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Walsall 4 Coventry 0 - match report

Sport | Published:

Walsall routed 10-man Coventry in a derby demolition to keep their play-off dream alive.

Doubles from Craig Westcarr and Sky Blues fan Jamie Paterson sealed a comfortable win to pile the misery on the crisis-hit visitors.

Jordan Stewart was sent off in the second half after two bookings as the Saddlers gained revenge for their 5-1 defeat at Coventry in December.

It left Walsall eighth, three points behind the League One play-offs, ahead of Saturday's vital visit of fourth placed Sheffield United.

James Baxendale replaced the injured Will Grigg – out with his hamstring problem – meaning Westcarr started as the lone striker and he flashed a seventh minute effort across goal after Sam Johnstone inspired a quick break.

Joe Murphy then beat away Andy Taylor's fierce drive as the hosts held more menace in the early stages.

Baxendale shot wide from 20-yards but Walsall were unable to carve out serious openings despite containing Coventry.

Johnstone was untroubled with Walsall comfortable and they took the lead on 33 minutes.

James Chambers' low centre found Paterson and the winger skipped past two challenges to slide past Murphy from six yards.

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Johnstone turned Franck Moussa's shot wide as Coventry responded and the Saddlers got lucky seven minutes before the break.

Sam Mantom's loose pass was fed to Carl Baker who fired in a first time effort which Johnstone could only parry straight to Callum Ball to fire wide from six yards.

It was a let-off and the Saddlers almost cashed in when Murphy beat away Taylor's deflected free kick.

Coventry emerged for the second half reinvigorated and Baker's header was tipped over by Johnstone 60 seconds after the break.

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But the Saddlers doubled their lead on 53 minutes from the spot after a catalogue of Coventry errors.

Aaron Martin's awful clearance was only scuffed to Baxendale who burst forward and the recovering Martin only succeeding in chopping the winger down.

Westcarr fired in the penalty and Brandy almost added a third when his dipping volley dropped just wide.

The Saddlers were cruising and their job was made easier with 25 minutes to go when Stewart – a trialist with the club last summer – was sent off after receiving a second yellow for taking down Brandy.

It opened the door at Westcarr made it 3-0 on 74 minutes when he nodded over Murphy after the keeper beat out Paterson's low free kick.

And Westcarr repaid the favour three minutes from time as he teed up Paterson to stroke into the corner to complete the rout.

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