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Gabe's Verdict: Walsall

Gabe's Verdict: Walsall
Ben Alnwick (6)
A good performance from Alnwick, although he did have some shaky moments. Walsall`s wonder goal left him no chance. His distribution is gradually improving however he nearly had a nightmare when Walsall`s Amadou Bakayoko pounced on his slip but to only fire into the side netting.

Derik Osede (7)

A very impressive display from the Spaniard. Didn`t look out of place once and complimented the powerful partnership of David Wheater and Mark Beevers well. Looked cool and collected on the ball and played some delightful balls over the top to Madine. I was delighted to see us a play a three at the back and Derik emphasised the tactic perfectly.

Mark Beevers (8)

A typical Mark Beevers performance. Much of Beevers work goes unnoticed but he is the rock at the back. Continuously won the ball in the air and didn`t put a foot wrong. Consistent.

David Wheater (8)

Beevers and Wheater may be the best partnership in the league. Similarly to Beevers, he didn`t put a foot wrong. Not much more to add.

Andrew Taylor (7)

Pleased to see him back in the side following the groin injury last weekend at Milton Keynes. He suited the wing back role, defended well and whipped in some good crosses. Adds so much needed stability to the team.

Jay Spearing (8)

Another fantastic performance from the skipper. His corners were dangerous and protected the Wanderers back line. His leadership and mentality will be tested in the coming weeks with tough tests against Rochdale, Bradford and leaders Sheffield United

Liam Trotter (7)

Good performance from Trotter. He scored a screamer that silenced quite a few 'haters`. I`m not a fan of Trotter but he worked hard and looked determined to prove the Wanderers faithful his worth. Please perform like this every week Liam!

Josh Vela (6)

Similarly to last week at Milton Keynes, Vela failed to gain a foothold in the game. Unfortunately Vela wasn`t able to replicate his highly energetic displays; however he works hard and puts a shift in. Hopefully he can gain some momentum and form going into this tricky period in the upcoming weeks

Filipe Morais (9)

Another inspiring performance from the Portuguese winger. Worked his socks off and gave his all for the team. Morais adds another dimension to the team and whipped in some tasty crosses. Adds great width to the team and he is just the type of player we have needed in the squad, an out and out winger. Another free agent proving his worth.

Gary Madine (7)

Some intelligent movement and a powerful header to finish it off. Another motivating performance from Madine. Put a shift in and held the ball up fairly well. He linked up well with Le Fondre also.

Adam Le Fondre (7)

It's marvellous to see Le Fondre back in a Wanderers shirt. Just by his movement its evident he`s one class above this league. Worked hard and was very unlucky not to grab a goal. Once fully gained match sharpness he will be banging them in.

Substitutes

Chris Long (9)

What a home debut! Added pace and fluidity to our frontline. But my word, what a screamer! His persistent closing down paid off, sprinting past two defenders and unleashed a wicked strike in the top corner from an acute angle. He is going to be a big player for us.

Viv Solomon-Otabor (6)

Surprisingly only given six or so minutes but more positive signs from the youngster. Looked ambitious, quick and willing to take his opponent on. Another player who could play a massive part in our push for promotion.

Tom Thrope (5)

Came on and did his bit. Protected the defence well, if anything he came on to waste a bit of time and tighten up at the back

Ref Watch- Darren Drysdale - (6)

Not many clear cut decisions but a good enough performance by the referee. However I do feel that he was slightly harsh on numerous occasions for physical battles between Gary Madine and the Walsall centre backs. We would also like to wish liner Helen Bryne a speedy recovery after falling ill during the half time interval.

Writer:Gabe John
Date:Saturday February 11 2017
Time: 10:22PM

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