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SMITH: WE SHOWED CHARACTER

2 November 2015

Saddlers went top with a dramatic comeback win...

Dean Smith praised his side’s character after Walsall came from two goals down to beat Gillingham 3-2 in a pulsating top-of-the-table clash.

Cody McDonald's early strike and Bradley Dack's penalty put Gillingham in command, but quick-fire goals from Kieron Morris and Milan Lalkovic levelled proceedings before half-time.

And Jason Demetriou netted a dramatic 91st-minute winner to send the soaring Saddlers above their opponents and to the League One summit.

“It was a really entertaining game between two good teams who were trying to get the win,” said Smith.

“I was disappointed with the goals we conceded but the character of the players to come back from that and get the result was fantastic.

“I thought we just deserved it in the end.

“There was quality all over the pitch and to a man we were excellent.

“Romaine Sawyers got Man of the Match, Rico Henry was outstanding, the two wide boys (Milan Lalkovic and Kieron Morris) scored and Jason Demetriou got his long-awaited first goal to win us the game.”

After giving Demetriou some good-natured stick about not scoring, Smith was pleased to see him finally break his duck.

"It works, doesn't it?" joked Smith.

"Give a player a bit of stick and he ends up scoring. He will be pleased with that one.

"I'm also really pleased that Kieron got his goal as he has come close on a number of occasions this season and is a good finisher.

"He has been in really good form for us."

Walsall now sit top of League One, above second-placed Burton on goal difference, and one point ahead of former leaders Gillingham, who slipped to third.

“It’d be nice to stay there now,” admitted Smith.

“Our intention at the start of a season is to win the league. I’ve never shied away from that fact because I think it’s an injustice to the supporters if you’re not targeting that.

“When you’re competing against the likes of Wigan, Sheffield United and Coventry, it can be very difficult for clubs like ourselves, Burton and Gillingham.

“But we’re up there for a reason and we want to continue to do well.

"We know how important it is for everyone at the football club to keep this run going.”

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