Express & Star

Jackson Smith took his Walsall chance - they can't let him slip through their fingers

On a bleak winter evening in Barrow, Owen Evans compounded Walsall’s misery when he stumbled off injured in the 33rd minute.

Walsall goalkeeper Jackson Smith

Jackson Smith was thrust into the spotlight but was unable to prevent the Saddlers from succumbing to a 2-0 defeat in Cumbria.

That extended Walsall’s winless run to six games and left them languishing in 19th place.

Optimism was at an all-time low but Smith’s introduction helped reinvigorate Walsall over the coming weeks, writes George Bennett.

His auspicious performance in the forgettable goalless draw at non-league Alfreton Town in the FA Cup was an early taster of things to come.