So yesterday did happen then and it wasn’t some horrible nightmare.
At half time we were comfortable, two goals up and nine points clear of the relegation zone – forty five minutes later and we lost and found ourselves just three points clear with Rochdale and Oldham both with a game in hand (yes we know their game in hand is against each other) but come Tuesday we could be just two points clear.
If the first half gave us encouragement that Dean Keates had somehow managed to take a side lacking in quality and confidence then the second half really did hit home that these players as a group simply aren’t good enough.
Relegation is now probably more than possible and whether we survive or not then the board need to have a long hard look at themselves in the mirror and ask themselves if they did what was best in the interest of the club. Jon Whitney should have been sacked after Newport, at least Keates would have had a transfer window – one which was rushed and ended up putting us in a worst position than we were at Christmas. Bielik – who? Ngoy – hit and miss. Shaibu – not good enough, were all rushed through at the last minute and you’d be foolish to think it wasn’t to appease fans ahead of the early bird sales. Likewise the sacking of Whitney was a commercial one rather than a footballing one. Had we sold just as many tickets as last season then Whitney would have still been here.
Anyways onto yesterday’s game. Saddlers started very bright with Leahy shooting from distance which was pushed away by Wimbledon keeper. Dobson then had an attempt at goal but a last ditch challenge thwarted his effort.
Moments later and the Saddlers were in front, Oztumer whipped in a free kick which was diverted in by Fitzwater. Think Arry Kane will be awarded with it though.
Flo then had our next effort but went wide.
Wimbledon then had their first effort of the game. An unswinging corner was heading for the top corner but Roberts tipped it over the bar.
You got the feeling that Wimbledon were coming to terms with how we played and they came more and more into it but a cracking finish by Ngoy on the stroke of half time seemed to end any doubt of Wimbledon coming back into it….how wrong could we be?
Wimbledon came out second half with three at the back and we just couldn’t cope. Wave after wave of attacks saw Wimbledon get their foot back in the game.
Devlin who was superb on Wednesday night, went to ground with a stupid challenge and penalty trigger happy referee Mark Heywood pointed to the spot.
Roberts saved the initial penalty with his legs and then somehow managed to push the second effort away but our defence was flat footed and Joe Piggott was on hand to turn it into the net.
Moments later and Wimbledon hit the post. A superb turn of foot by Taylor and he was in. His acrobatically effort was past Roberts before he had chance to react. Luckily for the Saddlers it came back off the upright and to safety. If this wasn’t a another wake up call then I don’t know what would have woke these useless bunch up.
If the Afternoon couldn’t get any worse Jack Fitzwater went off injured and was replaced by Kory Roberts.
Roberts somehow let Taylor run past him following a long clearance by the Dons keeper and Taylor finished past Liam Roberts. 2-2.
In the fifth minute of added time Dons were given their second penalty of the game. Heywood had already given three penalties against the Saddlers this season so a fourth and fifth in this game wasn’t a surprise, what was though was how Lyle Taylor cheated his way to getting the spot kick.
Taylor backed into Roberts on the edge of the area and a slight arm on him and he was on the deck. Heywood shouldn’t be giving those decisions in the ninety fifth minute of a relegation six pointer. Parrett hammered it in, 3-2 Wimbledon.
Look at that. How the Wimbledon player was allowed chance to get to it before any of these I’ll never know. pic.twitter.com/fni8F5RfY3
? Vital Walsall (@VitalWalsall) April 14, 2018
This decision may well have got us relegated. Penalty ? pic.twitter.com/zcj7avHVpC
? Steve Wells (@BlackShadow998) April 15, 2018
Im not one to criticise players but there were a handful of them that were pathetic second half. Oztumer shouldn’t be doing fancy flicks to Wimbledon players in a relegation six pointer when he can bring it down and find a Walsall player. Bakayoko shouldn’t be losing out on strength and pace to Wimbledon defenders time and time again. Kory Roberts shouldn’t be letting Taylor run through so easily for their second goal. Chambers should be more vocal on the pitch than Devlin is. Devlin shouldn’t be going to ground so easy for their first penalty. It really is a mess.
We now head to Scunthorpe before a must win against Northampton before trips to Bradford and Fleetwood.
We need five points from the remaining four games, are we going to do it? Probably not.
Hurry up and get your tickets for Fleetwood because this is going to the last day.