After weeks if not months where Walsall have ground out results without hitting the form displayed earlier in the season, we started the New Year with a result and a performance to satisfy the Walsall faithful.
In truth we needed a pick me up after the injury time dissappointment against Bristol Rovers. In the first five minutes Walsall were taken back when Peterborough started well, looking for revenge for the Bescot 5-0 drubbing no doubt. However once that brief burst Walsall looked a class above the Posh and could have won by a bigger margin.
The first goal came following a free kick for a foul on Martin Butler. He dummied the ball allowingit to run to Sam for the one two and as he was bursting through he was brought down….chance lost we thought. Then up stepped Daniel Fox to hit the 25 yard Free kick into the top corner, Posh keeper Paul Rachubka rooted to the spot. The second came from a well worked free kick, Dobson playing the ball in for Fox to head to Westwood who finished in style volleying the ball into the top corner, again Rachubka helpless. The second goal knock the belief out of dismal Peterborough. Walsall played the ball around to Ole shouts from the traveling band of Walsall fans. One passage of play linked 14 to 15 passes before Wrights cross led to a chance saved by Rachubka. Walsall had another goal ruled out for offside before a brief revival before half time from Peterborough as Ince made a couple of neat stops.
Many Walsall fans expected a different second half with Peterborough stepping up and Walsall having a habit of sitting back on a lead. So it was. In the second half the defence was solid with Dobson sitting in front of the back four giving that extra cover, getting a foot or head to many attempts to find the Posh strikers. The introduction of two more strikers Benjamin and Yeo couldn’t help Peterborough find a way through. In fact Walsall could have had more with Wright causing trouble to the Posh defence Butler went close and the keeper saved well from a one to one with sub Tony Bedeau.
End of the game was greeted with boo’s from the home fans as Walsall celebrated extending the lead at the top to five points with Mk Dons and Lincoln losing. Happy New Year.
One moment of panic when a one handed catch from a cross spilled out. Otherwise it was the display we have come to expect, never looked like been beaten, even a decent free kick found Clayton at the top of his form.
Wouldn’t be suprised if he scored the best finish of his career today. In defence never put a foot wrong, he covered the centre halves well when required. He is not ready to give Geordie Lyall his shirt yet.
Some strong tackling as he faced Peterboroughs man of the match Jude Sterling, linked well with Fox.
After an off day against Rovers back to his commanding best.
It is hard to remember he is only 19 as good as Roper and only once did his inexperience let him down when he played the Posh strikers onside….in steps Clayton.
Walsalls most frustrating players some times he produces some times he doesn’t. Today he was a constant threat to the home defence.
A lot of what he does goes unnoticed but he was efficent and took his goal well
Started wearing a bandage around last saturdays head wound was up for the battle all day, kept his passing simple and the team was the better for it.
Not quiet as prominant in the second half as he was required to defend more. In the first he linked play well and got forward to support the front two.
Still showing the effects of the influx of strikers and is trying onto the shirt as well as the ball. One dive in the box brought a yellow card as once again he went down too easy.
The goal drought goes on, but the backing he gets from the fans shows the importance the effort running and general play is to the team.
Mixed bag, found it hard to get into the game coming on for Sam, had a one on one with Rachubka the keeper save well but I think a confident Bedeau would have scored. He fluffed some simple interplay which will not help his confidence.