Date: 15th August 2007 at 8:23am
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Walsall failed to turn up against Swansea on tuesday night, a two nil defeat was not suprising but still a bitter disappointment to those 150 odd Saddlers who made the the trip to the rain soaked Liberty Stadium.

Walsall made no changes from the team that started against Carlisle, proving the rumours about Carlos Carnerio had been unfounded. Swansea however made a number of changes.Roberto Martinez brought some new faces into the Swansea line up that lost to Oldham on Saturday with Allen , Monk , Kevin Austin , Mayol , Craney, Anderson and O Leary all starting for Swansea City. In fact it was Captains Monk’s first game since returning from injury. Whilst Allen celebrated this week’s international call up with a match winning performance from midfield.
Both teams really struggled to make an impression in the wet conditions. Walsalls defence was hold firm whilst not making any real impression up front with Carlos Carniero failing to get involved. However the first clear cut chance came when the hard working Tommy Mooney caught out Alan Tate to close in on goal. Whether it was indecisiion or just bad luck, the striker failed to find the net hitting the keepers legs instead. Football always gives rise to various if’s and but’s but it is true that if that had gone in the whole game would have been different.

Swansea, took the first half lead when Wrack who in general played well was beaten although the left wing cross by the impressive Joe Allen was only partly cleared by Anthony Gerrard only for it to be volleyed in by the unmarked Paul Anderson from 12 yards.

It was hoped that this would spur Walsall on but despite periods with the ball we lacked the creativity and cohesion to make many inroads into the Swans defence. In fact it was Swansea that looked the more likely, but Gerrard and Roper were solid.

Paul Anderson was substituted at half time and was replaced by Andy Robinson. Walsall also made a half time substitution with Carlos Carneiro coming on for Alex Nicholls.

Walsall started more like the team we had seen on saturday but the killer instinct was missing, and so was the luck. On another day Tommy Mooney would have had a couple of goals to his name. One chance a header seemed certain to pull us level only for a fortunate save on the line by the keepers outstretched legs.

Walsall and the manger will be disappointed with our set plays a corner count of 10 to 1 and numerous promising free kicks all came to nothing, an area we were strong in last season. As the game was comming to an end DD choice to send Scoot Dann forward rather than introduce striker Troy Deeney off the bench. This just left the gap at the back for Jason Scotland to add to saturdays goal with a strike from 18 yards which gave Clayton Ince no chance, on the 90th minute, game set and match to the Swans.

DD was right in his post match comments, we nearly played well, but in truth we didn’t perhaps the return of Weston, Sonko, Ishmel, Butler and a fit again Roper will make a difference. In truth it is early days and the players have not settled into a system of play, but if a season of mid table survival is going to be anything greater we need to find that cutting edge and that midfield creativity.

Player Ratings

Clayton Ince
The big guy couldn’t be faulted for either goal, another good performance after saturdays shaky start.

Darren Wrack
Played well and tried to get forward, but defencively weak, as was the case on saturday the initial goal came from his side.

Paul Boertien
Despite pressure showed his class, if he stays injury free he will prove to be our best signing this summer

Anthony Gerrard
Formed a solid defensive partnership with Scott, shame his poor clearence contributed to the first goal.

Scott Dann
His growing reputation was uneffected as Scott put in another solid performance.

Paul Hall
Played out wide moving inside alongside Tommy Mooney when Alex Nicholls came on, tried hard but things didn’t really come off for him.

Daniel Fox
Tried hard to support the front two but this often left the left back exposed. Some neat touches but his style of play makes it look like he has a lack of effort….not true but this will cause some Walsall fans to single him out for critics

Danny Sonner
Neat and tidy but involved in defensive duties rather than showing any creative play.

Micheal Dobson
See Danny Sonner

Carlos Carniero
I don’t know about a broken arm, it must have been a bang on the head. Failed in most areas of his game, the English game and pace of play in league One has come as a shock to him, needs to settle quickly. I imagine DD hadn’t planned to start him so early in his Walsall career.

Tommy Mooney
Star man …enough said

Alex Nicholls
Pace some trickery but is still learning his trade, head up and improve your decision making would be my advice.

Manager Rating
DD frustrating night and has probably lost his voice as he was as animated as I have seen him. However was an opportunity missed by not introducing other subs…hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Those expecting an easy ride against Leyton Orient next saturday well think again. They have spent well during the summer. Last night they followed there impressive 2-1 win at Southend with an even more impressive 2-1 win away at QPR. A tough day in London for the Saddlers.


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