Express & Star

Mat Sadler highlights three positives after Walsall's draw at Crawley

Mat Sadler was satisfied by the response Walsall showed in their 1-1 draw against Crawley Town at the Broadfield Stadium.

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Walsall headed into the game on the back of a dismal 3-0 defeat against Newport County at Bescot on Saturday and registered a third draw in four games in League Two.

Isaac Hutchinson opened the scoring from the spot, before Liam Kelly equalised just past the hour-mark.

Sadler was frustrated not to come away with all three points, but believes his players showed great resilience to overcome a difficult result last weekend.

"The resilience, the determination and the response from our lot, especially after Saturday, was what I expect from the group," he said.

"We put a few wrongs from Saturday. There is always that period where you lose a game in that way, loads of things get said and you have to stand up and be counted.

"That's something I'll never be found wanting in my group. They came out fighting and they did their talking (on the pitch).

"Are we frustrated we didn't take the three points after going ahead? Yes but the resilience, determination and desire to make sure that we left with a point was there for everyone to see. We'll take that."

Walsall deservedly went into the break ahead and could've extended their advantage had Corey Addai not produced two smart saves to deny Hutchinson.

However, Crawley came out fighting in the first half and hauled themselves back into the game when Danilo Orsi teed up Liam Kelly to smash past Jackson Smith.

Sadler added: "Clearly, there is going to be a response when you're 1-0 down at home. What we're looking for during that period was a little bit of protection to move us up the pitch, which we didn't get.

"It's as though the referee didn't want to penalise one of their defenders who was already on a booking for very similar fouls.

"That was frustrating. It just didn't allow us to stem that tide a bit. I felt like we contained it and it took a very good strike to unlock it.

"They responded to a lot today. You question things when you lose at home in the manner that we did and the response was fantastic."