Reality is worlds apart for Saddlers

Science Fiction writers often use the notion of parallel universes, so why not the rest of us? writes Saddlers blogger Mark Jones.  Somewhere there must be a reality where the Saddlers Sunday afternoon out in Shropshire turned out differently …

SOCCER - nPower Football League One - Shrewsbury Town v Walsall

Imagine if there was a world where Sloppies goalkeeper Chris Weale had collapsed minutes before kick-off due to nervous exhaustion brought on by, well by being the Sloppies goalkeeper.

Obviously there would still be plenty of parallels with the real world. Walsall would go at their rural rivals from the off, tearing them apart with passing, movement and all-round quality never before seen in that part of East Wales.

Strikes on goal from Jamie Paterson, Adam Chambers and Flo Cuvelier in the first eight minutes send the noisy travelling contingent into raptures and leave the watching TV audience aghast at the superb feast of football unfolding in front of their eyes.

With the Shrews unable to live with the Mighty Saddlers, George Bowerman adds to the chaos before the break. Their only meaningful attack of the half leads to a corner but alert defending prevents any trouble.

At half–time the analysts are rightly full of praise for Deano’s side, but a hidden camera in the home dressing room uncovers Graham Turner’s desperate team talk. On a yellowing piece of paper that first adorned the wall of the Old Gay back in the 70’s, the message is clear – Stick to Plan A, there is no Plan B.

The second half kicks off with huge swathes of empty seats in the home end (oh hang on that did happen) with the Saddlers going for the jugular again.

Flo is substituted to avoid aggravating a knock he’d picked up before the break and the home side have a brief 10 minute spell on top – they are the home side after all. Worries that our defence are taking things lightly are confirmed as the cameras show Karl Darlow sat next to his post checking his Twitter feed, Richard Taundry reading the paper, Dean Holden signing autographs and Andy Butler discussing his latest training course with Andy Taylor. Fortunately Marvin Morgan still can’t win a ball in the air.

Our leader Andy wins a penalty when the ref spots an infringement, and steps up to smash home the kick himself just as he’d done five days earlier. Minutes later Butler crashes a phenomenal header against the bar and George nets the rebound.

‘If only Reading loanee Hector had still been there to make a desperate but effective last-ditch challenge’ jokes expert summariser Don Goodman (the natural choice, the only choice to commentate on a Walsall game).

From the restart the Slop conjure their only other meaningful chance when wasted talent Paul Parry hits the bar, although Darlow easily had it covered.

Back to the other end there’s sheer desperation from the home team as the Shrews defence plead for a non-existent offside as a Bowerman flick sends Pato clear. The eagle-eyed lino’s having none of it though and Jamie buries it.

George crowns a fine day by pouncing on an error to notch again before being replaced by Aaron Williams.

‘Shrewsbry, Shrewsbry what’s the score?’ chant the massed ranks of Saddlers behind the goal, partly in jest and partly because we’ve genuinely lost count. Unfortunately the locals are no help.

As this is a parallel world the cultured left foot of Slop skipper Matt Richards actually plays an incisive ball late on, unfortunately nothing comes of it. It picks out Mark Wright.

With the pressure off Williams turns home a miscued Paterson shot for his first senior goal. Just for the fun of it, Richard O’Kelly is seen urging his boys forward as the board goes up. With Andy Butler up front, and the ever-impressive duo of Richard Taundry and Andy Taylor playing as virtual wingers, the 7-2-1 formation is bold, expansive and frankly hilarious.

In the last minute Karl Darlow chances his arm by going up for a free kick, naturally it pays off. It’s just one of those days.

Home boss Turner describes his dressing room as a morgue in his post-match interview, while the Ginger Mourinho is naturally upbeat about the way his team is progressing and what the future holds.

Saddlers fans swarm out of the New Deva in buoyant mood, the marvellous football the young developing team had played had got it’s just rewards while their rivals from the principality had been simply awful and had deserved nothing.

‘I bet there’s a parallel universe where Walsall went and lost that game 1-0’ one of them remarked, only to be rebuffed with ‘What a load of old sheep-dip, that would be simply impossible’.

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Comments for: "Reality is worlds apart for Saddlers"

Chirk shrew

Never mind smallsall better luck next time,and remember there is 2 halves to a football game --- that is reality!

Wyrley Saddler

"smallsall"? Sorry, what league have you been playing in for the last 15 years? League 2, is it? When was the last time you played in the 2nd tier of English football? Has it actually ever happened? Can't wait for you to come to our place haha


" smallsall" yes. Take a look at your average attendances as against ours. pathetic. The shrews played 10 years in the proper2nd tier of football,albeit some years ago.. " Smallsall" in recent times have been playing 3rd tier football. I grant you ,you were the better side on Sunday but unfortunately we have suffered the same fate against Sheff Utd, Tranmere and Stevenage this season where we have played them off the park and gotten nothing out of the game. Look where those teams are now.

Wyrley Saddler

Shrewsbury are a smaller, less successful club than Walsall, I don't care what you say and think! It is pretty obvious. You haven't played at a higher level than Walsall FC for... god knows. And it wont be happening anytime soon. Our attendances are poor because of Mr Bonser. We was getting 7,000 before the fallout between the fans and the chairman, so that means nothing! Anyway, we make more noise than Shrewsbury even with less numbers lol.

I've got every faith in our youth system and our ability to play football the right way... results will come soon enough. I don't want to play 'hoof ball' like most League 1 sides

Bilston Saddler

Let the little sloppies enjoy there moment of undeserved glory.


Shrewsbury clearly deserved the win.......just like I hear shark attack survivors not saying how fortunate they are but they are infact harder than the shark....


At the end of the day its goals not attractive football that win games unfortunately. If you don't convert your chances then you only have yourself to blame. Even the Walsall players would rather win dirty than loose attractively. Good luck to Walsall for the rest of the season though.

Wyrley Saddler

"Smallsall" in recent times have been playing 3rd tier football -- LOL! What league have you been playing in? The 4th tier!! We have been in the 2nd tier and 3rd tier in the last 10 years; have you? Don't think so. Our one season in the 4th tier was very brief and we ran out as league champions. How long has it took you to get out of League 2? Pathetic. No wonder you are pinching yourselves! The Saddlers will always come out on top in the end -- and you all know it


you say shrews are a smaller and less successful club than walall. show me any evidence to support your statement.. For starters shrews draw bigger crowds. have a larger ground and have no debt. What success have walsall achieved? [apart from staging womans football] At least we have been to wembley 3 times.and appeared on t.v. televised matches more. often. You boast about playing in a higher league which i cant deny . However, due to the 4up and4 down system , the vast majority of teams you have played against ,so have we over time. The majority of your time in league one has been in the lower half of the table. I dont call that success. Our only regret is that out of all 92 clubs we have never played either Man utd or Tottenham in league or cup. Blaming Mr Bonsar is a poor and pathetic excuse. Without him you would have folded years ago. I suggest from now on start supporting Hednesford.


I went to shrewsbury sunday !! and although your ground is not a bad little ground ! its no bigger than the banks stadium !! , and by the way we are not in debt we just dont spend much money ! and still have a better footballing team . you say the shrews have appeared on tv more is up for debate too ! as we have played the likes of ARSENAL Man UTD , Liverpool , NEWCASTLE , in cup competitions over the years !!

and i suggest you support TELFORD UTD from now .

Wyrley Saddler

I have already stated why Walsall are bigger and more successful; i'm not doing it again because you can't seem to read. All i'm gonna say is the facts speak for themselves. And your ground doesn't hold more than Walsall's haha! You know nothing about Jeff Bonser and the fans, so stop pretending that you do. I suggest you support Wrexham from now on.

What teams are around you anyway? Is it really that surprising you get more fans? We've got the likes of Wolves & Villa around us, and you've got Wrexham (haha)! West Midlands footy walks all over sheepy Shropshire. Fact

Wyrley Saddler

have you beat Leeds at Elland Road recently? how about beating both Sheff.utd and in the space of a few months? no, didn't think so. you couldn't even win the League 2 title haha! nevermind, little Shrews, at least you got a bit of undeserved glory against the Saddlers haha

Wyrley Saddler

1) Your ground does not hold more than Walsall's, so how can it be larger??

2) Walsall have achieved in the last 15 years: 2 promotions to the Championship, (including a play-off final win against Reading and a semi-final win against Stoke), a League 2 title win, victories against the likes of Leeds,, Sheff.utd etc -- teams you haven't even played for years

3) Shrewsbury haven't played at a higher level than Walsall in years and years

These points say it all. Apart from the attendance lark, you don't have a valid reason as to why Walsall aren't bigger than Shrewsbury. And Walsall aren't in debt; we have not been in adminstration and face new danger of doing so anytime soon.

I suggest from now on start supporting Wrexham.


Both clubs I would say have had similar success

Shrewsbury Town FC

New Meadow,

Shrewsbury (capacity: 9,875

Record Attendance at Gay Meadow: 18,917 Vs Walsall, Third Division(3), 26 April 1961.

Record Attendance at Greenhous Meadow: 9,441 Vs Dagenham & Redbridge, League Two(4), 28 April 2012

FA Cup quarter finalists 1979, 1982

Football League Cup Semi Finalists 1961

Division Three champions 1979

Division Four runners up 1975, fourth place (promoted) 1958–59

Football League Third Division (fourth tier) champions 1994

Football League Two (fourth tier) runners up 2012; playoff runners up 2007, 2009; playoff semi-finalists 2011

Football Conference (fifth tier) Playoff Winners 2004

Walsall FC

Banks's Stadium,

All time attendance : 25,453 v. Newcastle United. Second Division, 29 August 1961.

Attendance at Bescot Stadium : 11,049 v. Rotherham United. First Division, 9 May 2004.

(capacity: 11,300


Division Two Runners-up, 1998/99,

League Two Champions, 2006/07,

Division Three Runners-up, 1960/61 and 1994/95,

Division Four Champions, 1959/60, Runners-Up 1979/80,

Division Three play-off winners 1987/88,

Division Two play-off winners 2000/01.

FA CUP: Best season - Fifth Round, 1939, 1975, 1978, 1987, 2002, 2003 and last 16, 1889.

FOOTBALL LEAGUE CUP: Semi-finalists 1983/84.

Smallsall dingles, let's see if you get a5000 crowd Saturday it will be a miracle if you do. Probably be more in asda shopping! Btw see you in march --- the double is on .

Chirk shrew

Wyrley saddler why don't you go and support chase town or better still the dingles down the road. You will always be in there shadow. Good luck on Saturday you might get a5000 crowd!

wyrley saddler

Chirk shrew: why dont you go and support Wrexham down the road, you'll always be in their shadow.

As for both sides has achieved similar success: Shrewsbury have achieved NOTHING in the last 20 years. You have even dropped down into the Conference in that time. In recent history, Walsall have had the better of Shrewsbury in ever aspect apart from attendances, and that is because Shrewsbury is the only club to support around there 'cause football in Shropshire/Staffordshire is RUBBISH!! I bet Shrews/Salop (or whatever the hell you are called) will drop back into League 2 in the next couple of years. You will see.

I'm done with this debate now.

P.s, Shrewsbury = a club that lacks passion and needs a drum to get the fans to sing! WE ARE WALSALL, WALSALL WE ARE


In half a century supporting the Saddlers I’ve never really understood why such an inconsequential club as Shrewsbury Town should provoke near universal loathing amongst fellow Walsall supporters.

The penny is starting to drop at last!


Reading the latest walsall news in the express and star has made me reach for the hankies. Please stop rabbiting on about how you played well and lost at Shrewsbury. The games over,move on. I will bet you have played much worse and stole 3 points before now against other the past Thats the name of the game. Come on Crewe. See all you saddlers fans at Morrisons Saturday afternoon

wyrley saddler

Walsall will always be in the shadow of the likes of Wolves and Albion, but I don't see anything wrong with that ... I'd rather be in Wolves' shadow than Wrexham's & Hereford's. Also, you can go on about our attendances all you want, but our highest attendance of all-time is far higher than Shrewsbury's, and our highest attendance from the last 10 years is also higher than yours. So you can't even beat Walsall from that point of view, either. The fact that Shrewsbury are currently the best team in their area, but are still worse than Walsall, says it all really: football in Shropshire sucks, and so do Shrewsbury. At least Walsall have competed with big clubs such as Wolves, WBA, Stoke, Fulham over the last 15 years, whereas Shrewsbury have been... well, nowhere to be seen. I'm enjoying this 'debate' haha


You waited all this time to play us----- and lost . Says it all really-- cap it all off, you couldn't even beat port fail. I'm finished with this thread as well now,see you in march.

Walsall Ay We

Don't know why we even arguing who is the biggest club, not much contest realy they not even the biggest club in Slopshire

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