Express & Star

Walsall boss Mat Sadler reflects on 'one of those days' after defeat at Forest Green

Mat Sadler admitted "whatever could go wrong, did go wrong" during Walsall's 2-0 defeat at Forest Green Rovers.


Tom Knowles was forced off early with what the Walsall boss confirmed is a suspected ankle injury, before Jamille Matt was replaced at the break with a hamstring issue.

Emmanuel Osadebe opened the scoring on the rebound after Christian Doidge had crashed his effort against the post. Josh Gordon was twice denied by Vicente Reyes and Mo Faal's header was also thwarted by the Forest Green goalkeeper prior to Walsall falling behind.

Isaac Hutchinson was denied from the spot by another strong stop and inexplicably blazed over the follow-up from point-blank range. Walsall's afternoon went from bad to worse when David Okagbue was shown a second yellow and Kyle McAllister sealed the win for Rovers from the spot nine minutes from time.

That result ended Walsall's five-match winning streak and also saw them fall out of the League Two play-off spots.

Sadler said: "It felt like one of those days. In the first half, we had a couple of chances and we didn't quite bring our clinical boots with us today.

"Unfortunately, we didn't take the chances when they came. I thought we were in real control and we'd highlighted a few times throughout of making sure that we locked down through a transition, which is what they were looking for, to get a lot of men behind the ball.

"The one time that we didn't, it turned into a goal. Fair play to them for that because they're fighting for their lives and if we don't take our chances then it gives them that little bit of momentum to think it might be their day.

"We'll put this one down to experience. Whatever could go wrong probably did. Jamille and Tom having to come off, David getting sent off and Isaac missing the penalties."