Bescot Banter: What a month for Walsall

The month of December has been a superb one for the Saddlers. Four wins and two draws from their six previous outings, Darrell Clarke's side head into their final two games of 2020 in fantastic form.

Darrell Clarke.
Darrell Clarke.

With the slow start to the season, which saw the reds win just three of their opening fifteen League Two contests, all-but-forgotten the team has gone from strength to strength over the last few weeks, scoring goals, defending with determination, and rebounding from previously unthinkable positions.

Last weekend's dramatic comeback win over Port Vale gives us a perfect example of the team's current level of determination as, despite controlling much of the first-half, the Saddlers reached the break with a two-goal mountain to climb.

Despite heading into the match with three consecutive wins behind us, even the happiest of clappers would have struggled to convince us that the Saddlers were about to mount a comeback, let alone that one of the goal-scorers would be a central defender and the other a loanee who had yet to find his scoring boots.

However, following an unexpected and ultimately successful Darrell Clarke tactical gamble - he may well choose to call it a shrewd switch in his memoirs - which saw four players hooked at the break, Walsall went on to net four goals of their own with the visitors simply unable to cope with the resurgent Reds.

With Dan Scarr and on-loan Bournemouth striker Jake Scrimshaw netting braces, the Saddlers reach Boxing Day level on points with opponents Salford City and with a real chance of not only breaking into the top seven before New Year but with half-an-eye on the automatic places.

And, whilst it would be silly to be looking too far ahead - no matter how full of Christmas cheer you may be - it is very encouraging to see the Saddlers in such an advanced position, especially given our previously mentioned slow start.

Whether the next two matches result in a continuation of our recent spell, or we return to the form which preceded it, there are plenty of reasons to raise a glass to the Saddlers over this festive period, and, with the manager looking at potentially adding a fresh leg or two, we could have yet more cheer to come.

Finally, we'd like to wish our fellow Saddlers a belated Merry Christmas and an early Happy New Year! Hopefully 2021 will be much-improved both at home and on the pitch as we edge ever-closer to a return to the Banks's.

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