Posted by: Bescot Banter


On Tuesday evening Walsall Football Club will travel to the Wirral to take on Tranmere Rovers in the Northern Area Semi Final of this season's Johnstone's Paint Trophy.
On Tuesday evening Walsall Football Club will travel to the Wirral to take on Tranmere Rovers in the Northern Area Semi Final of this season's Johnstone's Paint Trophy.

Walsall have benefited from over a weeks rest, having last played on 29th November, in a 0-0 Sky Bet League One draw with Coventry City.

Manager Dean Smith could be set to hand a recall to top scorer Tom Bradshaw who has missed the past few weeks through a hamstring injury. The Shrewsbury born striker has made a return to training over the past few weeks.

Smith told the Express & Star; “Whether he will start the game or will be on the bench, is something that we will discuss in the build-up to the game.

“Tom has trained well over the past few days and is up to speed, which is good news for us. Andy Taylor has a slight knock on the knee, but I am expecting him to be available.”

Meanwhile, left-back Andy Taylor has suffered a slight knock, but is expected to be fit for the game.

Midfielder Sam Mantom has recently received a diagnosis on the knee injury that has hampered his season, and following treatment, could be set to make his first start of the season very soon.

Tranmere Rovers currently sit in twenty-third place in Sky Bet League Two and will arrive at Tuesday evening's match on the back of an FA Cup Second Round draw with Oxford United. Rovers coming back from 2-1 down to force their opposition to a replay.

Tranmere's most recent League outing was a 3-1 victory over Portsmouth on 29th November, a game where they broke a streak of fourteen games where they'd conceded first.

Rovers have a few injury concerns ahead of the game, centre-back Matt Hill has an achilles injury, whilst Hull City defender, and now former Rovers loanee, Will Aimson has undergone surgery on a broken leg which he collected during the 'Super Whites' victory over Pompey, and is expected to miss the rest of the season.

In terms of head-to-head, of the seventy-one meetings, Walsall hold the overall lead with thirty-one wins to Rovers' twenty-five. There have also been fifteen draws between the two sides.

Their first meeting, which was a Division Three (North) tie, took place on 10th September 1921, with the Saddlers defeating their opponents by one goal-to-nil at Prenton Park.

In more recent times Walsall have not lost to Tranmere since April 2012, and have won two of the last five meetings (W 2, D 2, L 1), with their most recent meeting, which took place on 11th January 2014; ending in a one-all draw. Cole Stockton and Milan Lalkovic scored the goals in front of 4,871 at Prenton Park.

The referee for this match is scheduled to be Mr Geoff Eltringham, who is based in County Durham.

Mr Eltringham has officiated over sixteen games this season, where he has issued forty-six yellow and six red cards. He has also awarded five penalties during the campaign.

Paul Hodskinson and Jason Whiteley will be assisting the referee, whilst Christopher Kavanagh is scheduled to act as Fourth Official.

Football League sponsors Sky Bet are currently offering various bets for this game, including 'First Goalscorer', 'Correct Score', and much more.

Odds of; Tranmere Rovers: 3/5; Draw: 23/10; Walsall: 1/1 are currently* available.

Click HERE to visit the Sky Bet website.

*Odds correct as of 00:01, 08/12/2014.


Admission prices have been set, as follows: £12 (adults), £8 (seniors aged 65 and over and young persons aged 17-22) and £4 (juniors aged 16 and under). Advance tickets are now on sale from the Banks's Stadium Ticket Office. There will be no price increase on the day of the game, however only adults, Under-17s and seniors can pay on the turnstiles – Young Persons and Disabled concessions would need to purchase a ticket from the Ticket Office, which may involve queues.

Anyone wishing to purchase a Young Persons Ticket must provide ID (Student ID will not be accepted) and Disabled concessions must produce proof of Middle or Higher Care Component.

Disabled supporters with higher or middle care component are entitled to bring a carer free of charge. Wheelchair disabled tickets must be purchased directly from Tranmere Rovers on 0871 221 2001 (Option 1, 1).

Parking is available at £5 on a first-come, first-served basis (including disabled bays). The area surrounding the Stadium is all permit holders and traffic wardens are very vigilant on matchdays, so parking in these areas is not advised.

Tickets are on sale from Banks’s Stadium Ticket Office until 4:30pm on Monday, 8th December.
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