Newsletter
Join Our Team
 Twitter     Facebook     Instagram     Google News
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER - HERE!

BLOG: WORSE THAN ENGLAND...

In the latest of his regular columns, Hillary Street-Ender takes a look at penalty shootouts, and along with a look back through the Saddlers previous shootout efforts, he considers the chances of the Saddlers progressing through to the Third Round of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy should penalties be required.
In the latest of his regular columns, Hillary Street-Ender takes a look at penalty shootouts, and along with a look back through the Saddlers previous shootout efforts, he considers the chances of the Saddlers progressing through to the Third Round of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy should penalties be required.

When it comes to penalty shootouts is there any team out there that has a poorer success rate than the Saddlers? We've emerged victorious a few times over the years but you’d do well to remember the last one and you’d be well advised to dread our Paint Pot game at Rochdale reaching that stage because that’s the competition where we must have met our end via a shoot-out more times than just about any other team. Indeed our record from the spot in these games makes for very sorry reading. The otherwise successful campaign of 2006/7 saw us drawn at home to Swansea, they scored after 89 minutes, Darren Wrack – in his comeback appearance after that horrendous injury suffered at Yeovil – came on as a late sub and scrambled a last minute equaliser. One each, no extra-time so straight to spot-kicks and an early exit. 2009/10 saw us face Bury at Bescot where we again bit the dust, after a goal-less ninety minutes. The next season saw the lads go easy on us fans when penalties weren’t needed as we contrived to lose by two goal to one at home to Chesterfield, who were in League Two at the time as had been Bury twelve months earlier.

Things returned to normal in the 2011/12 season as we played out a one-all draw at none other than Rochdale before keeling over in our now accustomed manner. Once again our most likely route to that elusive first ever Wembley appearance was closed to us but there’s always next season, isn’t there? Yes, there was next season and I’ll give you one guess as to what happened then. Again we were drawn at home against opponents from a lower division and actually strolled to a comfortable-looking two-nil lead before high-flying Port Vale hit back to level the game and our hearts began to sink as we headed into probably the most ridiculous shoot-out we’ve ever been involved in. In a process that felt as though it would never end all twenty two players who’d been on the pitch at the end of the game took a kick and, ridiculously, the winning score panned out at just six-five. To Vale. Obviously. Goes without saying.

Last campaign saw us given a trip to the Custard Bowl and a crack at the team we love to beat more than any other. We don’t emerge victorious against that lot from Molineux very often, it has to be said, but that only serves to make each victory all the more glorious and how we ached for a win this time around. Home players and supporters, as usual, seemed to think they only needed to turn up in order to win but we gave them an almighty scare, twice coming back from a goal down – our first coming courtesy of ex-Dingle Ashley Hemmings, he must have loved it as much as us – to earn a two-all draw to then mess it all up from twelve yards yet again. Not a nice defeat to take as they hadn’t deserved to win and away we walked amid much gnashing of teeth. We only had to wait two weeks to take revenge for our JPT exit and on that never-to-be-forgotten evening revenge was most definitely a dish best served red hot. I digress, but I’m sure you don’t mind…..

To recap, we've exited the Paint Pot on penalties in four of the last five seasons so the last thing we need is another shoot-out this time around, especially when stopping to consider  that among the failures of the last five campaigns we also have to include a spot-kick defeat at home to Dagenham & Redbridge at the end of one hundred and twenty minutes of the most arse-clenchingly awful FA Cup football ever witnessed by those unfortunate enough to be present on what was a bone-chillingly cold evening. So, our record in the games covered is six cup exits over a period of eight years, all down to our ineptitude from twelve yards out. So, please Deano, boys, don’t let it get to that stage this time. All you need to do is to win over ninety minutes.

How difficult can it be?

Don't forget you can join us across social media, we're @BescotBanter on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. You can also find the very latest Saddlers news and updates on Google News.
We've launched a brand new newsletter! To secure your copy, or if you require further information, just visit newsletter.bescotbanter.net and subscribe for regular updates.
Previous Post Next Post