I can't believe the performance that I witnessed at Boundary Park on Saturday. From the encouraging win at Bristol Rovers a few days previously, this was a real shocker. Manager Chris Hutchings admitted after the game that his players didn't come out with any credit and he was absolutely right. Sitting in the freezing cold at Oldham watching such an inept and flat performance was soul-destroying and compounded my belief that Walsall had turned the corner.
The match stats don't lie. They say that Oldham had six shots on target and that Walsall had...none. Both sides had three shots off target. Oldham forced nine corners to Walsall's one. If it wasn't for the continuing form of veteran goal keeper Clayton Ince Walsall would have lost this game three or four nil. For the record The Latic's dangerman Pawel Abbott got the game's only goal in the second half.
I could say that Troy Deeney had a certain penalty turned down when he was held off the ball for several seconds in the box and that the Oldham keeper Dean Brill did a two footed challenge on Darren Byfield but that can't mask the fact that Saddlers were clueless.
Walsall introduced on loan player Julian Gray midway through the second half in an attempt to change things around but he had little service and a key feature to this performance was the inability to pass a ball to a team mate. It had to be seen to be believed. We can only hope that Walsall go back to basics and re-group for Tuesday night's game at Leeds United.