Walsall Web Fans looks back at the Auto Windscreens Shield Southern Area Semi Final between Peterborough United and Walsall on February 17th, 1998. Walsall enjoyed a good season in all cup competitions during Jan Sorensen’s season in charge of the team but it was this competition where realistically they had the best chance of reaching Wembley. To reach this stage of the competition Walsall had already disposed of Barnet, Brighton And Hove Albion and and Bristol Rovers and Posh had seen off Gillingham, Swansea and Northampton.
Peterborough had dominated for long spells in the first half and Walsall were indebted to Jimmy Walker for a host of fine saves to go in at half time with a clean sheet. Several times he denied the dangerous Jimmy Quinn and Saddlers shot stopper also had to deal with efforts from Dave Farrell and Wayne Bullimore. Walker was finally beaten in the 57th minute when Miguel De Souza volleyed home superbly. Saddlers heads didn’t go down however and they kept plugging away to force themselves back in the game.
‘Big Fat Jan’ made made an inspirational substitute on 72 minutes when he introduced Michael Ricketts in place of John Hodge. Six minutes later Adrian Viveash crossed from the left. Chris Marsh linked up with Andy Watson who chipped a perfectly weighted ball for Roger Boli unmarked at the far post who headed home. It was the little striker’s 22nd goal of the season. This goal stunned Peterborough and they were all at sea when just two minutes later Boli fed Ricketts with a delightful pass and the big man drilled home past Mark Tyler to send the travelling Saddlers faithful wild with delight with what they had just witnessed. There was no comeback for Posh as Walsall marched on to the Southern Area Final over two legs. Sadly Walsall just failed to progress to the final so a golden chance was lost. 4,199 were at London Road to see an amazing comeback by Walsall.
The starting line ups that evening were….
PETERBOROUGH UNITED – Tyler, Mc Menamin, Drury, Rennie, Bodley, Edwards, Davies, Bullimore, De Souza, Quinn, Farrell.
WALSALL- Walker, Evans, Marsh, Viveash, Roper, Peron,Boli, Blake, Keates, Watson, Hodge.