Unfortunately, due to work commitments, my viewing of Notts' venture into goalless territory, the Bescot Stadium was minimal. I was reduced to fifteen minute phone-ins with my dad at the other end of the phone, and reliant on the ‘Championship' for goal action.
Here's how it went with my dad:
3pm: I rang in for team news, expecting Dudfield to start for a change, and also Jay Smith to debut in place of the suspended Somner. The latter happened, but when facing a side who have yet to concede at home this season, surely the best goalscorer should start. In my opinion that would mean a place in the first eleven for Dudfield.
3:15pm: My first report sounded good. A bright start from Notts, my dad and brother claiming that Pipe had been involved a lot, and caused some havoc in the Walsall end. Also Mendes had hit a couple of chances off the mark, whilst Walsall were scarcely on their game. Edwards had hit a good volley just wide also.
3:30pm: Not the news I wanted to hear, Notts going a goal down. However, according to my sources, Tommy Wright, Walsall's debut goalscorer, should have been sent off for a second bookable offence only two minutes earlier, when clattering into Kevin Pilkington. If that is true, a red is the only just decision, and he would not have been available to capitalise on sloppy defending to pounce.
3:50pm: 2-0 down at half-time. Apparently White was largely at fault, as was Mendes for gifting possession away, My dad, not Mendes' biggest fan, was rather scathing with his criticism of Notts' forward, adding that his shooting was once again questionable. Clayton Ince sounded unstoppable, and work was not going happily for me.
4:15pm: Why hasn't Thompson introduced substitutes earlier? Chasing the game, and he introduces a right back for a right back! At least Dudfield is on now, surely that poses more of a goal threat. Smith sounds a good player, and Notts are definitely on top. Where's the goal coming I ask? Nowhere with Ince in goal is the reply, even though he is content with the Magpies' performance.
4:50pm: All over. Here are a few summations:
My Dad: There first half, our second. We got better when Thompson introduced a more attacking mindset, particularly with Jay Smith looking unlikely to give the ball away. Indeed, my dad commented that he looked an extremely assured player. Mendes isn't scoring, and should be dropped, as should White. Ross finally got into the game, and was a threat when he did so. A good performance that deserved more.
My Brother: Echoed much of what my dad said, but also slammed the referee, unforgiving for letting Tommy Wright off the hook.
Gary Moss: Notts easily deserved a share of the spoils
Steve Thompson: Speaking after the game to the assembled media, “I never shun the truth. I was more annoyed at Boston than I am tonight. They are top of the league for a reason and we gave them both the goals, especially the second one, that was a disgrace. The goalkeeper in the first half has kept them in the game, the second half, credit to the players, they've come out, they've had a right go at it, the keeper has made another couple of good saves and I think we had enough chances to have won the game.”
Richard Money (Walsall boss): Speaking to Walsall's official site, Money reflected on the game. He said, “It was a blood and thunder League 2 game, I'm glad we came out of it with three points. We've seen pretty much every team in this division now and it's a very tough league but we have shown we can more than cope with whatever is thrown at us and I can't see any reason why that won't continue.”
From the NCM Messageboard:
County_man: I will never, ever know how he was on the pitch to score. When you've been booked and karate kick a goalkeeper, you've got to go.
Godissaddler: You lot will finish top 6 no problem. You outplayed us before we scored then I felt we took control. But with a shadow of a doubt you will be there no problem I reckon fourth or fifth.
Piratescotty: Its a real shame we only played that well today, because if we play like that against any other team in the league, we'd have won convincingly.
All evidence points to Notts deserving at the least a share of the spoils, from where I'm standing at least… and yes that was in a pub kitchen grilling off some steaks! But popular opinion shows Notts deserved better. Now have your say on the Messageboard.