Boss delighted with character as Dale are beaten...THE SADDLERS worked hard to secure a good 3-2 victory over Rochdale.
"The lads had to show another side to their game against very good opposition," said Academy Manager, Neil Woods. "I would say that Rochdale were the best side that we have faced this season, so to get the win was even more pleasing.
"We started well with Alex Reid firing home after good skill from Reece Flanagan in the build-up, but for the majority of the first half we really had to dig in.
"I was pleased with the attitude of our boys as we were required to do the less attractive side of the game. I know that my players are technically good, but they showed that they are capable of staying in it against a more physical side who were in the ascendency.
"The second half started in a similar vein and it wasn't long before the scoreline was 1-1. It then became a test of character, but we stuck to the task in hand and were rewarded with two goals to put us back in the driving seat.
"It was a real credit to our drive and endeavour and although Rochdale pulled a goal back with five minutes to go, we managed to see the game out to get a hard-earned victory.
"They were the better side overall, but it has happened a few times this season where the roles have been reversed and we have not won when we were the better side.
"There were some real pluses to come out of the game and I was pleased with how we got the result."
WALSALL: R. Jones, Christopherou, Williams (Sinton), Kinsella, Dallison, Preston, Hobbis, Heath, Griffiths, Reid (McKenzie), Flanagan. Subs not used: Garner, Bakayoko, Roberts.
The youth team take on Burnley in their rearranged Football League Youth Alliance Cup tie on Wednesday.