The Saddlers gained their first point in almost a month following our 1-1 draw with Bristol Rovers last night however it could have easily been another defeat!
Whitney again reshuffled his pack with Franck Moussa replacing Liam Kinsella, Andreas Makris replacing Maz Kouhyar and more suprisingly the inform Amadou Bakayoko was dropped for Simeon Jackson.
The Saddlers were the better team in the first half creating numerous chances and took the lead on sixteen minutes thanks to a moment of brilliance from Erhun Oztumer. The ball did fall nicely to the ‘Turkish Messi’ but he still had work to do finding the corner from twenty yards out.
The Saddlers should have had a blatant penalty on the twentieth minute when Simeon Jackson was blatantly tripped inside the box but to the amazement of everyone in the stadium – the referee waved the protests away.
The Saddlers were again the masters of their own downfall as Adam Chambers fouled Bodin on the edge of the box but the inconsistent referee Brendan Malone awarded Rovers a spot kick which was excellently put away by the inform Matt Taylor.
Just before half time Matty Taylor got his stopping head onto the ball which was excellently clawed out by Neil Etheridge – it was brilliantly pushed around the post.
Following our poor second half showings this season, you expected a Bristol Rovers victory and it would have come if it wasnt for a master show by Neil Etheridge in the Walsall goal.
Harrison should have won the game for Rovers on the hour mark but a brilliant ball by Taylor was somehow headed over when it was easier for Harrison to miss.
Morris should have put the Saddlers 2-1 up when slipped through by Jackson but Morris somehow hit the ball over the bar from close distance.
In the closing stages Taylor fired inches wide for the hosts to put hearts in mouths to the 170 Saddlers fans that made the trip.
Positives? – We scored an away goal. We dropped 4-2-3-1. Oztumer looked superb. Etheridge was superb. We gained a point.
Negatives? – We still dont know what we want to achieve. We are still throwing things together and hope they work.
Lets not kid ourselves it is a welcomed point but on another day against better opposition it could have easily been a hammering, however we take the point and move towards hosting League 1 leaders Bolton Wanderers.