Express & Star

Mat Sadler points out nightmare period in Walsall defeat

Walsall boss Mat Sadler highlighted a ‘frustrating’ first 15-minutes during his side’s 3-0 defeat to Newport County.

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The Saddlers conceded twice inside the first quarter of an hour of the match before finding themselves three goals down at half-time, and Walsall’s five-game unbeaten League Two run at the Poundland Bescot Stadium came to an end.

Newport’s Seb Palmer-Houlden, Will Evans and Harry Charsley netted inside the first period which Sadler believes was below-par.

“It’s just a frustrating afternoon, from the first 15-minutes it was extremely frustrating,” said Sadler.

“That’s not us, that’s not what we pride ourselves on and that’s not what we’ve all come to expect from some of the lads, so we’ll have to get back to that quickly.

“We have consistently spoken about how good we feel some of the defenders are that we have, and today it wasn’t what we expected.

“We’re all human with that. We have to quite quickly erase that and get back to being what we are, that’s the most important thing.

“We will obviously not be too pleased with some of the defending but we know how good they are and they’ve repeatedly shown us how good they are.

“I think we just gave ourselves a bit too much of a mountain to climb so early in the game.

That is unlike us, we pride ourselves on our work-rate, our effort and our intensity. The goals knocked us a little but today, and in the moments when they came for us we didn’t take them.

“We just didn’t start the way that we normally do and Newport did to us what we like to do to teams for spells of that game today, especially in that first opening 15-minutes.”

Walsall’s afternoon went from bad to worse when goalkeeper Owen Evans was sent-off in the 86th-minute for handling the ball outside the area.

Boss Sadler questioned the decision which saw his side down to 10-men saying: “I’ll have to look at the rule again in terms of where Preistly was.

“It’s brushed his hand as it hit his hand so it looked harsh to me, but we’ll have to have a look at that and see what we decide to do.

“I felt it was completely unnecessary to send him off in the moment.”