Express & Star

Mat Sadler uses one word to describe Walsall's defeat to Notts County.

Mat Sadler described Walsall's 3-1 defeat against Notts County at Bescot as a "frustrating" afternoon for many reasons.


Walsall remain just three points adrift of the play-off places but dropped to 11th place with back-to-back league defeats for the first time since November.

Macauley Langstaff opened the scoring inside the opening two minutes when Alassana Jatta closed down David Okagbue and squared for the Notts County forward to place a precise finish into the bottom corner.

Taylor Allen slipped his finish narrowly wide, before Walsall were denied an equaliser when Josh Gordon was adjudged to have been in an offside position as he met Allen's floated ball with a clinical volley.

"Frustrated we conceded so early because it gave us, not a mountain to climb as I still fancied us to get chances against them, but it was a poor start to the game. There's no point glossing over that.

"We need to deal with that. The ball just needs to into the stand and we need to defend from there. Then there were many frustrations with the goal that Josh scored which was given as offside but wasn't.

"That would've got us back into the game and gets the momentum moving forward. Sometimes football can be like that because errors are made, and that's the same for us because we're all fallible but that didn't go our way today.

"Unfortunately, that led to us not getting that bit of momentum back into the game."

Aaron Nemane doubled the Magpies' lead in the 28th minute when he tricked his way past a couple of challenges and rifled a powerful strike into the roof of the net.

Sadler brought on triple reinforcements after the break with the introduction of Ross Tierney, Douglas James-Taylor and Mo Faal.

The latter struck the woodwork twice and eventually pulled a goal back after Brandon Comley had been sent off for two bookable offences.

But Walsall conceded immediately after as Sam Austin's shot appeared to be saved by Owen Evans before it looped into the net.

"We were down to 10-men at that point. We hit the post in the first 30 seconds of the second half and those moments are pivotal in games," the Walsall boss continued.

"It didn't go for us today. We are aware of that but the good thing with the way results played out was that it is pretty much as you were.

"We go into Tuesday wanting to move on, wanting to feel like the world is against us, like the football gods are against us and we have to come out fighting."

Emmanuel Adegboyega dropped out of the squad altogether as Donervon Daniels made his first start since Good Friday.

Sadler explained that tiredness had contributed to his decision to bring Daniels back into the side.

"Donervon's experience and the ability that he has to look after that back line was something I wanted to bring back in," he revealed.

"Manny has been brilliant and has probably exceeded everyone's expectations since he came in if we're honest.

"But I thought there was that little bit of tiredness that crept into his game on Tuesday night, which I thought was the right decision to bring Donervon back in.

"Unfortunately he didn't return to a win today but he'll be much better for that 90 minutes."