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Low quality

I'm in Walsall again on a random Saturday in February. What for? Well it can mean only one thing: these blogs are back.

Well, for this week anyway. This, for whatever reason, is the first blog for the year, having not posted since Christmas Eve (see A Christmas Khalsa blog). I did kind of allude to the fact that the blogs are unreliable, but I didn't expect this level of negligence from myself.

I sound like I'm doing an apology on Twitter after being cancelled. Anyway, what I was trying to say was my game got called off yesterday, so I went to The Bescot Stadium to watch Walsall host Newport in League Two instead. Below was just before kick off the only photo I took of the stadium, so the quality of the photo isn't the best, but stick with it. The other photo below this one is taken by a good mate Luke Rushbrooke (@luke_rushbrooke on X/Twitter).

The ticket was booked mid-morning and ready to go. Sat right behind the goal to get right in on all of the action. I didn't really need to worry about action though, but more on that later.

The train journey down was quite an experience. It consisted of the following: Police in the waiting room, the busiest train ever with about 500 people getting off at one stop, a ticket inspector who looked like Patrick Stewart, a bloke next to me rambling intermittently, and another bloke in Walsall holding up a shoe whilst on the phone.

I eventually reached the ground about 2pm after a long walk from Walsall station, and after lots more walking back and forth with confusing directions from signage and from stewards, I found my seat and caught up with an old friend who follows the Saddlers home and away. He said to me when I arrived "You've picked a good game." Quite ironic, given how things unfolded, but more on that later.

I immediately dashed to the food stall, which, as I'm sure many will agree, is the most important part of the day. I ordered a Balti pie..... but they didn't have any forks. Only that splint of wood that people use to stir coffee. Sensational stuff, so I had to (messily) eat a pie with my hands. That wasn't enough for me, so I went and got a cheeseburger as well. Food rating out of 10? Probably 7/10, which is good for me. I normally rate most ground's food about a 5.

Before we knew it, I had a quick flick through the match programme and we were underway. The usual One Step Beyond blasted over the tannoy before the chants from the home end were in full swing. She Wore A Yellow Ribbon being the most common one.

A picture of The Bescot early on Saturday afternoon, courtesy of @luke_rushbrooke

It didn't take long before hopes were dashed of a good start as a deflected goal saw Newport go 1-0 up inside four minutes. Then 2-0 after a quarter of an hour. Finished with a free header before half time to make it 3-0. Unsurprisingly, boos rang out around the ground at the half-time whistle to vent their anger at all of the individual errors and sloppy play from Walsall.

Sadler made two half time subs, but didn't appear to make a huge amount of difference despite there being sparks of a better performance in the second half.

To put the cherry on the cake for Newport, Walsall goalkeeper Owen Evans was sent off with four minutes to go after he handled the ball about two miles from outside the box. I thought it was on the edge of the box from where I was sat, but looking at the highlights, I really can't understand what he was doing.

I left on 90 minutes to get the train back, so missed the final few minutes which is unusual for me, but I don't think it made much difference.

Headed back to New Street station and fancied something to eat while waiting for the next train, but the price tag of a £5 sandwich and a £6 pasty sort of put me off. Get me back to the Bescot for the food.

Overall, a low quality game where Newport were made to look like Prime Barcelona and Walsall never really got out of bottom gear.

Here's the ratings (new for 2024 when I visit a new ground or one that I haven't visited , how exciting)

Accessibility to the stadium: 7/10

Food: 7/10

Standard of the stadium/pitch: 6/10

Atmosphere: 4.5/10

Overall: 6/10

No idea when the next blog will be. Probably dictated by Mother Nature when it decides to call one of my games off again.



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