"Star of the North …
The iron … of a hardy people’s will"
(The quotation refers to Middlesbrough’s traditional nickname of “The Ironsides”, not to be confused with present-day Scunthorpe United or indeed Middlesbrough Ironopolis who were a Football League team in 1893/94)
A break from League One duty and a chance to cement our current top-of-the-table place in this largely meaningless competition. It does, however, give both clubs the chance to give fringe players some game time as well as an opportunity to tinker with tactics. Middlesbrough’s position in the Championship is identical to ours in League One - in the play-off zone with the same number of points (22) from games played (12). Their defence is easily the meanest in their League, having conceded only 6 goals - perhaps an indication of the methods favoured by manager Tony Pulis? Having said that, they managed to lose 0-2 at home to Nottingham Forest this weekend…
No point in quoting Boro’s current Championship form as it’s very doubtful we will be faced by their first team.
What can we expect from Dean Keates? In our previous game in this competition we showed our usual away form at the Pirelli Stadium by winning 1-2 against Burton Albion. Kieron Morris and Josh Gordon were on target for us in that encounter, and both of them will probably expect to play some part (particularly Morris, after his late effort secured 3 points at Bristol Rovers). It must be tempting to try different formations away from League One pressures, but progress in this competition is worthwhile from a financial standpoint if nothing else, which, as we all know, is of major importance in the running of WFC affairs.
No real value in predicting this one - there is one more game to come in the Group Stage of this trophy (at home to Port Vale), and a draw would certainly keep us in contention for future matches.
I am going to this but it doesn’t really matter who wins however 2-0 to us is my prediction.
…and can you please turn off all the light’s when you leave …
It has already been mentioned (by @Welsh_Saddler) that Jeff cares.
And why shouldn’t he?
If only I’d gone to support Bournemouth, Luton or Rotherham. 67% chance of a higher level of football thanks to their financial incompetence, while we remained a well-run club…
What a joke of a competition (until we reach Wemberley of course ).
Fair play to those who go.
The competition matters as far as £10k per win matters and maybe another, less crowded, day at Wembley. A day I would attend. Been to plenty of reserve/youth finals down the years. This would be no different.
And just like all reserve/youth team games, I hope we win but it won’t kill my Tuesday night if we don’t.
Won’t be there but I hope we win every game and I’ll follow the game online as per usual. Not going to get on my soapbox about the competition like some. A win is a win and helps build confidence.
They’ve mortally wounded the competition. Now the kindest thing to do is put it out of its misery.
With the current format, can’t see it lasting beyond the end of the Checkatrade sponsorship.
As unlikely as it is to happen, imagine the furore if we ended up with a U-21 team (or worse 2 of them) in the final?
It would have been better to invite non-league teams into the competition.
I would be happier with that.
Yes but that wouldn’t fulfill what is the primary objective of the competition now which is to give competitive game time to some of the larger clubs young starlets. I think everyone would agree the competition needed revitalising, this wasn’t the way to do it. Heaven forbid they should do anything with supporting lower league teams in mind.
Anyone would think the people running the game are only interested in teams that can pull the bucks in for them…ohhh wait a minute…
No idea of the team(s) - BBC don’t consider it worth bothering with. After 18 minutes it’s 0-0 and I’ve cashed out my “less than 2.5 goals” for 20% profit.
We’re having umpteen corners …
And after 25 minutes we take the lead …. 1-0 to the Super Saddlers!!
Wilson fitzwatet johnson Leahy
Morris ronan bates kouhyar
2-0 to Walsall, 31 minutes
Fitzwater with our first, and Kouhyar with the second.