League Managers Association hail Saddlers comeback...THE LEAGUE Managers Association five-man Performance of the Week panel, comprising LMA Chairman Howard Wilkinson, Sir Alex Ferguson, Joe Royle, Dave Bassett and Barry Fry, were in agreement that this week the LG Performance of the Week Award should go to Walsall following their excellent 3-2 victory against fellow promotion contenders, Gillingham in Sky Bet League One on Saturday 31st October 2015.
The experienced and highly distinguished panel has managed a combined total of over 6,000 competitive matches in professional football. Walsall manager, Dean Smith, will receive a specially commissioned trophy made by world renowned silversmiths and LMA Partner, Thomas Lyte of London, in a presentation to commemorate the award.
Gillingham started the game top of the league on a 6 game unbeaten run and looked likely to extend their lead at the top after going 2-0 up within 25 minutes.
However, Smith’s side showed their resilience and quality with two goals in two minutes to bring the scores level before half-time.
In the dying moments of the match, Jason Demetriou blasted the ball beyond the reach of Gillingham keeper, Stuart Nelson, to secure the three points for the home side and lift them to the top of the table in truly dramatic fashion.
“It’s always nice to be recognised by such an esteemed panel,” said Smith. “It was a terrific game and a very entertaining game as well.
“To come back from a two-goal deficit against the current league leaders was a credit to the player’s character. It took a lot of skill and belief to get us back in the game and I’m pleased for each and every one of the players.
“Even at 2-0 I still felt we’d been playing well. I said to Richard [O’Kelly] that I thought we didn’t deserve to be two goals down.
“We were punished for a couple of mistakes and that makes it even more pleasing that we dealt with that adversity. Once we drew level at 2-2, we were the team that looked to go on and win the game.”