This morning I was nervous and couldn’t eat any breakfast before we set off on our trip to Vale Park.
Going into the game our dream scenario was to win by two clear goals, and Doncaster to beat Burton. Our fans had even been calling for our old captain Andy Butler to help us out by putting one past the Brewers. This would then see us gain automatic promotion into the Championship.
Arriving in in Burslem it was the first time this season we had hit traffic with other supporters also going to the ground. With the sun shining, the walk amongst my fellow Walsall supporters helped build a positive feeling. Although there was the back up plan of the playoffs in our minds.
At the ground I was still filled with excitement and nerves, I just had to keep reminding myself that we can only do as much as we can. The supporters were brilliant and helped build the atmosphere in the ground, with all the inflatables floating around and the crowd singing.
The match was probably the best performance I have seen from the Saddlers this season. In the first half, just as we got a corner, I told my dad how I had read that we had been practicing set pieces during the week. Then, as we went to take it, I asked where Downing was and the next thing I knew he had scored a goal. This was his his third of the season, making it a record for him.
From that moment our day only got better with more goals coming from Bradshaw, Forde (x2) and Mantom, giving us a 5-0 victory over Port Vale.
Although the lads did their job the other result did not go our way, and we are now in the playoffs. It did get confusing at times during the game when our fans starting cheering as though Doncaster were in the lead. I have no idea why they would do this, especially with lots of members in the crowd watching the Burton game on their phones.
I am gutted that we weren’t promoted automatically, but in a way I am glad that I get to see the team play again. The players we have had this season are the best I have ever seen play at Walsall. We have some very skilful players, some of which we will lose next season. So getting to see more matches is just a bonus to what has been a very enjoyable year. Let’s hope they can all go down in the Saddlers’ history books by winning the 3rd spot left in the Championship.