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Bescot Banter: Two Walsall shockers undoing good work

After going through October without suffering a single defeat, the Saddlers reached the penultimate month of the year full of confidence and looking to continue their fine spell of form.

SPORT COPYRIGHT MNA MEDIA TIM THURSFIELD 13/11/21 .WALSALL V HARROGATE TOWN.Walsall manager Matt Taylor.
SPORT COPYRIGHT MNA MEDIA TIM THURSFIELD 13/11/21 .WALSALL V HARROGATE TOWN.Walsall manager Matt Taylor.

However, after sneaking past National League strugglers King's Lynn Town in the First Round of the FA Cup, Brendan Kiernan netting the one and only goal of the game, the Reds went on to enter a duo of dire displays, bringing their unbeaten run to a crashing halt.

First came an EFL Trophy group clash with League Two table-toppers Forest Green Rovers, and a performance which ultimately resulted in the Saddlers surrendering their home draw in the Second Round and leaving the faithful scratching their heads.

Just a few short days after seeing their unbeaten run ended at eight games, Taylor's team returned to league action and played host to Harrogate Town with a view to continuing their climb towards the top half of the table, a feat they could have achieved if a win was secured and other results went their way.

But, in a match which turned the form book on its head - Harrogate reaching the match winless in four league games - the visiting Sulphurites were more than happy to take advantage of some dismal defending and disappointing refereeing decisions to run out winners by three-goals-to-one.

Despite on-loan Huddersfield Town man Kieran Phillips going on to grab a late consolation, the Saddlers were simply not at the races and in reality never looked like taking anything from the game, especially after entering an unacceptable performance during the opening forty-five.

Although the form which saw the team create a welcome gap over the drop zone gave us plenty of hope for the rest of the campaign, the two more recent defeats

have shone an unwelcome spotlight on some of the frailties which, though masked by recent performances, continue to be a cause for concern.

A lack of cutting edge, along with an all-too-flimsy backline, mean the team is beatable. And, although that can be said of any team in the beautiful game, ours is the only one we care about and any repeat of the performance against Harrogate, and we'll continue to yo-yo between mid-table and the battle to avoid the drop.

However, with so many games still to be played, and as the overpopulated injury list is set to shorten over the coming weeks, we're still confident that the team can make something of the campaign.

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