What a scorcher of a day, eh? I walked an eight mile round trip to see this game. I saw canals, flowers, graffiti and the M6 toll road as I crossed two counties (West Midlands and Staffordshire) from my home in Pelsall to the venue of Chasetown FC.
Anyway, first things first. We lost 2-0. It wasn’t all that bad though as I got to see Roy Whalley (ex-Commercial director for the Saddlers), Dean Smith (the gaffer) and the BBC Midlands Today presenter, Ian Winter. This – with the addition of a live and kicking Nelson Mandela – is also my ideal dinner party guest list, so you can’t imagine how happy I am right now.
Walsall lined up in a kind of 4-3-3 formation:
Morecambe scored on the stroke of half-time from a free header from a corner. Defensively, we were all over the place as Morecambe ran us ragged for the first half as they also hit the bar and caused our keeper to make some impressive saves.
The second-half was a very good game with Walsall dominating the play and Morecambe hitting us on the counter attack. Murphy hit the base of the post with a turn and a shot and that was the closest we came to scoring. Morecambe scored from one of their breakaways as Walsall stood still waiting for an offside flag that never came.
It was good to see Mantom back in the team but he didn’t really do much to warrant a return to first-team action. I would have liked to see Bakayoko given a run down the centre as he was isolated on the left (and also on the right when he switched with Murphy) but when he did get the ball he was a real handful.
Murphy was the pick of the outfield players as he really ran at the defence and caused them a lot of problems. He didn’t have much support though so he was often running into blind alleys.
The trialist, Jones from West Brom, didn’t do much but looked tidy. Kinsella was good in the first-half at right-back, trying to support the attack, but I think he should have been marking the scorer of the first goal from the corner.
Man of the match goes to MacGillivray who pulled off four or five good saves and tried to marshall our shaky defence.
£2 to get in though! I thought it was free!!!!!!