Andy Munro watches Blues at the Bescot.
Due to commitments, this was my only chance to watch a friendly to assess the Blues close-season ‘progress’. Typically, I chose the half team that was devoid of our new signings, who were turning out at the less than glorious defeat in Shrewsbury.
So what did I learn? Well, that Walsall is a welcoming family club with a neat and compact ground. I also learnt that their loss of fans’ favourite Bradshaw to Brazil (sorry, Barnsley) and the BetUnfair odds of them being 4-1 to be relegated, will not affect the optimism for a lively looking team who had previously despatched Solihull Moors 5-0.
As for Blues, it seems likely that things haven’t changed a great deal. Donaldson worked hard without looking anything like lethal. Behind him, in the hole was the Flim Flam man. Shinnie, as usual, showed some sublime skills and a commendable hunger for the ball but there was no end product to take the weight of Donaldson.
The youngsters Otabor and Reece-Brown showed great promise at times without being game changers whilst Stephen Gleeson went about his midfield business unspectacularly. Meanwhile, at the back, the defence played well enough apart from the obligatory goal conceding boob.
Overall, a decent display even though, Caddis’ free kick apart, our dead ball kicking, corners included, was woeful. Let’s hope that we can hang onto Cotterill! It was also a shame that we never got a sight of the promising young striker, Jack Storer, but a bright spot on the youth front was an impressive display from young full back Dom Bernard who showed a hunger in the tackle and for overlapping without overdue rashness.
Next season? At present lower mid-table beckons.