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Gillingham (h) - League - 23rd November 2002

Reports and reaction from the 2002-03 season as Walsall finished 17th in Division 1
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Gillingham (h) - League - 23rd November 2002

Tue Dec 07, 2004 4:30 pm

By Paul G ( on Saturday, November 23, 2002 - 07:17 pm: Edit

Some of us have been asking for a hard won 1-0 ground out result in place of our attacking but unsuccesful play - here it was.

It was finger nail chewing stuff even though I can't remember Gillingham having a decent effort all game. Jimmy's only save came from Wracks chested back pass. Gills were poor.

We seriously need to consider signing Junior up long term. Clearly we can not play the ball to him in the air but on the floor he is full of tricks and has linked well with Leitao and Corica. Heard Colin Lee telling WM he wants to bring another player in on the way home. Personally I'd keep the cash for Junior.

By Geoff Whiting ( on Saturday, November 23, 2002 - 07:47 pm: Edit

Well we kept a clean sheet at last, but as Paul G says, nail biting stuff indeed.

Junior's finish after 6 mins was excellent, if only Jorge had taken one of his three chances it would have given us fans a much easier time. The first-half chance from Junior's through ball was admittedly a tricky one and Jorge failed to get a clean touch. But his second was a bad miss, one-on-one with the keeper, Jorge made it easy for him with a poor effort straight at him. The third effort followed great perseverance from Jorge, but when he struck an admittedly sweet firm shot, unfortunately he again made it easy to save by hitting it at an ideal height for the keeper. Along the ground or high into one of the corners would have given the keeper little chance.

We allowed ourselves to be pushed too deep again second-half, and attempts to clear our lines inevitably met with an immediate return of the ball into our territory, and towards the end I thought we failed to keep the ball or push it into the corners, Corica particularly guilty on a couple of occasions late on.

Despite their pressure however, Gillingham made few real chances, better sides would have punished us for our generosity. I thought the Gills played the ball around intelligently and accurately at times, not surprisingly given the space we allowed them, but our back line managed to repel pretty-well everything that was thrown at them, so I think credit goes to them for this vital victory.

I thought we were a bit lucky not to have had a penalty awarded against us second-half, that challenge from (I think) Roper looked decidedly like a push in the back and we've seen plenty of penalties given for less. I'd have been upset if the referee had denied us one like that at the other end.

All in all perhaps a rather Graydon-esque victory, but a very vital three points from a non-too-satisfying display, and some useful results for us elsewhere to go with it. Well it's about time our fortunes changed a bit after some cruel results lately.

Now we need to follow this up with some better performances in our next three home games, three wins are needed to extend the breathing space in the lower reaches of the division.

By Dave Mickle ( on Saturday, November 23, 2002 - 08:49 pm: Edit

Well done for the win, which overall I think we deserved. We do seem to panic a little at the back when we come under pressure, so many times second half we tried to knock the ball away blindly and gave it straight back to them. A little composure is needed.

Good inter-change play again up front and we should have had more goals, we may have paid dearly if the opposition had have been better.

Clear penalty for the Gills second half could not believe neither the ref or assistant gave it but we are owed a few decisions this year

Great view from the new stand but are we to wait in such long lines to get in every game from now on.

All in all a satisfactory day at the Bescot

By Gavin M ( on Saturday, November 23, 2002 - 09:00 pm: Edit

Good result and pleasing to see a home turnout of 6000 plus. A surprisingly subdued atmosphere given the occasion. Waterman's apperance was most appreciated.

By Linesman ( on Saturday, November 23, 2002 - 10:00 pm: Edit

Ref from Tippen

By RushallSaddler ( on Sunday, November 24, 2002 - 12:27 am: Edit

Poor game today, after the recent goal fests we have been served up lately, but i'll gladly settle for more of the same in the next three home games if we can win them all 1-nil.
For all their possession and second half pressure, Gillingham never actually got one shot on target, credit to the defence, I thought Pollet was outstanding considering it was only his third match of the season, my man of the match, will get much better with every game he plays and will organise the defence more, I'll be amazed if we don't sign him permanently after the loan period. CL's instructions to Hay were obvious, I counted five times where he cleared the ball out of the ground.
Again we missed Aranalde down the left, todays formation would have suited him perfectly, we would probably have scored more goals if he had played.
Midfield were okay, just wish they would put their foot on the ball more rather than just hoofing it back to the oppostion and we need to play the ball to Junior's feet he caused the gillingham defenders all sorts of problems when we did, he's crap in the air though.
Also is Dryller injured, didn't even make the bench today.
Also thought Dave Kelly made a promising debut as the new pitchside announcer, I think he'll probably get more chance to shine in future games now the stand opening is out of the way, the Dingles pre match build-up should be interesting.
Very satisfied with the points, especially considering the other results affecting the teams below us, bring on the pompey - lets sneak another 1-0

By cannock ( on Sunday, November 24, 2002 - 01:56 am: Edit

I am of course delighted with the three points. However, today we were an absolute shambles. It is easy to see why teams have been putting hatfuls of goals against us as defensively we were a disorganised rabble. This is not the fault of the defence either. I put the blame firmly on the shoulders of our central midfield players. O'Connor and Sonner should be controlling games from their position. They are not doing this. When the opposition get the ball instead of breaking down play they immediately fall back in line with the defence on the edge of the penalty box. In doing so they are affording the visiting team the entire pitch on which to play their football. If we had been up against a decent team today we would have been well and truly stuffed.

We were unable to string two passes together, unable to tackle, mark, take throw ins or free kicks. We were appalling apart from the first 10 minutes.

Walker 6 - had nothing to do
Bazeley 5 - unable to supply a decent cross, poor passing and poor control
Wrack 5 - tried hard put not a left footer
Roper 6 - Looked clumsy in a 3 man back line
Hay 6 - Best of the back 3
Pollet 6 - still looks shaky and needs more match practice
O'Connor 6 - unable to control the game and didnt stop Gillingham from passing
Sonner 6 - see O'Connor
Corica 6 - nice touches but again on the fringes of the game
Leitao 6 - ran well, laid on the goal then faded
Junior 7 - always had that something extra and superb finish MOM

By Addie ( on Sunday, November 24, 2002 - 03:25 am: Edit

oooohh ah just a little bit, ooo ha a little bit more.

By Mark W ( on Sunday, November 24, 2002 - 09:43 am: Edit

Not exactly a classic but the 3 points were the most important thing.No complaints about the defence as Jimmy did not have a single shot to save in 90 mins.
The midfield worries me as they seem off the pace and get totally out muscled.It just invites unnecessary pressure.We do miss Zigor though as we hardly had an attack down the left.
To all of you who transferred to the upper tier --did the season ticket come with free pipe and slippers? You could hear a pin drop up there from the terrace below.None of the usual songs --rubbish!

By Brad Pedjaski ( on Sunday, November 24, 2002 - 11:47 am: Edit

I couldn't believe the apathy in the top-tier. I tried my best but got those disapproving 'sit-down' stares from unfashionable types. As for the lower tier, well u were even quieter. Was that the worst ever atmosphere at a Walsall game??

By Geordiesaddler ( on Sunday, November 24, 2002 - 07:27 pm: Edit

Roast parsnips and lamb
The taste of success
At Home.

By SheffieldSaddler ( on Sunday, November 24, 2002 - 10:32 pm: Edit

Sounds a decent Sunday lunch to me Geordie, when am I invited?

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