Express & Star

Mat Sadler disappointed with narrow Walsall defeat

Mat Sadler was disappointed to come away without a result in Walsall's 2-1 defeat at Mansfield.


Aden Flint gave the hosts the lead inside 15 minutes, and Mansfield dominated large periods of the first half.

However, Ryan Stirk equalised against his former club to haul Walsall back into the contest after the break.

The Saddlers had their best spell of the game immediately after scoring, but were undone on 71 minutes when Jordan Bowery scored the decider.

Sadler was frustrated to concede during that period, and believes Bowery's goal took the momentum away from his side for the latter stages of the game.

"We switched his (Stirk) role a little bit when we changed to a 4-3-3 and it gave him license to press more," Sadler said.

"In that spell after they scored, I felt like him and Coms were on the same line as each other.

"I just needed to release the pair of them to do what they are good at. Ryan certainly epitomised that with the way he went about his stuff.

"It was pleasing to see him score. It was just when we were on top for large parts of the second half, we just couldn't get that second goal, or walk away from here with a point.

"A stuffy goal took the momentum away from us and put Mansfield on their way to victory."

Harry Williams and Freddie Draper missed out due to injury with David Okagbue making his first start since September 9, and Danny Johnson starting against his former employers.

Sadler was unable to confirm whether Draper will be available for next week, whilst Williams had a scan on Friday, and the club will discover the results in the coming days.

"Harry had a scan on Friday. We haven't had a results back yet so we'll know next week," he confirmed.

"I am not sure with Freddie yet. We'll have to see."