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Archived News from September 2006

29th September 2006 21:19

Tribute to a model professional
Sep 28 2006, By Brian Halford

MATT Gadsby will be in everybody's thoughts when Walsall play Mansfield Town on Saturday.

Just three weeks after the 27-year-old died while in action for Hinckley United at Harrogate, two of the clubs for whom he played league football meet at Bescot Stadium.

The death of Gadsby saddened the football world but nowhere more deeply than at Bescot where he came through the youth system.

In advance of Saturday's game, at which collections will be made for the Matt Gadsby Fund (to support his widow Sarah and baby daughter Milly), Walsall chairman Jeff Bonser today remembered the player as a model professional.

"Matt was a great guy and a model professional throughout his time at Walsall," Bonser said.

And I am sure that all at Mansfield, Kidderminster, Forest Green and Hinckley United, where he also played, would say the same."

The football world has rallied round to show its support for the fund, which has already exceeded £2,000. Many Saddlers' supporters have donated while the likes of Dean Keates and Jimmy Walker have given shirts for auction.

"It is at times like this that you realise that, in one respect, football is just a game," said Bonser. "But in another, it is much more than that.

"In the grand scheme of things, results on a football field pale into insignificance but it is under the umbrella of football that people from all walks of life can all come together."

Matt Gadsby's funeral will take place at St Mary's Church, Newton Regis, Tamworth, next Thursday at 3pm
Evening Post, 29 September 2006
On paper at least, there appears only one likely result from the Stags' visit to table-toppers Walsall.

The Saddlers have got off to a flying start in League Two on the back of five wins out of five at the Bescot Stadium, scoring 12 goals without conceding one.

Mansfield, on the other hand, have yet to win on their travels in the league in five attempts and have lost and failed to score in the last three of those.

That all points to a comfortable victory for Richard Money's side, but the beauty of football is that you can never say never.

The mood in the Mansfield camp ahead of the game is one of optimism - and that is typified by goalkeeper Jason White.

Having helped the Stags to a 1-0 win over Darlington on Tuesday, he insists the Stags can pull off a surprise in the West Midlands.

"Walsall have started very well, but at the end of the day they are only a football team and there is no reason why we can't come away with the three points," said White.

"They have not at lost at home yet but they are going to at some point, so why can't it be us who ends that run on Saturday?

"After Saturday's game (a 2-2 draw with Accrington) the lads were a little bit down because they felt it was two points lost rather than one gained.

"But it was a good solid team performance against Darlington and I thought the defence was magnificent.

"It has given the team a bit of a lift and we go there on Saturday with our confidence high."

White admits it is a relief for Mansfield to have recorded their first league clean sheet of the season against the Quakers - at the 11th attempt.

He said: I would have liked to have got one in some of our other games, but I thought we worked hard enough and deserved one on Tuesday.

"It hasn't grated on me that we haven't had one until now because I don't let it affect me, however many goals go in.

"But it is a big boost for me and the rest of the defenders."

Michael Boulding could be back in contention after missing the Darlington game with a knock to his knee.

The swelling has now subsided and Stags boss Peter Shirtliff hopes he will be available for selection.
Money warning for his high-fliers
Sep 29 2006, By Brian Halford

HIGH expectations will accompany League Two leaders Walsall into action against Mansfield Town at Bescot Stadium tomorrow.

The Saddlers will be seeking to extend a perfect home record of five wins from five games without conceding a goal.

But manager Richard Money today warned that the slightest drop in application could bring a halt to his side's excellent run.

Mansfield have not won in five attempts away from Field Mill. But in a division renowned for throwing up unpredictable results (somehow Peterborough won at Swindon just four days after being hammered at Bescot) Money knows that any lack of concentration can be punished.

"On any given day any team can beat anyone else," said the Saddlers manager.

"Boston beat Lincoln on Wednesday and, to be honest, I wasn't surprised.

"Boston have been desperate for a result and that's the way this division is.

"Mansfield will be difficult. They beat Darlington in midweek and Darlington are a good team. We'll have to be strong and organised and play our football when we can."

Money won't deviate far from the team which fought out a 1-1 draw with Shrews-bury on Tuesday.

His main decision is in central defence where Ian Roper is expected to shrug off the knock he collected at Bristol Rovers last Saturday.

Scott Dann and Anthony Gerrard did well at Shrewsbury but Roper is a hard man to leave out, if fit.

Friday 29 September 2006
Walsall vs Mansfield Town Preview
neilr2 @ 12:37 pm Friday 29 September 2006
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It's another local derby tomorrow (of sorts) as we renew rivalries with another old “friend” in the shape of Mansfield Town. Minds on both sides may be a little distracted by the collections and the fund raising for Matt Gadsby, but this is also an important game, as the Saddlers continue in the attempt to try and get some daylight between then and the following clubs. A gap is already starting to appear after the first five or six and this is a bit like a long distance race in a major Championship, where you keep applying the pressure until you're down to three, when the real race for first place can start. My God, I'll be saying “it's a marathon, not a sprint” next!

After a long period of two games in a week, Richard Money's men will be feeling the strain and the performances away at Bristol Rovers and Shrewsbury suggest that the first 11 is getting tired, despite the 4 points from the two games. The temptation will be for him to mix it up a little tomorrow.

Darren Wrack is now back in training and being looked at for a run out in the reserves next week against Barnsley and Nicholls has already appeared for them, but the game is probably too early him to play a part.

Ian Roper is fit again, as is James Constable, so the only other absentee is Allan Picken, who seems unable to shake off his troublesome knee injury.

If DD doesn't mix it up, then the team is likely to be:

Ince, Westwood, Roper, Gerrard, Taylor, Wright, Dobson, Keates, Fox, Sam, Butler

Also fighting for a chance will be Bossu, Pead, Dann, Kinsella, Constable, Bedeau, Demontagnac.

As for Mansfield, manager Shirtliff has no real injury worries. Striker Michael Boulding has been missing, but is now due for a return to the first team, and defender Jon Olav Hjelde, who has been out for a while, made his return on Tuesday night We have, of course, come across him before in his Nottingham Forest days.

Danger man is likely to be former Sheffield Wednesday and Stockport midfielder Matt Hamshaw, who is their top scorer this season, with 4 goals.


Mansfield go into the game in a fairly lowly 14th position. Their record so far this season is:

P 11 Won 3 Drawn 4 Lost 4 GD –1, Points 13

Away from home, however, is their weakness, the record being:

P 5 Won 0 Drawn 2 Lost 3 GF 3 GA 7 GD –4 Points 2.

Despite them getting a good win in the week, against Darlington on Tuesday, their away form suggests that they will struggle against a team with a home record of:

P 5 Won 5 Goals For 12 Goals Against 0 Points 15.

I think I'll go for a home win.

Small Town In Poland Launch

Tomorrow's game will also see the launch of a new fanzine, “Small Town In Poland”, to replace the now defunct NMFE. The club have been without a fanzine for a while and this launch is an exciting prospect, given the fact that its predecessor was only being released on a very ad hoc basis even before its final demise.

The first edition will be in honour of the Matt Gadsby fund and around half of the proceeds will be being donated, once the printing costs have been paid.


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