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Mat Sadler hails attacking options after Walsall leave it late to beat Swindon

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 16 Apr 2024

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Walsall boss Mat Sadler cannot believe the attacking weapons he has at his disposal after Danny Johnson struck a late winner to beat Swindon 2-1 and boost their play-off hopes.

On-loan West Brom forward Mo Faal nodded Walsall ahead but they were made to pay for missing a string of chances to extend that lead by Paul Glatzel’s screamer for Swindon.

However, Johnson volleyed home a brilliant 89th-minute winner from fellow sub Jamille Matt’s knockdown to lift Walsall to within a point of seventh-placed Crawley with two games to go.

“That last 15 minutes we were at that stage where there is no tomorrow and we’ve thrown the kitchen sink at it,” Sadler admitted.

“We’ve dominated the game and it wouldn’t have been silly if it had been 4-0 or 5-0 at half-time.

“But as I said from minute one this season, we’ve put together a squad that has got loads of attacking options – we used them all and it came out the right way.

“We’ve given ourselves a chance of the play-offs and when you start in August you want to be in with a swinging chance at the end of the season.

“We are there, we are right in it and we have to go and attack like we did tonight.”

Johnson, last season’s top scorer, has had to make do with limited minutes this season but came off the bench to score the vital goal – his first since New Year’s Day.

“We know Danny is an incredible finisher and you don’t lose that touch and ability to finish,” Sadler added. “Give him a chance and he’s clinical and he was tonight.”

Swindon, meanwhile, suffered a 12th away league defeat this season and have the worst record on the road in League Two but boss Gavin Gunning was proud of his 19th-placed side’s efforts.

He said: “The first 18, 19 minutes they were the better side but after that we’ve totally dominated and we get done by a long ball at the end.

“It’s frustrating but I’m really happy with how the boys performed.

“We need to be better physically, we concede too many goals from set-plays, we need to be braver and go and win the ball.

“It’s a mindset – when their guy is five or six inches taller than you, you’ve got to do your best, get underneath him. It’s the little details, don’t switch off.

“We are disappointed with the result and everyone is low but the performance was fantastic.

“That was a better performance than the last two. Walsall are trying to get in the play-offs but we were all over them, they couldn’t get out, they were pinned in and their fans were going mental.”

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