It is so typically Walsall that we only got three short days to savour our place in the top five before being brought back down to ninth with Tuesday’s defeat at Stevenage, writes Walsall blogger Mark Jones.
Losing is never good, losing to arch-exponents of Donkey Football is always deflating too. True Stevenage are not quite as anti-football as they were last season, that would be virtually impossible, but they are horrible opposition for a raw, young, developing side like ours.
Putting a positive spin on things however, the defeat should serve as a reminder not to get too carried away as the current side is very much a work-in-progress.
After getting back into the game courtesy of George Bowerman’s fine equaliser, maybe we should have been a bit more street-wise and closed the game out but that is something that should come with experience and I’m sure that Dean and Richard are well aware of this.
Winning games and climbing up the table should be enjoyed for their own sake but the reality is a hell of a lot can happen over the next eight months.
Portsmouth was a fantastic day out. There was a cracking atmosphere, as there always is down there, with both sets of supporters getting behind their team throughout.
Baxy deservedly got some of the limelight with his stunning opener only for Flo to cap a stylish performance, ironically against the club who brought him to England in the first place, by coming along and scoring in equally spectacular fashion. Both strikes would have been overshadowed if Jamie Paterson’s late swerving screamer had broken the net instead of smashing the post.
Sure Pompey, who are in even more trouble than I thought they’d be, had their moments and our defending for Izale McDive’s goal left a bit to be desired, but for the second game running we deservedly held out.
We haven’t had that many great awaydays recently so it was worth savouring nonetheless, fingers crossed for a few more.
* A big well done to the Supporters Trust for organising the Legends match last Sunday, something which I did try to publicise last week. To see Deano, Ian Roper, David Kelly, Mark Taylor, Mark Kinsella and Ron Green amongst others all on the same pitch was tremendous. The Supporters’ team looked extremely useful too.
The Walsall FC Ex-Players Association is now up and running and a lot of money has already been raised for this season’s nominated charities, which include CRY (Cardiac Risk in the Young) a charity which the family of the late Matt Gadsby are involved with.
Whilst this is not the main purpose of the Trust, which is still very much an organisation seeking to increase supporter involvement at Board level, it is something very worthwhile and something that should probably have been done by the club itself years ago. We should always look after our own.
In the wake of the publication of the real truth (the one we as football fans knew anyway) about Hillsborough last week, the wider football family has shown that it too will always come together to look after its own. Hopefully those politicians, police and journos involved in the lies, deceit and general cover-up that followed the 96 deaths, arrogant enough to think they’d never be brought to task, will be exposed for what they really are.
It will be interesting to see what develops in the coming months.