Stranded Hatters Lose Again
14th November '09/3pm
County's luck was out again today as the young Hatters crashed to a fourth successive league defeat - and a fifth loss in a row at the Bescot without scoring a single goal.
Boss Gary Ablett was dealt a blow when Johnny Mullins failed a late fitness test, meaning Michael Rose was shifted to centre-back and Adam Griffin came in to deputise at left-back - losing all of Rose's attacking threat down the flank and decent service to the strikers.
After thirty seconds County could have been behind, when Darren Byfield robbed Griffin of possession and fired a long-distance effort just past the post from about 30 yards.
County - who haven't scored two in a league game since the 29th September - did claw their way into the game, but to be honest, with the lack of real cutting edge and with the probable loss of Baker, fon Williams and maybe Mullins in January, you have to ask where the quality's going to come from at both ends of the pitch.
Walsall did take the lead 7 minutes before half-time. Steve Jones floated through the County defence unchallenged until he ran into Griffin who was adjudged to have fouled the winger.
Matt Richards stepped up to seemingly effortlessly curl the ball up and over the County wall and into the far corner.
To the Hatters credit, they did carve out some real chances and maybe with some luck - the referee turned down two '100 % blatant' penalty decisions, so I hear from County fans making their way home - we could have snatched something from the tie.
But after the decisions didn't go our way, you knew it wasn't going to be our day when Paul Turnbull slipped and lost the ball to Bradley in midfield, who set up that man Darren Byfield who gloriously chipped the ball over the helpless fon Williams.
Apart from Clayton Ince making a few world-class saves from sub Oli Johnson and Peter Thompson efforts, there was nothing for the travelling County fans to get excited about and the game petered out again, much to Gary Ablett's frustration.
I hate to say it, but if this apparent take-over doesn't happen sharpish, I'm afraid it's League 2 here we come.