewed optimism amongst supporters, the Saddlers travel to Gloucestershire on Saturday to face a Cheltenham side enjoying an excellent season.
The Robins are 5th in League Two with a record of P25 W10 D11 L4 F38 A20 41Pts and currently sit six places and eight points ahead of the Saddlers.
Though Cheltenham have lost just once in their last ten league games they have drawn seven, but that run does include impressive 3-0 defeats of Mansfield and Oldham. Their home record is the 8th best in the division and the Robins have tasted defeat at the Jonny Rocks Stadium just twice this term.
Top scorer Ryan Broom has seven goals and four assists this season, followed by Alex Addai (6G, 1A), Luke Varney (6G, 1A), Gavin Reilly (4G, 2A), and Connor Thomas (4G, 1A), .
Recent League Form
Dec 21 Port Vale (A) Drew 1-1
Dec 26 Plymouth (H) Lost 1-0
Dec 29 Northampton (A) Drew 1-1
Jan 01 Newport (A) Drew 1-1
Jan 04 Oldham (H) Won 3-0
Walsall’s last competitive game at Whaddon Road was a goalless draw in League One on 20th December 2008. Then managed by Jimmy Mullen, the Saddlers line-up featured a strike pairing of Michael Ricketts and Troy Deeney.
More recently, the Saddlers won 2-1 in a pre-season game at the same venue ahead of the 18/19 season. That game is perhaps best remembered for trialist Tomas Egert conceding two penalties. He was not offered a permanent contract.
Played for Both
Current links include Elijah Adebayo who scored two goals in seven games for Cheltenham during a loan spell from Fulham in 2018. Former Saddler Reuben Reid made 18 appearances and netted three times for Walsall whilst on loan from the Albion in 2010/11. He joined Cheltenham this summer but is yet to feature due to injury. Cameron Pring also spent part of last season with the Robins.
Midfielder Matt Richards played 86 games and scored 12 goals for Walsall in a (highly underrated, in my opinion) two year spell between 2009 and 2011. He enjoyed an almost identical record at the Sloppies before joining Cheltenham in 2013, where he made nearly 100 appearances.
Walsall youth product Gavin Caines never made a first team appearance for the Saddlers but played 143 games for Cheltenham between 2004 and 2009. He was brought to Whaddon Road by then Cheltenham manager and former Walsall Head of Youth Development John Ward.
Also, James Wilson, apparently…
Cheltenham are a very good side and strong at home, but on a decent run of form and with the 5th best away record in the division, Walsall have proved they can match any team on their own patch.
Walsall to reward our superb travelling support with a 2-1 victory.
- Walsall Win
- Cheltenham Win