On a cold and crisp afternoon at the Bescot, the Saddlers took on their Kent rivals in a crucial league game for both sides. Walsall was looking for a home win to move them back up the table and a decent crowd of 4917 turned up to see if they could do it.
The early dominance came from the home side. ‘Man of the Match’, Ismail, was impressive and was getting past his marker with ease. However, a couple of early goalmouth scrambles amounted to nothing.
As the half went on, Bakayoko, Ismail and Morris fired shots in on the Gillingham goal. There was very little threat coming from the Gills, with Roberts playing superbly at the back for Walsall. Then out of nothing…….
GOAL! In the 43rd minute, a Kinsella back pass to the keeper was intercepted by Wilkinson who stabbed it home. The 355 away fans celebrated an undeserved half-time lead.
Walsall came out with renewed determination in the second period and the next 15 minutes or so saw shot after shot at the Gillingham goal. Most of these were well blocked and defended by the opposition players. Walsall needed a bit of fortune or a lucky deflection to go their way.
The manager brought on Roberts, Flanagan and Agyei for Edwards, Morris and Baka respectively, as Walsall went for it.
There was a glimmer of hope in the 70th minute, as Ehmer brought down Roberts for his second yellow. The home fans now sniffed a goal but it wasn’t to be and they couldn’t find the equaliser their play deserved.
In the press conference, JW felt that the result was a ‘kick in the teeth’ for his young side and defended Kinsella. It’s Fleetwood up next on Tuesday night….