Walsall finished a disappointing season with yet another flop in front of their own fans at the Banks’s Stadium on Saturday, writes the Saddler.
A win would have lifted them into 10th spot in the League One table, but even the boost of taking the lead after just 30 seconds couldn’t save them from a third successive home defeat.
And just to underline how poor the Saddlers were, this was Oldham’s first win in TWELVE games!
So, Walsall had to settle for 13th place, and only four teams in the bottom half of the table had worse home records.
Yet they could hardly have hoped for a better start, Troy Deeney heading them in front in the first minute from an Alex Nicholls cross, and Deeney then hit the bar on 32 minutes with the keeper beaten.
But Oldham played the better football throughout, thoroughly deserving their equaliser from Deane Smalley a minute from half-time.
Apart from a Richard Taundry shot, brilliantly saved by Greg Fleming, Walsall were dreadful in the second half and the Latics finished them off in the 74th minute, 17-year-old substitute Ryan Brooke scoring with his first touch in League football.
Before the final whistle the stadium announcer warned that if there was an invasion of the pitch at the end the players would not return to the pitch for the lap of thanks to supporters.
There was an invasion, but when the playing surface was cleared the team did go back for a circuit of the pitch.