Walsall 0-2 Yeovil – Heart and Passion (Player ratings)

Written by Kurt West

Yeovil followed on from their impressive league start with an even more impressive victory against a Walsall side who were 3 games away from the Championship in early May. The Glovers ran out comfortable winners in a game, they perhaps deserved to wrap up much earlier than they did.  Yeovil took the lead in the first half of extra time when Amadou Bakayoko converted into his own net, before Yeovil’s Matty Dolan scored an incredible goal from inside in his own half to send the Yeovil fans into raptures and set up a mouthwatering tie against Everton at Goodison Park.

As impressive as the result and performance was, I was more impressed with the incredible passion and commitment the players showed for the badge, the manager and most importantly the fans. Darren Way’s huge amount of charisma and passion has quite obviously rubbed off on the players like it did last season, but different to last season in that Darren has a much more talented bunch of players at his disposal and has had a whole summer for the players to buy into his project and his philosophy which they clearly have. I was particularly impressed with the two wingers Otis Khan and Ryan Hedges who gave the Walsall full backs hell all game, Khan particularly, who I’m sure Joe Edwards will still be having nightmares about, looked superb coming off the left wing and I’m sure his pace and directness will cause defenders trouble all season.

Artur Krysiak 7– ‘Our Polish Keeper’ didn’t have much to do all night but when he did, he was more than a match. His best save coming low down from Oztumer in the first half.

Liam Shepard 7- He performed well down the right side and linked well with Ryan Hedges. He has definitely improved on his performances in the previous two spells we had him and hopefully he can kick on. Went off early in the second half, hopefully nothing too serious.

Alex Lacey 8-  A calm and composed performance from the former Luton man. He didn’t lose an aerial battle all night and looks like he has kicked on from his good form from the end of last season.

Matt Butcher 8- Another very good performance by a player who is normally more comfortable in the midfield area. Like Lacey, Butcher seemed to win every individual battle he was involved in and looks to be a shrewd loan from manager Darren Way.

Ryan Dickson 7- Was quiet during most of the game which is normally a good thing for a full back, once again linked up well with Otis Khan and provided good width on the overlap.

Alex Lawless 9- A hugely impressive performance, I covered in my last article (click here), that Lawless experience would be a huge positive for us this season. He mopped up well in between the lines and gave the likes of Dolan and Dawson license to push forward.

Matty Dolan 8– A very solid 120 minutes from Matty and looks a much improved player from last season. His 60 yard goal was his highlight of the game and is probably the best goal I’ve ever seen live, so thanks for the memory, Matty!

Kevin Dawson 7- A typical Kevin Dawson performance from his old days, committed in the tackle, legs of an accomplished marathon runner and complimented the other midfield two perfectly. If these three players can stay fit during the season, I fancy our chances very much.

Ryan Hedges 7- The two wingers really impressed me as I said. Ryan looks very comfortable on the ball and definitely has the technical ability to deliver a decent cross and to add a few goals from out wide, which will be crucial for our aspirations this season

Tom Eaves 6 – The lowest rating on the team but by no means a bad performance by Tom. He held the ball up well and found the ball in some dangerous positions, he didn’t quite have the end product on Tuesday night but will hope to push on after a positive pre-season.

Otis Khan 9- Looked very impressive and will cause havoc all season if given the chance. The club need to get this man on a longer contract because I think he could be a special player for us.

Substitutions

Taihvon Campbell 7- Made a great impact when he replaced Khan in extra-time. Caused Joe Edwards huge amounts of problems with his dynamic running and double movement and was the man who won the free-kick for the first goal.

Bevis Mugabi 6- A solid display for his first ever senior appearance, was caught out a few times but was a part of a defence who kept a relatively solid clean sheet.

Omar Sowumni- Would be unfair to give Omar a rating after only playing 5 minutes.

Yeovil continue their season with an away game at the impressive Luton Town and it will be good to see how we cope with a team who are expected to do very well in our league this season.

Yeovil fans, do you agree with these ratings? Let us know in the comments below!