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Bescot Banter: A return to winning ways for Walsall

We're back with a look at the ups and downs of another week in WS1.

Hayden White
Hayden White

After seeing their side fail to win any of their three previous all-competition outings, including last weekend's drab draw with Rochdale, Saddlers fans would have been forgiven for fearing the worst as they made the trip to Stoke-on-Trent on Tuesday evening.

Managed by former boss Darrell Clarke, opponents Port Vale went into the match on the back of a late loss to Oldham Athletic - their first defeat in six league games - and in search of some face-saving revenge, after they fell behind via Aaron Martin's own goal deep into second-half stoppage time.

However, in what was a welcome return to winning ways, the Saddlers defied the form guide and went on to frustrate their opponents, as they not only denied them any shots on target but also secured all three points for she short trip back down the M6.

A determined defence, along with an energetic attacking line, was more than a match for the below par Valiants as winger Brendan Kiernan bagged his third goal of the campaign to send the 1,500 travelling fans, and manager Matt Taylor, into a frenzy.

Although the match was far from a classic, and we'd all have welcomed a more comfortable scoreline heading into the final few minutes of the contest, the points were ultimately secured and resulted in Taylor's team climbing into the top half of the table for the first time this season, something which seemed a million miles away just a few short months ago.

Looking back at the team which opened the campaign by failing to win any of their opening four league games, you'd be forgiven for thinking there had been yet another squad overhaul in order to produce a side which has gone on to lose just one in nine, and is beginning to make people sit up and take notice.

While the team has clearly grown closer over the course of the campaign, partnerships like the one defenders Rollin Menayese and Manny Monthé are building aren't easy to cultivate in a game which has become far too reliant on a short-term fix rather than long-term stability, and as such we'd happily welcome Rollin in on a permanent basis in January.

Clearly, there are far too many games ahead for us to be making any bold predictions about promotion and Play-Off chases, just a little look through the archives would prove we're wrong far more often than not, there are plenty of positive signs for us all to get our teeth in to.

Of course, our house of cards can easily come crashing down, but results like the one secured in mid-week lead us to believe the team is more than capable of stringing together another welcome run of form, hopefully starting with this weekend's trip to Carlisle United.

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