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Wimbledon (h) - League - 14th December 2002

Reports and reaction from the 2002-03 season as Walsall finished 17th in Division 1
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Wimbledon (h) - League - 14th December 2002

Tue Dec 07, 2004 4:33 pm

By Exile ( on Sunday, December 15, 2002 - 12:14 am: Edit

No reaction - you must all be down the pub celebrating. The meager match reports I've seen on my quick surf round the net tell me that the pitch is still a shocker, Junior's free kick was a beauty, Wimbledon were worth more than a 2-0 defeat and Wrack opened the scoring well.

How was Connolly kept out of the game, or did he really have a stinker? I can't believe it was all loss of form on his part - our defence must have had something to do with it.

Anyone got more to add? I'm just happy we can play (apparently) badly and still take all three points. Feel much better now - bring on the rest of the season.

Is it any coincidence that 49 Wimbledon fans is the capacity of one luxury coach from Milton Keynes?

Cheers all

By 4two_TheSaddlersFC.tk ( on Sunday, December 15, 2002 - 12:33 am: Edit

The Pitch was much better than last week. Connolly had chance but he just didnt have the rub of the green, it didnt go his way.

Junior worked harder than i have ever seen before, he has started to stick his foot in.

Jim Walkers Save.....Simply Class.

By RushallSaddler ( on Sunday, December 15, 2002 - 12:49 am: Edit

Was 49 the official away attendance given then, cos thats how many me and the missus counted, during the quieter moments today.

I thought it was a very entertaining game today, considering the state of the pitch, definitely doesn't suit Coricas game but still needs to be in the team as he is always likely to supply a killer ball or produce some trickery. Wimbledon are very good going forward, the best attacking side I have seen at Bescot this season, but weak defensively as reflected by their scorelines, Connelly left his shooting boots on the team coach, should have had a hatrick at least either side of half time, Walker made some good saves today, one was definitely top drawer, agree with 4two - Junior is definitely working harder, beginning to chase some lost causes like Jorge and closing down a little bit more and always looks likely to score.
Martin O'Connor was excellent I thought, my MOM, just shaded Wracky and Walker.
Good three points, just a little frustrating that we haven't moved any places up the table, but the gap between us and the bottom fours gets bigger.

By RushallSaddler ( on Sunday, December 15, 2002 - 12:51 am: Edit

PS. The clock seems to be correct again - about time

By Shifnalsaddler ( on Sunday, December 15, 2002 - 11:02 am: Edit

I counted 58, although maybe some were stewards. Someone else counted 56. Can anyone remember a smaller following for a saturday game at Bescot or FP?

I thought Mart O C was great yesterday, one of his best games since coming back home. Five games in fifteen days coming up, let's hope he can stay fit.

Walker, MOTM for me, kept us in it, some good saves and one fantastic one that earned a sustained ovation. The ref helped by not giving that early penalty for Roper handball. I've seen them given, other way round we'd have been screaming for it anyway.

Connolly looked good as he did a month ago, but his finishing was a bit off, plus Jimmy was in top form.

And a word for Wracky. Who was it said he can't finish? And who was it said he isn't worth his place in the team and should be gotten rid of? What a great attitude from the guy, he's seen off the boo boys who wanted to destroy him and come out well on top, a key member of the team. Good work fella.

Nice free kick. Junior and Corica, when was the last time we had two players who could threaten goal from free kicks? Shakey and Preece perhaps?

By Sharky61 ( on Sunday, December 15, 2002 - 11:06 am: Edit

Away end steward told me the away attendance was 62 and they counted them twice to make sure. So that's 2 minibus's, five cars, 2 taxi's and a tandem.
Does Roper play netball in the week. Clear penalty just a few minutes into the game passing the ball back to Jimmy with his hand. Used our get out of jail card with that one. If the Ref or linesman had seen it we could have been one-nil down and down to ten men. Would definately have been a different game then. Happy with the three points even if it wasn't a classic performance, we've played better and still come away with nothing. Agree with Rushall about O'Conner for MOM but some good perfomances out there yesterday, hope this carries on into the new year.

By Joe40 ( on Sunday, December 15, 2002 - 02:03 pm: Edit

and we've got Ainsworth to come back next week...

By Moaning Saddler ( on Sunday, December 15, 2002 - 03:18 pm: Edit

Wimbledon report now online.

http://www.geocities.com/pinsticker1/fo ... dlers.html

(Apologies in advance for destabilising the delicate sensibilities of Sheffield Saddler)

By SheffieldSaddler ( on Sunday, December 15, 2002 - 05:29 pm: Edit

Sorry Moaning Saddler. I think I was a bit over the top last time. So sorry. And I have even read the report, so thanks.

By Geoff Whiting ( on Sunday, December 15, 2002 - 07:00 pm: Edit

Good report Moaning. Thanks for that.

By cat3 ( on Sunday, December 15, 2002 - 07:35 pm: Edit

Great victory... our heads are up for sure... more victories to come definitely.. just remember this: only losers think of losing. We shall not keep our heads down... We shall fight until the last minute, that's our game of football... Go Sads! Let's climb back to mid table a game at a time!

Junior - awesome pick from Lee... more to see from him...

Bazeley - solid as ever...

Walker - absolutely stunning.

Roper - Great expectation from this kid...

All the best so far!

By Paul G ( on Sunday, December 15, 2002 - 09:25 pm: Edit

Junior will get the headlines (Soccer Sunday showed his goal on three seperate occaisions today) but I too would go for Walker as MOTM. The save from Connelly's header was unbelievable. Shipperley showed true Corinthian spirit by refusing to tap in the rebound.

Even more impressive (if he meant it) was Bazeleys diving defensive header which sent the ball backwards out of the area despite his motion towards the goal. From where I sat it looked like he needed to defy the laws of physics to achieve it.

Lets heap some praise on Jorge too. For the past ten or so games he has consistently played his best ever football for us. My only concern is Hay who seems ponderous at times and always prone to the odd mistake. Another one today when it was still 0-0 should have seen us go behind.

Still shouldn't grumble. We are 12 points of relegation and only 11 off the play offs.

By Geoff Whiting ( on Sunday, December 15, 2002 - 09:52 pm: Edit

Your dead right about Wakker Paul G. Did you watch the Central programme at 2pm today. As expected our game came on AFTER Sjoke despite our higher position, but they did at least show quite a bit more than just the goals, several of Wakker's saves were featured and you've just got to hand it to him, he kept us in that game on at least three or four occasions. Seeing the saves on TV, they probably looked even better than seeing them live at the game - better view I suppose.

I also agree about that Bazeley defensive header, I think everyone would have expected it to go out for a goal kick at the least, it might even have headed in the direction of the net and forced a save from Wakker, but to see the direction and distance he got on it, putting it yards out of the penalty area, it was just incredible from where I was sitting too.

Jorge's all action style is impressing most of us I'd think, his work-rate is phenomenal and he deserves loads of credit. Having Junior alongside him on a regular basis has certainly raised his effectiveness, together they're a formidable partnership right now.

I honestly can't put my finger on the defensive problems, I mean we kept a clean sheet so on paper we did OK, but we certainly rode our luck at times, plus Wakker's interventions of course, maybe the Roper/Hay partnership hasn't developed the right understanding yet, or maybe it's Hay as you've said. I doubt if CL will have missed it anyway, I'd guess he'll be concentrating on the defensive work in training this week. Mind you, we were of course up against THE in form attack yesterday, so I suppose we should have expected problems. Thank God for Wakker and a bit of the rub of the green (for a change) !

By Fish ( on Sunday, December 15, 2002 - 11:48 pm: Edit

Andy Bishop: Did you also notice Andy Bishop's performance for Kiddy on the tele. One goal (one disallowed that wasn't shown), two cleared off the line. He is a player of real promise, a new David Kelly ?

By RushallSaddler ( on Monday, December 16, 2002 - 10:04 am: Edit

Can someone tell me which game the match sponsors were watching, I couldn't believe thay made Danny Hay man of the match, since he came back from international duty he's been very shoddy, bring back the Carbon/Roper combination please.

By Stu ( on Monday, December 16, 2002 - 01:32 pm: Edit

Rushall, in all fairness to Hay, Neil Shipperly had a rather quiet game on Saturday and he also lost out the aerial battle to his marker, Danny Hay.

I thought Hay was very solid, if anything, I thought Roper was the weaker of the two as he seemed to have the job of marking Connoly, who on another day would have scored 3 or 4!

By Dave Roe ( on Monday, December 16, 2002 - 02:53 pm: Edit

It looks promising at the moment doesn't it ? We aren't playing the best football we have played this season but we are grinding out results. A point at Norwich and a win on Boxing Day will end the year on a high.

If you take 50 points as the safety mark we need to reach, it means we only need 7 more wins this season (and one draw) and we are home and dry. We are easily more than capable of getting a lot more than 7 wins. I can't see any reason why we can't end the season in the top 12 to be honest.

By Cockerney Saddler ( on Monday, December 16, 2002 - 03:06 pm: Edit

A determined, battling performance. Not pretty football and we were on the rack at times in the first half, but we became the better team in the 2nd half thanks to sheer determination.
Great performance from Wacker – MOM for me. But I'd like to give Jorge a pat on the back – he works so hard, chases everything, nver stops. I think he helps Junior in this respect. Jorge does the lion share of the work, while Junior supplies the magic. There's a really good partnership developing here.
Also, good to see Zigor back. Although he's not the greatest in the world, he does give us much better balance down that left hand side.
Here's a question – best all-time strike partnership at Walsall

By Rico ( on Monday, December 16, 2002 - 05:09 pm: Edit

Time to start looking UP the table instead of DOWN it,for the first time ever in the first division. Are we seeing the best Walsall side EVER?

By DUS ( on Monday, December 16, 2002 - 05:46 pm: Edit


By RushallSaddler ( on Monday, December 16, 2002 - 06:10 pm: Edit

DUS its Ipswich away, mate.

By freda g ( on Tuesday, December 17, 2002 - 01:42 am: Edit



By JPD ( on Tuesday, December 17, 2002 - 03:39 am: Edit

A clean sheet - all credit to the lads!

By Andy W ( on Tuesday, December 17, 2002 - 01:24 pm: Edit

DUS, It's £23 in advance and £24 on the door!

Try Notts Forest on New Years Day for a fiver.

By Ian Gittins ( on Tuesday, December 17, 2002 - 02:14 pm: Edit

Does everyone think Hay and Roper are our strongest pairing at the back in a 4-4-2, or would you bring Pollet or Carbon back? And what about Sonner vs Fitz in midfield?

By RushallSaddler ( on Tuesday, December 17, 2002 - 02:52 pm: Edit

Before his international call up Hay was a must pick player but over the last few matches he has been poor in my opinion some may think differently, to his credit he improved on Saturday, but I'd like to see Carbon get a run back in the team, but not paired with Hay, I just dont think they suit each other, I also like Pollet and I also think CL does as well and I still think we'll sign him and unload one other as well as Barras to Plymouth. So I'd give Pollet and Carbon a try together, and see how that works out.

It would have to be Fitz before Sonner in my book it gives the midfield a bit more balance with a left sided player in there, he takes our best corners and free kicks (when crossed into the area) he really whips them in, I also think he would play the ball up to the front mens feet more rather than keep lumping it up into the air as Sonner and to some extent O'Conner did on Saturday, defenders haven't got a clue how to deal with Junior when the balls played in to his feet with his back to goal.

By Ulster Saddler ( on Tuesday, December 17, 2002 - 02:53 pm: Edit

I flew over with my 3 year old son for the match on Saturday. I had rung during the week to see if he could get his picture taken with Swifty. I must say the club were 100%. The lady on reception remembered and we had our picture taken in the tunnel on the edge of the pitch. Swifty was fantastic - a real decent fella.
As for the match,(my third this year after Ipswich and Wolves) Walkers save off Connollys header in the first half was fantastic. If that had happened in the premiership ITV would still be creaming over it.
Jorge was also outstanding - his work rate was tremendous as was his hassling of defenders when they had the ball. In my book Jorge played better than Junior, although Junior can make something happen from nothing and of course will get the plaudits for that free kick.
I was worried that Wimbledon created so many clear cut chances, you can see why they have been scoring alot recently.
On a first look the table doesn't look good, until you see we are 12 points off relegation and with a superior goal difference than the clubs below. Technically we are nearer the play offs.
I was impressed by Colin Lees comments that he is looking for more players to improve the squad. Whether in business or anywhere you can never let things stand still, and I,m glad he does not appear to be settling for just staying up.
PS The tea tasted better at the game than it has done for a while.

By jay b ( on Tuesday, December 17, 2002 - 03:40 pm: Edit

who thinks carbon should leave walsall? i certainly don't because he helped us avoid the drop and he is a quality defender.other peoples thoughts plz

By Stu ( on Tuesday, December 17, 2002 - 03:48 pm: Edit

I think Hay & Roper is a simple first choice centre half pairing. Hay was superb on Saturday, beat Shipperly to virtually everything in the air and kept him quiet on the deck.

As for Simmo vs Sonner! On current form, Sonner without question. I think over the last 3-4 games he has been superb, although he seems to play better in a 3-5-2 where he was more time and support on the ball, rather than in a compact 4-4-2.

By Tim Wilkes ( on Tuesday, December 17, 2002 - 04:26 pm: Edit

I think if the players are fit, we will revert to 3-5-2 for the forthcoming games at Norwich and Ipswich


Very harsh on Wracky, butI think this is what Lord Lee will do. Then again, what do I know - I thought a prima donna was a top of the range kebab [with apologies to the authors of that joke].

By reading saddler ( on Tuesday, December 17, 2002 - 05:29 pm: Edit

i`ve suddenly realised how much better walsall fans are then reading. i went to reading sheffield united (as the neutral) and it was like being at a snooker game the away fans were quite bad aswell even at two up they werent making any noise. has anyone else been to a game ( as a neutral) and been disappointed by the crowd.

We are 18th in division 1 and still have quite a considerable point gap between relegation and us it seems unusual to me. Where were we last season at this point 23rd, 22nd? Bring on the canaries.

By Tim Wilkes ( on Tuesday, December 17, 2002 - 05:39 pm: Edit

I went to Fulham v Charlton at Loftus Road several Sunday's back. A well as being a very expensive and cramped experience,there was no atmosphere at all.
On the plus side, there are some cracking pubs around that area and it was only a £10 cab fare home!!!

By Ian Gittins ( on Wednesday, December 18, 2002 - 03:45 am: Edit

Cracking pubs around the area?! I live so close to Loftus Road that I only need to open my back windows on match days to hear the home fans' howls of anguish and 'Sack the board' chants (apparently, Brett Angell ain't helping any). What are these fine hostelries of which you speak?

By Tim Wilkes ( on Wednesday, December 18, 2002 - 11:29 am: Edit

Perhaps I was drunker than I thought, Ian! I was actually at The Shepherds Bush Empire last night and the crapiness of the boozers around The Green was overwhelming!

By Ian Gittins ( on Wednesday, December 18, 2002 - 12:22 pm: Edit

They're awful. Best bet is the Albertine, decent little (lowers voice) wine bar tucked away at the Green end of Wood Lane. Who was at the Empire last night?

By Tim Wilkes ( on Wednesday, December 18, 2002 - 01:00 pm: Edit

Lord Elton of John...not surprisingly, his toupee was an even worse fit than his suit. I was kinda hoping for a guest appearance by the future Mrs Wilkes [stage name Minogue], but got was some bloke who won one of either Big Brother, Pop Star Idols or that Get me out of the fame academy whatsit. I'm ashamed to say that when he waved at the crowd from his posh seat, an over indulgence of Red Stripe caused me to wave back with universally recognised gesture for a gentleman who is simultaneously going blind while building up the muscles in his forearm!

By Ian Gittins ( on Wednesday, December 18, 2002 - 01:31 pm: Edit

What a way to treat him. Don't go breaking his heart.

By hullsaddler ( on Wednesday, December 18, 2002 - 04:26 pm: Edit

Ian,where do your book reviews appear?
Shouldn't you be producing a top five reads of the year for everybody or suggestions for last minute christmas presents?

By jay b ( on Wednesday, December 18, 2002 - 08:14 pm: Edit

bring on the dingles.junior,leitao and corica will rip them apart

By JPD ( on Thursday, December 19, 2002 - 03:22 am: Edit

Talking of Corica (and Driller and Hay) - has there been any reaction to the news that Oceania (Aus, NZ, Fiji, Solomon Islands etc) now has a guaranteed one rep in the next world cup?

By Ian Gittins ( on Thursday, December 19, 2002 - 02:24 pm: Edit

Hull, they are in the Guardian but it's music stuff rather than sport.

By hullsaddler ( on Thursday, December 19, 2002 - 03:56 pm: Edit

Thanks shall check them out

By Stu ( on Thursday, December 19, 2002 - 04:27 pm: Edit

I'd never have linked that name in a million years, and I spose I had no reason to. I read that QOTSA interview a few weeks back, as I've seen them twice. They were god damn awful the first time and amazing the second time. At least your not interviewing Gareth "Whats a personality?" Gates!

By hullsaddler ( on Thursday, December 19, 2002 - 08:48 pm: Edit

Remembered the Catatonia article,will look out with interest for future ones. Perhaps you should do one on the musical taste (or lack of it) of the Bescot dressing room! Does Junior knows some exotic Brazilian bands?

By Jeremy Busby ( on Thursday, December 19, 2002 - 09:23 pm: Edit

JPD, as a New Zealander I can tell you the news of Ocenia's direct entry into the World Cup has been huge news down under.

Reports in our news media are that Australia think they have virtual automatic entry. Arrogant bastards. To be fair it is hard (as much as it hurts to admit) they probably have a case. If they can get their best team together Kewell, Viduka etc etc we should not have an earthly. I would liken it to Man Utd v Man City. There will be the occasional regular victory for us but the form book will dictate in the main. The only real hope we have is that the Australian Body is cash strapped in a major way and struggles to get the European based players back for games.

Again if I am honest I dont believe it is fair that one of two countries (realisticly)should have such an easy entry into the sports major showpiece. To me it proves that FIFA are more concerned with global representation than having the 32 best teams present at the tournament.

By Exile ( on Friday, December 20, 2002 - 12:52 am: Edit

Shame the Aussie team won't include fatboy Bosnich. Dirty druggie.

Agree with Jeremy above, although must add that Soccer Australia is still so poor that we (NZ) might stand a chance! Another thing against the Aussies is that getting players released by clubs is bl00dy difficult - especially if they're in the premiership, when they tend to pick up "niggling" injuries just before internationals which miraculously clear up in time for the next prem game. Amazing how money talks more than patriotism. Thank heavens the Saddlers are reasonable with Hay!

Cheers all

By JPD ( on Friday, December 20, 2002 - 03:38 am: Edit

Aussie have some pretty good players, so might do reasonably well in the World Cup.
Blokes who might get a spot in the England team (when they are in form) include Viduka, Kewell, then some maybe's.... Lucas Neill, the little bloke at Man City, Schwartzer (he can't be dodgier than Seaman) and I like Okon too.

By IHATEEARLSCOURT ( on Friday, December 20, 2002 - 12:07 pm: Edit

Er...Viduka would not get a game in our Sunday 11...though I suppose that does not preclude him from selection for England.

By flownswift ( on Friday, December 20, 2002 - 01:23 pm: Edit

kewel would play left midfield, no other player they have would get in the starting 11. they failed to qualify against poor sides in the playoffs for the world cup. Veruka doesn't get in the leeds side ahead of fowler, who doesn't start for england.

By behind enemy lines ( on Friday, December 20, 2002 - 01:56 pm: Edit

I thought the assie players were not talking to each other?

By popperpancake ( on Friday, December 20, 2002 - 08:34 pm: Edit

I think when viduka is playing at his best he is exceptional. Not sure he'd get in the england side but he'd certainly be around the squad.

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