Bescot Banter: A welcome return to good form for Walsall

Another seven days have gone by, so we're back with a look at all things Walsall FC!

Conor Wilkinson celebrates
Conor Wilkinson celebrates

The Saddlers have enjoyed a rather welcome return to positive form over the last few matchdays with some of the club's summer signings really beginning to find their feet.

After failing to win any of their five all-competition outings in the first three weeks of August, the Reds rounded out the opening month of the season with a narrow 1-0 win over Stevenage.

Although the match was far from an end of season DVD-worthy classic, it did give the Saddlers faithful a brief glimpse of what their team is capable of when everything falls into place.

An early goal, coupled with a determined defensive display, saw Matthew Taylor's side collect some all-important points, ending their winless streak before it became something which could force the board to act.

A match-free seven days followed the victory over Boro and gave the gaffer an opportunity to iron out some of the various issues which had blighted his team's opening few weeks of the season, and won't simply have disappeared after securing their first win in six games.

Following their week on the training pitches, the Saddlers then made the trip to Valley Parade where they faced promotion-chasing Bradford City - a team which includes no less than three former Saddlers as Richard O'Donnell, Andy Cook, and Coalan Lavery currently ply their trade in West Yorkshire.

In what was another determined display, the team, backed by some 490 travelling fans, was able to overcome the rather annoying obstacle of Joss Labadie's unnecessary red card to deny their hosts all three points.

After falling behind to Elliot Watt's sweetly struck fourteenth-minute goal, the Saddlers avoided conceding another before Jack Earing levelled the scores just three minutes before the referee called for half-time refreshments.

Of course, between Jacks well-taken goal and the aforementioned break, Walsall were reduced to ten men as Joss Labadie was shown a straight red card for a rather industrial challenge on Gareth Evans.

Whilst there has been plenty of debate as to whether the tackle warranted a red card, you always run the risk of being dismissed when you leave your feet, especially with officials seemingly keen to stop the game whenever they can.

Despite being forced to sit with everyone behind the ball for much of the second forty-five, the team ultimately secured a fourth point in two games, much to the delight of both the travelling fans and squad alike, with the players taking the time to celebrate at the away end shortly after full-time.

Along with the now-expected Carl Rushworth heroics, the on-loan Brighton man has excelled since making the move to the Banks's, there are several other players who have risen to the challenge over recent weeks, giving us hope of a better few weeks and months ahead.

Defenders Rollin Menayese and Manny Monthé have the makings of a strong partnership at the back, whilst Jack Earing more than deserved his goal, as he continues to show why so many clubs were taking a look at him before the Saddlers swooped.

It would also be unfair not to mention Liam Kinsella in this award giving section of the column. Our longest serving player is willing to run himself into the ground for the team, and is a wonderful example for the younger players currently waiting to make their way in the game.

Looking back at both the Stevenage and Bradford performances as a whole, we're almost tempted to suggest the team has turned a corner. With a pair of cohesive displays, they have something to build upon as they enter another busy run of games.

Whilst the matches weren't much to write home about, they have given Taylor and his team plenty to look back on as an example of how they are more than capable of taking something from a game, even if the odds are stacked against them.

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