Shrewsbury Town (A) May 4th, 5.30pm


"Oh I have been to Ludlow fair and left my necktie God knows where,
And carried half-way home, or near, pints and quarts of Ludlow beer:
Then the world seemed none so bad, and I myself a sterling lad;
And down in lovely muck I’ve lain, happy till I woke again.
Then I saw the morning sky, heigh-ho the tale was all a lie;
The world, it was the old world yet, I was I, my things were wet;
And nothing now remained to do, but begin the game anew."

(A. E. Housman “A Shropshire Lad”)

Early match preview this week for the most important and decisive game of the season. The Saddlers travel to Sloppie-land knowing that only an away win will give us the remotest chance of avoiding the drop to League 2 - the outcome of other games will have a bearing on our fate. There is one current player connection between the two clubs of course, in the form of ex-Saddler Mat Sadler the Shrewsbury Town captain. The other main link concerns their previous venue Gay Meadow - the record attendance there was for a League Division 3 game on 26th April 1961 vs Walsall, 18,917 watched the game which ended in a Walsall win 1-2 … let’s hope for the same scoreline on Saturday!

Shrewsbury Town secured their survival yesterday by taking a point home from the Ricoh (and also ended Coventry City’s faint hopes of a play-off place). On the beach already? Doubtful - specially with a large contingent of home supporters urging them on to “Send Walsall down”, as quoted in the blue-and-amber message board. Current League form:-

Mar 30 Southend United (A) Won 0-2
Apr 6 Scunthorpe United (H) Drew 1-1
Apr 13 Gillingham (A) Won 0-2
Apr 19 Barnsley (A) Lost 2-1
Apr 22 Oxford United (H) Lost 2-3
Apr 28 Coventry City (A) Drew 1-1

Martin O’Connor shouldn’t have any problem in selecting his squad for this game - just do exactly what was done for the Peterborough United fixture at the weekend! He has been quoted as saying that he couldn’t fully understand where that performance came from, as his preparation had been identical to previous matches - Martin, you’re not alone!!

Looking at the various permutations that can affect us on Saturday … the foot of the League One table currently looks like this:-

AFC Wimbledon 49 points, goal difference -21
Southend United 47 points, goal difference -14
Plymouth Argyle 47 points, goal difference -25
Walsall 46 points, goal difference -22
Scunthorpe Utd 46 points, goal difference -29
Bradford City 40 points, goal difference -28 ®

So … IF we win, that puts us on 49 points. Other matches that could help/hinder us:-

Bradford City v AFC Wimbledon (IF Bradford City win, we leapfrog the Wombles)
Southend United v Sunderland (IF Southend Utd lose or draw, we go above them)
Plymouth Argyle v Scunthorpe Utd (A draw would see us above both, A win for Argyle keeps us above Scunthorpe, and a win for Scunthorpe puts us above Argyle).

Clear as mud, isn’t it???

Prediction? Play like we did against Peterborough and I can’t see many teams living with us, let alone the Sloppies. A repeat of their record attendance game (1-2) would be ideal, with our twin strike force of Andy Cook and Josh Gordon netting.

And if it all goes pear-shaped, there’s always next season and Cheltenham Town




As usual, an excellent preview and thanks @Welsh_Saddler for the service all season.
2 nil win combined with Southend draw, Scunthorpe win and Wimbledon draw sees us live to fight another day in Division 3 next season.



Yes, cheers Welsh for the sterling work this season - always enjoyable intros to the games…

We will win 1-3 (I am certain) and those other games/results will be where the nerves get the better of me - just got to hope the footballing gods take a liking to us next weekend and by some miracle we pull it off!

Just irritating that one better result against the teams around us could have avoided much of this mess



If we win this match and other resutls go against us, that’s just bad luck.
We will point to half a dozen other matches which have cost us.

However, if we roll over like so many of those matches I mentioned, and lose tamely then that is simply inexcusable and changes nothing.



There’s no way Shrewsbury will roll over for this, it will be a battle to death, making a bitterly contested draw or single goal defeat the most likely. We will have to prize anything better from their cold, dead hands.


Shrews score first, then defend with everything they’ve got. We lose 1-0, or at best carve out score draw. Difficult.

We score first, then are tasked with weathering a colossal ■■■■ storm. Anything can happen then I suppose - from getting more goals on the break but more likely going into the finally 5 minutes either trying to protect our critical advantage or desperately seeking a winner.

I happen to think the other results may drop for us, so it’s up to the paradox of Walsall FC.



Pure mathematics

The various scenarios that could occur to keep us up are considered to give an overall probability. WDL are all considered as 1/3 each individual probability. We are already in the position of having to win so everything is 1/3 as likely before we start, no other result for us will suffice.

We need to overtake two other teams and there are several ways this can occur, please let me know if I have missed any out !

As Plymouth play Scunthorpe, we can treat that as one entity. I will consider Plymouth only for this as they are the team above us.

Walsall W 1/3 [49]
Wimbledon L 1/3 [49]
Southend L or D 2/3 [46 or 47]
Plymouth Any 1 [47, 48 or 50]

Probability = 1/3 x 1/3 x 2/3 x 1 = 2/27

Walsall W 1/3 [49]
Wimbledon L 1/3 [49]
Southend Any 1 [46, 47 or 49]
Plymouth L or D 2/3 [47 or 48]

Probability = 1/3 x 1/3 x 1 x 2/3 = 2/27

Walsall W 1/3 [49]
Wimbledon Any 1 [49, 50 or 52]
Southend L or D 2/3 [46 or 47]
Plymouth L or D 2/3 [47 or 48]

Probability = 1/3 x 1 x 2/3 x 2/3 = 4/27

Overall Probability = 2/27 + 2/27 + 4/27 = 8/27
Or if you like horse racing approximately 4-1.

The interesting thing is that chances of the other results dropping for us (ie taking us out of the equation) is 8/9. So the biggest hurdle we face by far is ourselves.



Thanks WELSH for the preview…excellent as usual and thanks AFKALS for the maths…if only I could understand them!!! If we play as we did Saturday we will win…so whether we survive at this level will be up to others…sad but true.



Great last day preview as usual welsh_saddler … You do a great job for the UTS site mate :+1:t2::clap:t2:



No way Sloppies are on the beach…got a decent 1-1 at Coventry yesterday after being behind for decent portion of the game.

That said I do remember the game v Port Vale a few years back…everyone was excited by relegating them and with little to play for Walsall put in a hopeless performance. Vale went down on the final day instead.

Think this is most likely to be a draw.



Club confirm we have sold our allocation



Shrewsbury end it is then :smiley:



■■■■■■ off about this, was told on the phone this morning that there were tickets still available, and I would be called back - needless to say, no phone call has been forthcoming.

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No surprise there mate !! Wouldn’t expect us to get any further allocation.



Ridiculous, ham-fisted incompetence from the customer services department of Walsall ‘Pride of the Midlands’ FC? Surely not! :thinking:



Scratch that, they reserved one, and have just called me back, I take it all back :joy:



They’re good like that. Never let me down once. :grinning:

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Lol… Pleased for ya :+1::+1:



“Pride of the Midlands.”



One swallow doesn’t make a summer (and if anyone even tries to tie a Kelly Brook comment into this reply then I’m not posting any more on this topic!) :zipper_mouth_face:



What about a belly crook?