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The Butler Did It!
By: Robert Salt
ALAN Buckley took his struggling team to face league leaders Walsall in front of the Sky's cameras tonight. Buckley, a former Walsall great in his playing days, soon found out that the Saddlers were in no mood to give Buckley any special favours as Butler scored both goals in a 2-nil defeat.
The Mariners lined up with new loan signing James Hunt in midfield at the expense of another loan player Anthony Pulis who has returned to parent club Stoke injured. There was also a rare start for Toner on the left wing with Till on the other side of midfield.
The game kicked off on a awful pitch that had more sand on it than Cleethorpes beach and it was Walsall who started the brighter. In just the second minute a long ball in was headed towards goal, Barnes thought he could come out and claim it before it was headed, but he had to back pedal and just managed to save it.
Shortly afterwards a weak back pass by Walsall almost presented Paterson with a chance to end his goal drought but the Walsall keeper just managed to clear.
Jones had a header just over the bar form a Till cross as Town were matching the league leaders. However a through ball on the right that should have been dealt with by Grand was taken off him by Hector Sam. The Trinidad and Tobago forward turned inside Grand before crossing a superb ball into the path of Butler who managed to get a free header between Whittle and Croft to make it 1 nil.
The lead was almost doubled when a long free kick into the Town penalty box was poorly controlled by an unmarked Walsall player and Barnes was able to collect easily.
The second half was very short of incidents. Toner saw a curled shot just wide of the post, before a fantastic half volley from the edge of the area by Gary Jones flew into the top corner only to be ruled out for offside. Townâ€™s drought of seven hours without a goal still stood!
With 15 mins left Buckley surprisingly took Patterson off for Danny North, who was immediately involved in a move that saw Jones head wide from a decent position. So many times have we seen Jonah score from those positions in the past.
However Walsall got the second killer goal when a long ball in the area was headed towards goal. Barnes spilled the save and the unmarked Butler raced in to tap it in.
Late on Nick Hegarty came on for Jones and almost scored with a fierce drive but the Walsall keeper pushed it over.
In all Town need a win and a goal. There were glimpses from time to time to show we can get out of the relegation danger, however we need that illusive win and a goal to get us going again.
MOM: Toner, gave a good account of himself on the wing as this is not his natural position.
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