Dean Smith: Scoreline flattered Stevenage

Walsall boss Dean Smith today backed the Saddlers to launch a rapid recovery after being shot down by Stevenage.

SPORT Stevenage v Walsall - npower League 1

The Saddlers went down 3-1 at Boro last night for their first league defeat since the opening day of the season with Smith insisting the result flattered the hosts.

George Bowerman’s second half leveller couldn’t rescue a point as Robin Shroot, Greg Tansey 30-yard rocket and Lucas Akins sent Boro into second in League One.

But Smith reckons Stevenage can count themselves lucky to snatch the victory after two goals in the final 17 minutes.

He said: “It’s a very flattering scoreline.

“They are a strong team physically but I felt we dealt with that aspect and we ended up scoring from a setpiece.

“George and Jamie (Paterson) linked up again and I thought it was going to be us to go on and win the game after that equaliser in the second half.

“They are a strong team and you have to be at your best but they scored a good second goal.

“We kept the pressure on and their lad (Tansey) has scored a great goal but the our boys kept believing and I didn’t see any heads drop at all.

“We kept plugging away and kept playing the way we wanted to play. I have to credit the lads for that.

“We got a bit sloppy and gave it away too cheaply but we didn’t lose our way in the match.”

The Saddlers slipped to ninth after defeat, ahead of Preston’s visit on Saturday and Smith expects to see a reaction against the Lilywhites.

He said: “It’s a defeat but there are a lot of positives and we still tried to play the right way.

“We’ll dust ourselves down and get ready for another big game on Saturday. We’re still learning our trade and the players play with a lot of belief and they’ll continue that.

“We will continue to play the way we believe the game should be played.

“We got a little sloppy at times but we’ll get better from this.”