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Bescot Stadium - Walsall
Saturday 9th February 2008
V Yeovil Town, League One 3pm

By Jonathan Saunders

1. Why you were looking forward to going to the ground (or not as the case may be):

I had been to the Bescot before in previous seasons and found it to be one of those unusual grounds. With it only being 3 hours from Huish Park it seemed one our shorter away journey's compared to Carlisle, Hartlepool etc..

2. How easy was your journey/finding the ground/car parking?

It's half hour to Taunton and then straight up the M5 motorway. You will see the ground from the motorway, (it's the big structure with Floors-2- Go emblazed across the roof). There is plenty of car parking to be had but a word of warning is not to park in the retail park adjacent as clamping is in operation during matchdays.

3. What you did before the game pub/chippy.... home fans friendly?

We headed for the Saddlers Bar which is situated in one corner of the ground. Admission is 1 to enter but inside you will find plenty on offer including Banks quite conveniently at 1.50 a pint along with Carling, Fosters, Carlsberg all at 2.10. Also hot food is available with 5 different pies on offer along with burgers, chips, hotdogs etc all reasonably priced and tasted fantastic

4. What you thought on seeing the ground, first impressions of away end then other sides of the ground?

Even though the ground was built in 1990 it has to be one of the poorest in the league. The ground looks lopsided with the Floors-2-Go stand towering above the rest. The other three stands all have supporting pillars running across them, so at big games try not getting stuck behind one. The away end was not too bad with a good following on the day and due to the roof even a small number of fans can really make some noise.

5. Comment on the game itself, atmosphere, stewards, pies, toilets etc..

The game itself was high tempered and played at a fast pace. Yeovil starting slow being on the back foot for much of the first 15 minutes. The first half went mostly incident free until a truly awful challenge by Tommy Mooney on Steve Mildenhall left the Yeovil goalkeeper in agony on the floor. Mooney was carded, more so for his words to the referee however a straight red for the challenge may of been a better bet. Even thought in agony Mildenhall carried on for the remainder of the half. The whistle went for half time and Walsall hadn't been able to take advantage of Mildenhall's injury. Up stepped 19 year old former youth team defender Craig Alcock, standing at 5ft 7 he wasn't the tallest player in the squad however he seemed the only choice with Russell Slade not wanting to upset the back line of Peltier, Guyett, Skiverton and Jones.

As the half wore on it seemed like Yeovil may get something out of the game with Walsall not offering Alcock anything. However, in the 70 th minute Lee Holmes on loan from Derby slotted home from 12 yards for Walsall and in the 90th minute former Yeovil loanee Kevin Betsy slotted home a rebound after a fantastic stop by Alcock, to give the saddlers all three points. The final whistle went and even though it kept up our winless run for 2008 it was a much better performance then Huddersfield the previous week. A word of warning Stewards are very picky and will throw you out for near enough anything. Even gesturing at the fans got you a ejection from the ground and when fans went to argue they were thrown out too.

6. Comment on getting away from the ground after the game:

We joined the Motorway further down and were back at Huish Park by 8pm. Then off down the pub for a few pints and a game of darts.

7. Summary of overall thoughts of the day out:

If you pick and choose which away games you go to then I would say give this one a miss. Overpowering Stewards and a poor atomosphere inside the ground doesn't quite match up to days out at Forest, Leeds or Huddersfield.
 

 

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