Express & Star

Walsall v Morecambe: Roles are reversed as the Saddlers play catch-up

Walsall need to wrestle back points in their quest to climb the table when they welcome Morecambe to Bescot under the lights this evening.


The Saddlers sat six places and three points above Morecambe, albeit with the Shrimps boasting a game in hand, when the two sides were originally supposed to meet at the start of January.

Mat Sadler’s men had collected five wins from six league games at that stage, whereas Morecambe had won just once in 10 matches (six losses, three draws).

Two postponements and six games later, Walsall find themselves five points adrift of tonight’s opponents.

The original fixture was called off due to both teams being in FA Cup action, while the second postponement was caused by a waterlogged pitch earlier this month.

Walsall’s stunning 2-1 victory over Mansfield Town on Saturday ended a five-match winless run in League Two for the Saddlers and the visit of Morecambe will be an opportunity to consolidate that triumph and gather momentum as we reach the business end of the season.

After all, seventh place to 19th are separated by a mere nine points in League Two. The task for Walsall now is to make sure they’re pushing towards the top end rather than falling by the wayside.

They sit just six points outside of the play-offs and could halve that gap with maximum points ahead of their trip to seventh-placed Harrogate Town on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Morecambe are just one point outside of the top seven and could climb into the play-off places with just a point if Gillingham fail to beat league leaders Stockport County at the Priestfield Stadium.

Donervon Daniels (ankle) and Priestley Farquharson (thigh) are major injury doubts ahead of the game. Daniels missed his first league match of the season against Mansfield after picking up an ankle problem in the 1-1 draw at Crawley Town last week.

The Walsall skipper is set to a specialist today to determine the severity of his injury.

Jamille Matt was handed the armband in Daniels’ absence and crowned a captain’s display with the opener against Mansfield.

Meanwhile, Farquharson fell awkwardly in a challenge with Will Swan on Saturday and was forced off at the interval after soldiering on for the final moments of the first half.

His possible absence is likely to offer another chance for Norwich City loanee Emmanuel Adegboyega, who marked his debut from the bench with the winning goal over the Stags.

January signing Jamie Jellis (hamstring) is set to be unavailable, although he has been tipped to return for the trip to Harrogate Town this Saturday.

Danny Johnson (toe), Oisin McEntee (hamstring) and Harry Williams (hip) are longer term absentees for the Saddlers.