Defender on the scoresheet in Shrews success...Centre-back Paul Downing was pleased to score his first goal of the season in Walsall’s impressive derby win over ten-man Shrewsbury.
The 24-year-old rose highest to head home Anthony Forde’s left-wing corner with ten minutes remaining to give the Saddlers a 2-1 lead.
Milan Lalkovic and Jordan Cook were also on target in a deserved 3-1 success - a result which moved Walsall up to third in League One, two points off top.
And Downing, who has made 24 appearances this season, was delighted with the win – and to get on the scoresheet.
“I was one of the only ones not to have scored so it was nice to see it go in,” said Downing.
“I’ve always said that it’s an area I need to improve on and I should have already had a couple really.
“But if you keep putting the ball in those areas then it’s down to us in the box to get on the end of it.
“I’m very happy; to pop in and get the goal was a great feeling and it was an important game as well – being our game in hand and a local derby.
“The following we had from the away fans was fantastic and to send them home happy, and to get another three points on the board, was brilliant.
“It was a great performance from everyone involved.”
Coaches Jon Whitney, John Ward and Neil Cutler were in temporary charge for the Shrewsbury game after manager Dean Smith joined Brentford.
But despite Smith’s departure, Downing says it’s been business as usual.
“As players we can’t control what happens off the pitch but we came on as normal on Monday and prepared as we would normally do for the game,” he said.
“We treated it like a normal game and it showed with how we played out there.
“Dean did an excellent job and it was sad to see him go but that’s football and the club moves forward.
“We’ve wished him all the best and we got back down to work.
“The aim is still promotion.
“We’ll take every game as it comes and we won’t get too carried away.
"We’ve been consistent this year and we want to carry it on.”