Walsall were on the end of a cup shock, being held 2-2 by National League North side Darlington yesterday.
The Saddlers have not had the start they expected in League Two, but a home time against a side two divisions below them should have offered them a chance to get a morale-boosting win. Instead, Daryl Clarke’s side were held in dramatic circumstances in a game that can only be described as a ‘typical cup tie’.
Darlington are in the bottom half of their division but put in a spirited and committed display against a side who were in League One last season. Omar Holness gave them an early lead, something they defended doggedly and when Dan Scarr was sent off for the hosts with eight minutes left on the clock, it looked like a shock would be on the cards.
Walsall had fight left in them though and levelled through Caolan Lavery, who poked home from close range. Agonisingly for the non-league outfit, the Saddlers went in front in the last minute of normal time when Darlington keeper Liam Connell punched into his own net.
It seemed as though the dream was over when Ben Headley was sent off in the last minute of normal time, but the visitors had one last chance to impress. Osagi Bascome whipped over a late free-kick and Joe Wheatley gave them the chance of a replay by stabbing the ball home.
Walsall fans were not happy at the result, with a raft of supporters taking to Twitter to fire angry messages towards manager Clarke and some of his summer signings as well. Is he on borrowed time? some of these fans feel he might be.
You’re squad, team , tactics and what have you built , the worst Walsall team I’ve seen in 45years ! None league players and a none league manager , get rid now because the next manager has one hell of a job in January!
— Paul Lufc Cooper (@LufcPaul) November 9, 2019
Where will we bottom out? So much hope and prospect gone in 3 months. Darlo wanted it and they set up right. We did neither
— butterzwfc (@butterzwfc) November 9, 2019
Same old story getting board with it now wrong staring formation no goal scorer no defence no creativity every week that's all u get Clarke saying he takes responsibility its the rubbish on the pitch that should take responsibility
— David Birch (@xdave200164x) November 9, 2019
Heard this kind of interview a few times.. His record the last 12-18 months must be so poor.
— Michael Hathway (@Hathway84) November 9, 2019
Never been so disillusioned by my football club. The optimism of the summer wasted. Bonser still taking 8 grand a week out the club & the team Clarke has assembled is the worst in my 45 years as a fan.
— Badger Boy (@BlazingSaddleDS) November 10, 2019
Plenty fans calling for DC to go, from my view today, you are creating chances but the strikers are failing the rest of the team. Those players need to be held accountable, the manager is not always to blame.
Them strikers take half the chances they had today and you win!
— Mark Adams 🇬🇧 🏴 (@Markodarlo) November 10, 2019
Slating the players again . Take some responsibility. You brought them in and are incapable of training them to play one level below the National league. Inept and worse than Whitney and Keates. Clocks ticking before you get sacked.
— Stuart Williams (@WilliamsStuartj) November 9, 2019