It’s has been called ‘the biggest game of our careers’ over the previous week, and while that may seem a bold claim, any Walsall fan will tell you how important Saturday’s clash with Wycombe was.
Failure to bring any points back from Oldham in midweek, set the stage for the game against immediate relegation rivals Wycombe to be a potentially season deciding game in some respects.
The game started quietly and with neither goalkeeper being tested, a few bright spots of running from Jamie Paterson and a fluffed chance for Alex Nicholls along with a debatable penalty shout turned down, the only real noteworthy points for The Saddlers in the first half.
Shortly into the second half, exciting loanee Flo Cuvelier burst into the Wycombe area in a run from midfield and was tripped just before he pulled the trigger.
Alex Nicholls stepped up to see his second penalty this week fail to hit the back of the net, his tame effort comfortably saved by the Wycombe ‘stopper.
The downtrodden Alex Nicholls was replaced not long later by George Bowerman to the obvious pleasure of the Saddlers crowd.
Then out of nowhere Kevan Hurst was given a free run from midfield, which he duly teed up and smashed a wild swerving shot into the back of the net to give Walsall the lead.
Walsall seemed to grow in confidence with Bowerman looking a threat asswell as Paterson and Cuvelier, and experienced head Jon Macken returning from injury for the last twenty minutes.
Macken’s introduction into proceedings bore fruit quickly as his experience and quality saw him slip a clever ball through to Bowerman who duly made it two from 7 yards out.
A solid second half won us a game that could have been very different, and disappointingly coincided with all of the teams around us (obviously with the exception of Wycombe) picking up victories.
Tuesdays rearranged game at Glanford Park v Scunthorpe still looks a vital match in the course of the season, although some would say every game between now and the end of the season could and should be treated like a cup final!
Full Time: Walsall 2
Hurst 62′ Bowerman 85′
Attendance: 3,491 (300 Wycombe fans)
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