Barnsley (H) Play-offs 2nd leg, Thurs 19th May 7.45pm

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Welsh_Saddler
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Barnsley (H) Play-offs 2nd leg, Thurs 19th May 7.45pm

Mon May 16, 2016 10:08 am

This is likely to be the last preview of what has been an exciting, but at the same time frustrating, season. Exciting because merely qualifying for the play-offs has in general exceeded our expectations, but frustrating because we so nearly made the automatic promotion place which many feel would have been ours but for the involvement of Sean O'Driscoll at a critical time.

Some of the football we have played this season has been hugely exciting, but equally some games have seen the team unable to impress or even (apparently) to turn up with the necessary desire or motivation. This brings us to the game at Oakwell on Saturday when we were comprehensively outplayed by a Barnsley team full of endeavour and self-belief. On reflection it could be argued that their first goal, scored at that significant time of "on the stroke of half-time" was a bit unlucky as it was only a deflection, but by that time the script had been well and truly written and we were fortunate not to be a couple down by then.

You could say that having come to the game fresh from the 0-5 thrashing of Port Vale we were perhaps a little over-confident, but by the same token Barnsley had just beaten the champions Wigan Athletic on their own turf 1-4. The bare truth is that we were second best on the day - headers were rarely won, 50/50 balls much less frequently, and there seemed to be a general attitude that gave the impression that because of our 10 points lead in the League One table we were bound to be the better side on the day. Well, it didn't work, and we weren't. Enough said.

So, what (if anything) can be salvaged in the return match? It has been commented elsewhere that no team has ever overturned a three goal deficit in a play-off, but of course records like that are crying out to be smashed. All we have to do is win 3-0 over the 120 minutes (at a minimum) and go through on penalties - or, of course, win 4-0 in the first place. I would like to say that in more than 60 years of supporting Walsall I have seen stranger things, but I'm afraid I haven't..........

I shall eat very large portions of humble pie - gladly - if we do qualify, but I really don't expect us to. At this stage all I can hope for is that we put in the appropriate effort and perhaps win on Thursday 2-1. As far as team selection goes, obviously our emphasis must be on attacking - we will never score three or four goals with a tippy-tappy sideways-backwards approach - but at the same time we can't afford to ship any more than the three shipped already. I would probably go with the same starting XI we saw at Oakwell but with a possible change of Jordy Hiwula-Mayifuila replacing Forde. It has also been suggested that Matt Preston might be drafted in as a support striker and I think it's an idea worthy of consideration, even if only as a 2nd half "last roll of the dice" from, say, the 60th minute.

Whatever happens on Thursday it has been, on the whole, a very good season. The likes of Tony Mowbray have been well and truly put in their place, and we are saying goodbye to ex-Premiership Blackpool and the execrable Crewe Alexandra.

All we need now is for MP Saddler to pay us all up.......... :mrgreen:

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*DOFFER*
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Re: Barnsley (H) Play-offs 2nd leg, Thurs 19th May 7.45pm

Mon May 16, 2016 10:51 am

:D Offer here,

Just one thing to say and its not about Thursday at all.

A BIG THANK YOU WELSH FOR ALL YOUR HARD WORK - PUTTING TOGETHER THIS SEASONS MATCH THREADS.

WELL FUDGING DONE..

:D Offer

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Re: Barnsley (H) Play-offs 2nd leg, Thurs 19th May 7.45pm

Mon May 16, 2016 10:59 am

*DOFFER* wrote::D Offer here,

Just one thing to say and its not about Thursday at all.

A BIG THANK YOU WELSH FOR ALL YOUR HARD WORK - PUTTING TOGETHER THIS SEASONS MATCH THREADS.

WELL FUDGING DONE..

:D Offer


:oops: Thank you :D offer......you brought a smile to my face!! :wink:

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Soton Saddler
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Re: Barnsley (H) Play-offs 2nd leg, Thurs 19th May 7.45pm

Mon May 16, 2016 12:54 pm

I echo Doffer's sentiments, I enjoy both the previews and the "What's going on elsewhere?!" updates very much!!

As for the Walsall Vs. Barnsley game. I think going into the first leg we were considered the favourites and perhaps were a little cocksure. Actually I think we did turn up on Saturday but very much on an individual basis. They turned up as a team and were first to every ball, quite honestly I though they were excellent. We were only launching the ball hopelessly up field because of the amount of disruption they were causing (it was like we had ten men!).
Never say never but to beat Barnsley by three goals will be extremely tough. Expecting them not to score is equally tough!!
I'll go for Walsall 3 - 2 Barnsley, end of the season but bloody proud of the lads!!

UTS!!! It would be incredible if we pulled this off....

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CooperTheSaddler
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Re: Barnsley (H) Play-offs 2nd leg, Thurs 19th May 7.45pm

Mon May 16, 2016 2:03 pm

The term damp squib was created for days like Thursday, it could have been such a special night. Still hurting from Saturday but I can't see anything other than the current 3-0 deficit getting worse. It wasn't until Saturday that I realised what a good team Barnsley are.

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scott_powell
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Re: Barnsley (H) Play-offs 2nd leg, Thurs 19th May 7.45pm

Mon May 16, 2016 2:39 pm

Welsh_Saddler deserves heaps of praise for his match threads. Always interesting and put together so well! Cheers Welshy!

Onto the game

6-0 Walsall. Easy.

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coop63
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Re: Barnsley (H) Play-offs 2nd leg, Thurs 19th May 7.45pm

Mon May 16, 2016 3:45 pm

To continue the 'love in' on Welsh's efforts - must agree with the other posts - very well written and accurate assessments of upcoming activity etc!! Thanks and long may it continue :)

It looks like a mountain to climb and even after 40 odd years of knowing not to think the obvious of our great club, I just can't bring myself to realistically believe we can do it but strange things can happen in football (contradicting myself!!)

1 early goal could make a massive difference.. 2 brings the tie into realistic heart stopping territory for me.... The permutations stop there however coz if we get to HT 0-0 or the worst thing happens and they grab a goal then it's over really..

I do though believe the management team and the players will set out to turn it round - if we start with 2 up front then intent is clear - Tom on his own and Barnsley will simply play to the system they know works against us in that formation - they did it at our place earlier in the season and again on Saturday..

I'm going for a 2-1 and on reflection, hopefully a warm sending off from the fans for a great season..

All that said - we've got to believe (certainly for now anyway!)

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chunkster
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Re: Barnsley (H) Play-offs 2nd leg, Thurs 19th May 7.45pm

Mon May 16, 2016 6:31 pm

Yes Welsh has done a sterling job well done :wink:
I can only see us going all out for a win and getting caught with a sucker punch, I predict us going 2-0 up and getting caught on the break looking for the third,then it will be all downhill from there :(

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Re: Barnsley (H) Play-offs 2nd leg, Thurs 19th May 7.45pm

Mon May 16, 2016 10:06 pm

Fack it all....all out attack with Vale Park revisited as 40 yard shots arrowing in like missiles at the goal....3-0 going into injury time...3-1 with a 95th minute Barnsley goal. :lol:

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Re: Barnsley (H) Play-offs 2nd leg, Thurs 19th May 7.45pm

Tue May 17, 2016 8:01 am

I expect Barnsley to employ niggling tactics on Thursday, little fouls, time wasting 'injuries' anything that disrupts our attempt to dominate and get some rhythm and flow to the game. Don't get too downhearted though as I seem to recall Wolves coming back from 0-3 at home to Leicester a few years back and score 4 in the second half to win it.


Five great footballing comebacks

While no English play-off tie has ever been turned round from a three-goal deficit, Walsall boss Whitney only has to point to some of the more famous moments of past football history to prove that coming back from three goals down can be done:

1. Vicarage Road 1980 . . . Watford 7-1 Southampton

After winning 4-0 in their League Cup second round against Watford at The Dell, Southampton put out a weakened side in the return, even leaving out the then England captain Kevin Keegan. Watford got it back to 5-1 to take the tie to extra time, before scoring twice more to win 7-5 on aggregate.

2. Istanbul 2005 . . . AC Milan 3-3 Liverpool

Trailing 3-0 to AC Milan at half-time, a Steven Gerrard-inspired Liverpool scored three times in five minutes to peg it back to 3-3 with still half an hour to go at the Ataturk Stadium. The Reds then held their nerve through extra time to win 3-2 on penalties, for an English record fifth European Cup triumph.

3. St James' Park 2011 . . . Newcastle 4-4 Arsenal

Having gone 4-0 down to Arsenal inside 19 minutes, Joey Barton looked like he had only grabbed a consolation goal when he scored the first of his two penalties with 22 minutes left. After Leon Best had pulled another one back, Barton converted a second spot kick before Cheik Tiote's long-range equaliser with three minutes left.

4. Madejski Stadium 2012 . . . Reading 5-7 Arsenal

Arsenal looked down and out in their League Cup fourth-round tie at Reading, trailing 4-0 inside 37 minutes. Having got one back by half-time, Olivier Giroud's 64th-minute goal was followed by two in a minute late on to level at 4-4 - and the Gunners scored three more in extra time, Theo Walcott competing a hat-trick.

5. Anfield 2016 . . . Liverpool 4-3 Borussia Dortmund

After drawing 1-1 in Dortmund, Liverpool trailed 2-0 nine minutes into their Europa League quarter-final second leg. Now needing to score three times, they got one back only to concede again, to stand 4-2 down on aggregate with 24 minutes left. But they scored three more, the last a minute into injury time, to win 5-4.

In fact I might just stick £20 notes on it :D

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Leatherman
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Re: Barnsley (H) Play-offs 2nd leg, Thurs 19th May 7.45pm

Tue May 17, 2016 8:49 am

Forgot to add:

Cheers Welshy for the match threads. It's something I look forward to every week and has become as much apart of my pre-match ritual as the lucky socks, shirt and going through the same turnstile (this gets the stewards heads shaking as usually, the queue is smaller at the other turnstiles or even non-existent).

Keep posting the updates too as I like to read the old match reports on occasion and it's a nice way of reminding me of what went on and peoples reaction to it. :D

One possible addition if I may be so bold? Is to add a poll for MoM.

Might catch you at Wembley this time? Who knows as football is, as everyone knows, a funny old game.

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Re: Barnsley (H) Play-offs 2nd leg, Thurs 19th May 7.45pm

Tue May 17, 2016 9:50 am

Walsall 4 - 0 Barnsley

To be heralded as the greatest ever match at Bescot. Morris, bradshaw, Tykes own goal and Forde winner. Mass pitch invasion to ensue.

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Re: Barnsley (H) Play-offs 2nd leg, Thurs 19th May 7.45pm

Tue May 17, 2016 10:04 am

As we get closer to the game I'm starting to feel more and more confident that we can actually do it! Get a 1-0 or 2-0 lead at half time and who knows! Lets pepper their fudge goal!

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moaning saddler
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Re: Barnsley (H) Play-offs 2nd leg, Thurs 19th May 7.45pm

Tue May 17, 2016 10:58 am

Five Loansley players to be recalled by their clubs on Thursday lunchtime.
Wouldn't that be nice?

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Re: Barnsley (H) Play-offs 2nd leg, Thurs 19th May 7.45pm

Tue May 17, 2016 11:17 am

anyone remember may 1988 when we stuffed bristol city 4-0...or did i dream that?
but, yes, barnsley will score on the break, and make it nigh impossible...

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Re: Barnsley (H) Play-offs 2nd leg, Thurs 19th May 7.45pm

Tue May 17, 2016 12:24 pm

1-1 draw.

Then we all go home and sulk and we will all be back in July for pointless friendlies.

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Re: Barnsley (H) Play-offs 2nd leg, Thurs 19th May 7.45pm

Tue May 17, 2016 12:47 pm

coop63 wrote:I do though believe the management team and the players will set out to turn it round - if we start with 2 up front then intent is clear - Tom on his own and Barnsley will simply play to the system they know works against us in that formation - they did it at our place earlier in the season and again on Saturday.

I take your point, but I don't think it's that simple. If we play the way we did on Saturday, all two up front does is give us one less person to try and win the second balls in midfield. When you lump balls the way we did at Oakwell, it doesn't matter how many strikers you have on the pitch unless one of them is a Crouch/Carroll/Rammell type.

As much as I don't think he covered himself in glory at the weekend, I'd tell Sawyers to play a bit deeper and pick the ball up from our centre halves when they have it. Or get Mantom to do the same if Whitney decides to give Sawyers the elbow. Morris can then stay further forward and get as many shots off as he can. As much as the defending was poor on Saturday, Downing and O'Connor never had a pass on other than a 60 yarder above Bradshaw's head.

Fingers crossed the players want to go out and right the wrongs of last week. Barnsley are, to their credit, a very good side, but I'm still hoping an early goal at least makes it a contest rather than something akin to a pre-season friendly minus the July optimism.

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Re: Barnsley (H) Play-offs 2nd leg, Thurs 19th May 7.45pm

Tue May 17, 2016 1:18 pm

This is my first full season on UTS and I really look forward to the match threads so thanks welsh saddler may it continue for many seasons.

Football is a funny game I went to Barnsley convinced we would do well came back gutted with result perfomance and individual players.I was sure it was over,now the what ifs and why nots are creeping in we can,t play like that two games in a row.

Mission impossible thursday but who knows someone has to be first to overcome 3 goals down why not us.

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Re: Barnsley (H) Play-offs 2nd leg, Thurs 19th May 7.45pm

Tue May 17, 2016 1:49 pm

I would like to add my thanks to "welsh" for his contribution although I rarely predict results I do enjoy reading his thoughts on the upcoming game. As for Thursday all we can do is play at our best...if we do we stand a chance as at our best we are better than Barnsley even with all their loan players!!!

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Re: Barnsley (H) Play-offs 2nd leg, Thurs 19th May 7.45pm

Tue May 17, 2016 3:10 pm

We have a very slim chance but the most likely outcome will be a brave, possibly heroic, failure to claw it back even if we do win. So to ease the pain, I'm looking at it as a job interview for Whitney and his team.

If we continue to lump balls onto their centre half's head for 90 minutes then it's a no from me. It was obvious after 10 minutes on Saturday that TB wasn't going to win a header but we were still hitting the same pass to him until he got subbed. Yes, the players (the back four) were playing the pass but Whitney can tell them to stop and try something different.

If we go for fast, wide play with a highly motivated team and bombard their goal with shots (a la Port Vale and the first halfs of Shrewsbury and Fleetwood), I'll take that whatever the end result and I'll support Whitney getting the job full time and giving it another go next year in an equally open League 1.

We all know its the only option. If the players can't see that's the only chance we have, I'm worried and if the management team can't motivate/instruct them to play that way, I'm even more worried. Time for caution has gone; forget the threat of getting caught - if they score, we'll just have to get more.

Prediction 4-2 (AET)

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Re: Barnsley (H) Play-offs 2nd leg, Thurs 19th May 7.45pm

Tue May 17, 2016 4:38 pm

I think we'll win , but not by enough.

However as a fan of close on 40 years ive seen some horrendous dissapointments (Getting battered by them on a very cold Wednesday night about 20 years ago, i think we were 3-0 down after about 20 minutes) , to nights i'll never forget (Watford 4-4, Anfield 2-2, Bristol City 3-1) .

It is a curse that we all have , however like a kid at Christmas , the waiting part is possibly the best part. We all deep down in our hearts know that the odds are massively against us , this forum and others like this up and down the Country will be full of keyboard warriors pontificating and predicting.

There is however a chance........., just a chance that Thursday night could be , just could be the greatest night in the History of Walsall FC. Chances are it won't be........but it might.

That my friends is the fascination , the love , the hope ,the dreams that make us what we are.

What ever happens , even the massive dissapointment that will almost certainly come ask your self this . Will i be walking through the turnstiles next season. ?

If the answer is yes, then we have to accept that these kind of things are our lot in life. We are what we are , Saddlers through and through , it will always be thus . I for one wouldn't change it for the World.

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Re: Barnsley (H) Play-offs 2nd leg, Thurs 19th May 7.45pm

Tue May 17, 2016 6:25 pm

*DOFFER* wrote::D Offer here,

Just one thing to say and its not about Thursday at all.

A BIG THANK YOU WELSH FOR ALL YOUR HARD WORK - PUTTING TOGETHER THIS SEASONS MATCH THREADS.

WELL FUDGING DONE..

:D Offer

Wheres Duke

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Re: Barnsley (H) Play-offs 2nd leg, Thurs 19th May 7.45pm

Tue May 17, 2016 7:23 pm

Derby showing us how it's done at the moment.

SoccerHQ
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Re: Barnsley (H) Play-offs 2nd leg, Thurs 19th May 7.45pm

Tue May 17, 2016 7:29 pm

tipton saddler wrote:Derby showing us how it's done at the moment.


They will fall short just like Brighton did. Good effort though so far.

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Re: Barnsley (H) Play-offs 2nd leg, Thurs 19th May 7.45pm

Tue May 17, 2016 7:36 pm

tipton saddler wrote:Derby showing us how it's done at the moment.


I hope whitney and the team are watching.

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Re: Barnsley (H) Play-offs 2nd leg, Thurs 19th May 7.45pm

Tue May 17, 2016 9:46 pm

I'll be there regardless. Up the Bloody Saddlers!

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Re: Barnsley (H) Play-offs 2nd leg, Thurs 19th May 7.45pm

Tue May 17, 2016 11:42 pm

Barnsley Fan in Peace.
Hi all...I'm not here to troll like that p*ll*ck of ours you had on earlier...just a few comments and observations. You seem to have a pretty fair minded forum overall...I know it's easier when things are going well..our main forum was in meltdown , almost open keyboard warfare when we were bottom in December.
I started following the fortunes of the front runners a couple of months ago or so when it began to look as though we may be in with a shout. It seems to me that you were very unlucky not to take automatic and would have done so easily without SOD .
I know disappointment often colours judgment but tbh I didn't think you played as badly as some have suggested...including Sawyers. Goals change games.. if either that cracking free kick or Bradshaw's chance had gone in it could have been very different. I would though say Sawyers was very well looked after generally by our midfield but did set up the great chance in the 2nd half.

One thing that's been mentioned a few times are our loanees..loan Rangers has been used (derogatively I assume) a couple of times . BFC are the youngest team in the whole 92 Clubs..and none of our loanees are what you may call box office signings , mostly lads fetched in to cover for injuries , Lloyd Isgrove is the only one who wasn't a teenager at the start of the season and had only played 19 first team games in 3 years all but one out on loan. Ashley Fletcher had no first team experience at all . Ivan Toney had a good number of 4th div games but only 2 sub appearances for his parent club, and Harry Chapman is 18 and never played a first team game in his life, so I think Loan Rangers is harsh.
A few picked our right back as a weak link..but Scowen is a midfielder and a bloody good one, filling in for injury at RB , and I thought he did reasonably well against Lalko..who is a tricky customer despite being frustrating at times.
On to Thursday...generally our forum is nervous..3 sounds good and I'd rather have +3 than not...but Walsall are a good side although Saturday was not their best day..keep the faith and whatever happens good luck in the future..if you do beat us you will deserve it I'm sure, it will be one hell of a game..and I hope you go on to win the final and keep your star men for the Championship...you are better than Bradford or Millwall.

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Re: Barnsley (H) Play-offs 2nd leg, Thurs 19th May 7.45pm

Wed May 18, 2016 4:04 am

Echo thanks to Welsh

Your efforts made are even more appreciated down here (as no doubt Exile and Canadian will agree) as we don't have access to any television or radio. Is always a good read on a Sunday morning finding out what happened. Remember the games kick off here in the middle of the night unless it is a night game which we follow at breakfast.

Nice comments too above from Barnsley.

Derby showed the way. They were in a worse position than us, we are at home for the second leg. They lost their first leg 3-0 at home.

Another memory is Liverpool three down to AC Milan n the Champions league final in 05. They had 45 minutes to pull it back, we have got 90.

Game kicks off here at 7.00 am on Friday. My boss is coming to visit (our offices are about 100 miles apart). Told him not to arrive before morning tea break as I have an important appointment first thing. He bought it.

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Re: Barnsley (H) Play-offs 2nd leg, Thurs 19th May 7.45pm

Wed May 18, 2016 6:14 am

Yes, excellent stuff Welsh!

I predict 3-0 to us then a win on pens.
Isaiah Osbourne hat-trick.

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Re: Barnsley (H) Play-offs 2nd leg, Thurs 19th May 7.45pm

Wed May 18, 2016 7:30 am

Hopefully an entertaining match with us going for it with the right result. Looking back at Walsall V Barnsley matches have we not pulled a 3 goal deficit back before? Unless my memory is playing tricks were we not losing 1 - 4 at Fellows Park on the 11th Oct 1963 to end up drawing 4 - 4. If correct, means history says if we can do it once we can do it again.

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