Smith: 'Walsall Were Unfortunate'
Walsall boss Dean Smith has said that Saturday's defeat to the U's was unfortunate as, until the breakthrough came with ten minutes to go, the game had looked completely set for a goalless draw.
Speaking to the club's official site, Smith said that the first goal was key, especially with it coming from a defensive mistake.
Freddie Sears hunted down a loose ball for the U's front line and, as it bounced off of the goalkeeper's feet, it landed perfetly for Jabo Ibehre to pass into the empty net.
'It was the mistake for the goal that cost us, not the second half performance,' Smith admitted. 'We stressed that the first goal was important but it was just one of those things.
'McLoughlin's block landed straight at Jabo's feet, but that could have gone anywhere.'
The first half was a tight affair with little to swing it in either side's favour, but Smith insists that the Saddlers were well in control up until half time where their play started to worsen a little.
The country has been hit with wintry weather over the past fortnight and, with it difficult to find suitable training venues, it may have been that the two sides were lagging somewhat come the end of ninety minutes on a difficult pitch.
He continued: 'We were excellent in the first half and played some really good stuff, but we let it get too stretched in the second half.
'It was a sticky pitch and difficult to play on, so the longer it went on the more sapping it was on the legs.
'Up until the first goal I don't think Ian McLoughlin has had a save to make and I thought we controlled the game.
'It was disappointing how we used the ball in the second half, but that happens.'
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