Worst luck Walsall have to visit another inform team. If you look at the current form tables Hartlepool sit top followed by Stockport and then Darlington, so the size of the task ahead can not be under estimated. Add to this our injury worries and you can understand Saddlers fans going north in fear rather than hope. Darlington are sitting just outside the play off places trying to push there way in for a late surge for promotion, Dave Penny has really turned the ship around.
Of course much of the talk has been about injurys. With Centre halves Picken and Roper sidelined they have now been joined by Westwood and Dobson, so DD has a real selection headache.
The positives from the Walsall camp has been talking up the impact of the two Kev’s and the return to form last saturday. Whilst both managers have been stressing the difficultly of the game saturday.
Darlington Team News:
No new injury news has been leaked out from Darlington so Dave Penny will have the option of fielding the team which has performed so well in recent weeks. This would mean that our thread bare defence has to come face to face with ex saddlers loanee Tommy Wright and local lad and former WBA youngster Simon Johnson. Of course waiting on the bench is former fans favorite Julian Joachim. JJ came off the bench to score the winner against Torquay last week.
Player to watch: Tommy Wright
As most Saddlers fans have seen, when he played for us against Notts County he showed he can upset any defence. He also showed he is capable of getting plenty of goals at this level.
However there is a dark side, he plays the game on the edge some times he crosses the line and gets in trouble with the ref.
Walsall Team News:
Defence is a major concern as it has been stripped of any experience. That may be a major factor against an experienced Darlington front line. To add to these problems the protector in front of the back four Micheal Dobson also looks likely to be missing.
So the pack will have to be shuffled, but sources close to the club are not ruling out a late defensive loan signing.
Player to watch: Clayton Ince
With the defence so badly hit,it is important Clayton puts in an assured performance he could be the difference between a point and comming away with nothing.
Match Facts & Stats
Past meetings, Darlington have won 9 to Walsalls 7. The last meeting at Darlington ended 2-2.
Torquay 0 – 1 Darlington
Darlington 2 – 1 Accrington
Swindon 1 – 1 Darlington
Darlington 2 – 0 Boston
Bristol Rovers 1 – 2 Darlington
Macclesfield 1 – 1 Darlington
S W Mathieson
We have not come across him this season but last season he was incharge of two away defeats for the saddlers including the 3-2 defeat at Port Vale.
Records sugest that he is a bit of a ‘homer’ but of course that could never be the case.
He likes his yellow cards but tends to keep his red card in his pocket so it looks like Tommy Wright will finish the game then.
Darlington are a team that if we hit top form we can beat.
However it is Darlington on top form, given this and our defensive problems I would be happy with a draw but in truth I would not be suprised if we came away empty handed.
Chester City at home next saturday