Grimsby Town (H) 12th September, 3.00pm

Ye Mariners of England


Well, here we go again - the start of another Football League season, which has the uncertainties surrounding the CO-VID 19 presence to add to all the usual roller-coaster of emotions we all feel at this time of year. Ever optimistic, looking to the prospect of automatic promotion (or to the play-offs at the very least) but with that niggling little doubt that we are seldom a million miles away from the relegation zone … and in either scenario we look to take comfort in the wisdom of the Fishy Calculator … which brings us nicely to its source, Grimsby Town, who are our first League 2 guests.

The Mariners share our history, being founder members of Division 2 in 1892; but thereafter our paths diverged somewhat, with Grimsby promoted to Division 1 (1901) while we were not re-elected (same season). The major link between the two clubs is on the Managerial side - Walsall legend Alan Buckley was manager of The Mariners on 3 separate occasions between 1988 and 2008, and Stuart Watkiss had 3 stints as Caretaker Manager between 2006 and 2016.

There’s a bit of managerial turmoil at Grimsby at the moment - Assistant Manager Anthony Limbrick has left the club (last Friday) after being placed back on furlough, after indicating he was not happy with having to accept a 25% reduction in salary. Manager Ian Holloway doesn’t expect him to return, and will try to repair the damage after their exit from the Carabao Cup following their penalty shoot-out defeat at home to Morecambe (3-4) having finished 90 minutes on 1-1.

What Darrell Clarke will do, of course, is anyone’s guess … our defence is probably settled after the pre-season friendlies and the dour 0-0 encounter with Championship side Sheffield Wednesday but the strike force seems more fluid, evidenced by Clarke’s substitution choices on Saturday - as always we shall just have to wait and see!

Prediction? Of course it would be encouraging to start the season with a win - this would at least lift Walsall from the bottom of the table (where we are, alphabetically, at present) and inject confidence into the players for what lies ahead. On the strength of the tight defence displayed so far I’ll go for a standard 2-1 home win, with Gordon and McDonald chipping in with a goal apiece.



Great to have football to talk about again


A 1-0 win for me, i still don’t see us being prolific in front of goal, but i do see us being tight at the back.


Behind closed doors the defenders do not have nerves from the crowd to contribute to mistakes and seem more composed

The strikers don’t have the roar of the crowd to find them that extra yard of pace

Season won’t start for me until we are let back in


Why this match thread a week in advance and not one for our very next game on Tuesday night?

Expecting DC to mix it up a bit from yesterday with the new boys and other non-starters getting game time ahead of the league opener.

2-1 win. McDonald and Norman 30 yarder.

Holloway was claiming they were nowhere near ready two weeks back. Could be mind games but Morecambe dumped them out on penalties in the cup and they’re not quite of the standard of Sheffield Wednesday so that suggests they’re not in great shape.

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Never used to happen when Simon was doing the match threads. Good bloke that Simon. I said it on the other thread.


I think we look in reasonable enough shape, i think DC will stay quite defensive for this one. Ill be optimistic and say we can grind a 1-0 win.

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Going up.


Lavery and Gordon

Who knows what side DC will put on the pitch tomorrow, I don’t think it will be far off the eleven who started at Bristol

I watched the Houston Texans at Kansas City in the opener of the NFL season, fans were allowed in the stands on a limited basis, I believe 20% of capacity attended the game. It really made a difference to the atmosphere, they were loud, even with masks on, and a much better alternative than an empty stadium.
It seems that the UK has a much better handle on this virus than we do over here and I’m a little surprised small crowds won’t be able to attend games until next month. Even a few hundred fans will make an enormous different to the ambience of the game.
I can’t wait to see the fans back in the stands again.


I watched Lens v PSG last night, even with a severely reduced capacity there was an half decent atmosphere. Let’s hope we can get back to this sooner than later.




Holden (Shivers at right mid)


Would be my preferred 11 but wouldn’t grumble at a variation on that that includes Adebayo, Lavery, Guthrie, Sinclair or Scarr.

Shows the improvement in the squad at the back end of last season and the relatively positive results against tough opposition so far.

If we had played more than a handful of games this would be a “no excuses” one for me but as it is and with the situation what it is you never know. Quietly confident though.


Interesting theory there el_nombre, but I fear there will be no White,
Jules, Nurse, Bates or Kinsella in DC’s line up, he will without doubt have Lavery up front too.
Just hope he puts out an attacking formation and doesn’t fall back into his usual defensive dullness against what he will refer to as a ‘very strong’ Grimsby side. Have some positive thoughts DC, if I can, surely DC can? We should win this opener easily with the right side!

I can’t see him going without Jules, either CB or LB. He’s been a shining light in the previous two games surely if he doesn’t play Nurse, Jules plays Left Back and Scarr comes in. Which I don’t really mind either to be fair.

Yes agreed, I think Jules is one of our stars currently, but I do get the feeling that he is not one of DC’s ‘favourites’ so could suffer a similar fate to last seasons lack of games. :roll_eyes:

Based on his showing the other night I would start Osadebe , lad looks a real handful!


Score draw. 1-1

1-0 to the saddlers Osadebe with the goal.

2-1 Saddlers Flash and Wes.