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Gillingham (a) - League - 12th April 2003

Reports and reaction from the 2002-03 season as Walsall finished 17th in Division 1
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Gillingham (a) - League - 12th April 2003

Wed Dec 08, 2004 9:10 am

By SheffieldSaddler ( on Saturday, April 12, 2003 - 05:03 pm: Edit

Gillingham 0 Walsall 1! Brighton 0 Preston 2! Millwall 3 Sjoke 1! (HA HA HA HA HA)! Grimsby 1 Palace 4!
So we are 6 points above relegation with 1 game in hand. First Division Football 2003-2004 I think!

By Lessworriedthanbefore ( on Saturday, April 12, 2003 - 05:22 pm: Edit

Pity about Sheffield Wednesday, though.

By Geoff Whiting ( on Saturday, April 12, 2003 - 05:29 pm: Edit

Finally, the result we've needed for three weeks or more as that ten-point gap has ebbed away, great result for us today, great results for us elsewhere.

Edge of yer seat stuff, listening on Saddlers World to the most brain-dead boring inept commentator imaginable - where did WM find HIM from - hardly ever described the action at all, just reeled off a few players' names as the ball went from man to man, from us to them, from them to us, with long passages of total silence in between. Nearly lost my voice screaming at the radio "Tell us what's happening for Christ's sake!" Pointless I know, but it just got to me, this tw*t of a commentator obviously had no idea how important this game was for us. Bring back Mick Kearns and his mate !

Two terrible misses from Leitao and Lawrence to add to the drama, they could have given us all an easier time. Same old story with the finishing, it's one of the main reasons we are where we are.

Gills shot against the bar with 2 minutes to go, I heard the crowd roar, and the commentator said absolutely nothing for what seemed like ages, I thought they'd scored, a truly heart-stopping moment! Finally he tells us it's come back off the bar, heart restarts !

Then to top it all off the Ref adds SIX minutes stoppage time and the commentator never tells us how much has expired until we're within 30 seconds of the end !

I can do without too many more of these afternoons, but thank heavens it's worked out OK for us in the end.

Can't wait to get on to Meir Sjoke's thread now, hopefully we'll be hearing no more from him from now on !

By Moaning Saddler ( on Saturday, April 12, 2003 - 05:43 pm: Edit

Just back from the game! - or should I say getting to within 20 miles of Gillingham.

Misjudged the complete f**k-up that always happens on the M25. Got off the motorway near Lakeside and had to ensure crawling through the likes of S. Ockendon and Thurrock - they make Caldmore seem like Chelsea.
Finally gave up the ghost at around 2.50 p.m. (also remembering previous experiences of trying to park near to the Priestfield) and made my way to the edge of Epping Forest to listen to the match commentary on BBC Radio Kent.
Geoff - you can normally also get the oppo commentary on Saddlersworld - BBC Kent were very good.
Couldn't bare to listen anymore after Lawrence's miss so did not have to endure the final minutes - one massive consolation was that Sjoke were already 2-0 down so even if we cocked up it wouldn't be a total disaster.
On the whole, a great set of results today - particularly at The New Den.

By lee54 ( on Saturday, April 12, 2003 - 06:10 pm: Edit

we r staying up say we r staying up
well done lads great result
ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha sjoke i carnt stop my self ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. to john & paul we r staying up say we r staying up coooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooome on. me & colin new we would do it

ps anybody for cod&chips

By SheffieldSaddler ( on Saturday, April 12, 2003 - 06:11 pm: Edit

Wouldnt it be great if we went to Wednesday on the last day of the season with them needing to win to stay up! I think we would be joined by a few thousand Blades in the away end! :o)

By Moaning saddler ( on Saturday, April 12, 2003 - 06:18 pm: Edit

Wouldn't it be even better if we went to Wednesday with them needing to win to put Sjoke down....

By popperpancake ( on Saturday, April 12, 2003 - 06:35 pm: Edit

What a beautiful day.

By Geoff Whiting ( on Saturday, April 12, 2003 - 08:04 pm: Edit

Never thought of the oppo. commentary Moaning saddler, wish I had - the WM guy was unbelievable - usually they swop over but this guy did the whole match on his own - or should I say he managed to NOT do the whole match on his own. Talk about the sound of silence!

I absolutely agree that it would be great to go to Wendy on the last day, us safe, Wendy needing to win to stay up and send Sjoke down. It would be worth a defeat for us on the last day, the season would indeed be complete, but can life be that sweet ?

By SheffieldSaddler ( on Saturday, April 12, 2003 - 08:08 pm: Edit

I would personally love Wednesday and Sjoke to go down. Living in Sheffield and most of my mates United fans, it would be great for Wednesday to go down and us to send them packing!

By Surrey Saddler ( on Saturday, April 12, 2003 - 08:51 pm: Edit

That's more like it again!!!! Three vital points for the lads at sunny Gillingham today. A strange team selection, however. Wracky was at right back and Zigor was on the left wing. We could have gone one up in the first minute when Aranalde put a low cross in which just missed the advancing Junior. Apart from that, Ziggy looked out of place on the wing- strange selection, given that Pedro was on the bench. We looked more than a match for the Gills in the first half but had to wait for 5 minutes after half time when the persistance of Jorge put us one up. Gillingham then had most of the possession and the game ended with us grinding out a result. Not pretty in the second half but 3 vital points. Jorge ran and ran, Junior put himself about. Both Ropes and Hay went off injured- Hay on a stretcher. Ward played well. Bring on Coventry. UP THE SADDLERS

By SheffieldSaddler ( on Saturday, April 12, 2003 - 10:23 pm: Edit

Junior put himself about! Surrey you must have had too much ale! Surely......

By Surrey Saddler ( on Saturday, April 12, 2003 - 11:29 pm: Edit

One hot dog, Sheff. The guy did well and was always looking for openings.

By popperpancake ( on Sunday, April 13, 2003 - 02:19 am: Edit

I wasn't there but surely we played 3 centre backs and wrack and aranalde as wing backs? It's a beautiful night now.

By Surrey Saddler ( on Sunday, April 13, 2003 - 09:41 am: Edit

Popperpancake, that might have been the plan but as it turned out Wracky was playing very very deep and Zigor well forward.

By jonny baracuda ( on Sunday, April 13, 2003 - 10:52 am: Edit

Bazelely's cameo was interesting for the second time he played behind the central defenders, sweeping, as it were but very effectively.A ploy that may do well in the future against players of pace.

Surrey where were you standing? I was on my tod(jonny no-mates) to the far left of the goal Black leather, young looking fifty, black hat when the sun went in.Did you see me Geordie possible not that many of us yesterday.

By jonny ( on Sunday, April 13, 2003 - 03:23 pm: Edit

Just got back from the Gills having stayed down there last night. I feel i must praise Gavin Ward. Id never previously rated the guy mainly due to his comic performance for Stoke in the play-offs. Yesterday he was superb its a shame there were not more saddlers there to see him. He never put a foot wrong and made a brilliant point blank save in the second half that Walker would have been proud of. I also thought Lawrence looked a good signing strong on the ball and a lot of energy although he did miss a sitter that would have saved a lot of stress at the end.

By jonny baracuda ( on Sunday, April 13, 2003 - 03:45 pm: Edit

That last post wasn't me, not my style and the impostor talks a better game than me.

The Real jonny baracuda

By Ian Gittins ( on Sunday, April 13, 2003 - 04:08 pm: Edit

I'd pretty much second Surrey Saddler's verdict. We dug deep and rode our luck at times, and also Ward was excellent, really solid and a couple of fine saves. Carbon was tremendous at the back, as was Roper as long as he's not trying to pass the ball. O'Connor battled really hard until injured, Lawrence did OK for a first game and Jorge worked very hard, as well as nabbing a flukey goal. I wonder if Bazeley was dropped for the first time this season because he was seen as culpable for the two Portsmouth goals last week?

By student ( on Sunday, April 13, 2003 - 06:41 pm: Edit

Walsall were the least bad team on the day

By Mel Smith ( on Sunday, April 13, 2003 - 06:57 pm: Edit

I went to Gillingham to watch Danny Hay (a fellow kiwi) only to see him stretchered off! Any news on his injury? We have a game against Scotland coming up and want him in tip top shape. Thanks to the Walsall fans - you're a friendly bunch. Good luck for the rest of your season.

By woodster ( on Sunday, April 13, 2003 - 07:32 pm: Edit

Mel, I think we were drinking in the Livingstone Arms with you pre match. Don't worry about Danny -he'll be fine, it was just a scratch. Big mention to Lawrence for his performance I thought. He'd probably be my MOM- very busy, physical and combative. The new Martin O'Connor???

By Update ( on Sunday, April 13, 2003 - 08:10 pm: Edit

Hay out for the season according to the Sunday Mercury.

By Pedro ( on Sunday, April 13, 2003 - 09:43 pm: Edit

Cheers Mel - I was one off the fans you stood wiv on Saturday in the pub and at the game - I just hope danny will be fit soon

By Jeremy Busby ( on Monday, April 14, 2003 - 03:20 am: Edit

Hay injured would an absolute disaster for New Zealand football. We have some big games coming up internationally and we need all of the European based players fit and able. So what has he done?? His problems at Leeds (well documented earlier in the season) was groin. I hope and pray it is not that.

Mel, where are you from mate? Are you OE'ing in the UK or there permantently or what? Good to hear another kiwi on board.

A know its a bit late to comment but the Portsmouth match at Bescot was shown on TV here yesterday. We get 3 to four games live from the Premiership every week, plus full replays (you have to remember that 3.00 pm your time is 2.00 am here). Plus both FA cup semis were shown live as well, but we see very little from the Nationwide, maybe a delayed game once a month or so this was a real bonus. The only problem was that they had time for about 75 minutes only, so the silly fools on our Sky channel showed all the first half but trimmed the second, which we had read here was the best bit apart from goals. Still was good to put faces (apart from web photos) and action to names, even how to pronounce a couple of the foreigners LOL. Really enjoyed the game.

By Tim Wilkes ( on Monday, April 14, 2003 - 11:15 am: Edit

Mel - I was in the same pub as you at Victoria after the game. I was gonna come over and ask you a question....why did you take a photo of Hay on the stretcher!!!!????
Anyway - Surrey Saddler is correct about Junior. Not only did he win 2 headers on the trot, he then came back to left back and won a tackle....OK, not a bone cruncher, but he did race back, put his foot in and get the ball away for a throw in. It was sunny and I had no hat, so this may be the result of sun-stroke / too much lager in the Livingstone Arms, but I swear that is what I saw.
I thought the back 3 were excellent - maybe Tony B is worth keeping in the squad after all?
Lawrence did well as the most forward of the midfield 3, and Jorge worked hard as usual, his reward being what I thought at the time [and TV has confirmed] was a flukey goal.
Finally a word of praise for Ward - he did not make any spectacular saves a la Super Jim, but he did well to block that close range effort late on and then, when the a Gills player broke into the box, he managed to plunge at his feet and take the ball cleanly. A very good performance by him.

By woodster ( on Monday, April 14, 2003 - 02:53 pm: Edit

OK Mel,I stand corrected- it is a big stratch. Danny's done ankle ligaments and is out for the rest of the season, so won't make your international match. But I'm sure you can beat Scotland without him...
Tim- you should have come over and joined us in the Duke of York at Victoria- I was with Slough, Balham and Reading Saddlers, as well as the newly formed Kiwi Saddlers Supporters Club.

By Tim Wilkes ( on Monday, April 14, 2003 - 04:02 pm: Edit

Yes Woodster, I should have done, but I was busy keeping Harlow-Saddler from buying a half. Oh the shame!!!
I was also worried in case it was Sheff and Ian G having a love-in...I did not want to be a Gooseberry

By Surrey Saddler ( on Monday, April 14, 2003 - 05:52 pm: Edit

Tim Wilkes has written a superb report on the rivals site you guys. Read it!!

By Walsall Saddler ( on Monday, April 14, 2003 - 11:47 pm: Edit

Are there any fans from my neck of the woods? We could get together to sort out lifts/trains to matches. If there's enough of us we could hold a weekly meeting in a pub somewhere to discuss all things Saddlers.

By Roger Party ( on Tuesday, April 15, 2003 - 06:58 am: Edit

It would only need to be a very small pub, you bumma.

By Mel Smith ( on Wednesday, April 16, 2003 - 09:03 pm: Edit

Thanks guys. The pic we took of Danny Hay on his stretcher will prob end up in a fanzine back home along with a story about Milts and I going up all that way and seeing Danny play for 20 mins or so before becoming victim to a dodgy tackle. Danny will be missed in the All Whites. Scotland will be a tough game for us. We're going to the Confederations cup though (ha ha Aussie!)

Kiwi Saddlers Supporters Club formed April 12 Total membership 2
Mel :-)

By Griff Rhys Jones ( on Thursday, April 17, 2003 - 07:38 am: Edit

I was always the funny one, you fat, bald baastard.

By Kim Wilde ( on Thursday, April 17, 2003 - 08:37 am: Edit

Fancy another duet Mel ?
When I was with Junior, I was thinking about you...

By Junior ( on Thursday, April 17, 2003 - 07:49 pm: Edit

Aye caramba! Massage my left foot!

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