Sunday, April 21, 2024

Mo Faal’s late winner may be ‘gold dust’ in Walsall’s play-off push – Mat Sadler

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 1 Apr 2024

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Walsall boss Mat Sadler believes Mo Faal’s late winner could be “gold dust” in the race for the League Two play-offs after his side revived their top-seven hopes by beating Salford 2-1.

The on-loan West Brom striker cut inside to lash the ball home in the third minute of second-half stoppage-time for his fourth goal since his January loan move, ending a four-game winless run for the Saddlers.

Salford midfielder Matty Lund had nodded home Ryan Watson’s cross to cancel out Jamille Matt’s early bullet header for the hosts before Faal popped up to win it at the death.

The victory ensured an immediate response to a 5-0 thrashing at MK Dons on Good Friday, putting Walsall three points off the play-off spots with games in hand on most of their rivals.

“It’s fair to say, it wasn’t vintage us,” said Sadler. “But the response was the most important thing. The game on Friday was sobering and the lads were desperate to put that right.

“We took a knockback by conceding but we kept on ploughing forward to try to get that win so I was delighted we all got that moment at the end. We got our rewards today.

“We’re getting to that time of the season where these late goals can be gold dust and mean a hell of a lot.

“Nothing was ever going to be decided today but, on the face of it, with the other results, it was important that we won.

“There will be loads of twists and turns to come but we are in the mix, we’re in the fight – we haven’t been in the fight for a few years as a football club.

“I don’t remember the last time we were in the fight for these play-off places so with six games to go, we’ve given ourselves a chance.”

Salford, meanwhile, are not safe from relegation as they sit nine points above the bottom two in 20th place but with sides below them picking up.

“No one likes losing but there are ways to lose,” said frustrated boss Karl Robinson.

“It’s a bitter one to take but it’s a learning process still, just trying to find that balance. I’ve seen more parts of our game that I liked than what I didn’t like.

“We dominated the football with some lovely moves. I thought we were very good and in the second half I thought we were the only team that was going to show any impetus to get a win.

“But then it’s silly, silly defending that’s cost us.

“If you looked at the game, I thought we dominated large parts of it and our energy levels looked incredible so I’m very proud from that point of view but I’m furious with the individual stupidity.”

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