Saddlers held in eight-goal thriller...Walsall manager Dean Smith was left ‘bitterly disappointed’ after his side squandered a two-goal lead to draw 4-4 against Colchester.
Romaine Sawyers and Milan Lalkovic put the Saddlers in control, but Colchester hit back through George Moncur and Marvin Sordell.
George Evans restored Walsall's lead before Owen Garvan and Darren Ambrose made it 4-3 to the U's, only for James O’Connor to equalise in stoppage time.
A draw maintained our unbeaten away record and kept us second in League One - but Smith felt we should have won.
“I’m bitterly disappointed,” said Smith.
“We were coasting at 2-0 and played some fantastic stuff during the first half.
“I spoke to the players about what not to do at half-time and we went and did the opposite.
“Defensively we’ve been very good on the road all season but their first goal gave them a lift and it shook us a little bit.
“We should still have gone on to win the game.
“Their lad has scored a good goal for the first one, and the second one is marginally onside.
“The third goal is a speculative strike from the edge of the box but some of our players weren’t doing their jobs.
“And the fourth one, we should have had a penalty at the other end, they break and score so I feel that decision cost us two points.”
Walsall arrived at Colchester with the division’s tightest away defensive record - just two goals against in seven matches – but conceded four times in the second-half.
Smith was frustrated with our uncharacteristically lax defending, although he praised the team’s fighting spirit.
“It showed me the character of the players (at 4-3 down) because at that stage it was a test.
“We drove forward, got the equaliser through Jim and very nearly got a winner when Kieron rattled the bar.
“We’ve got the right players here. They’re good, honest lads and they work really hard for each other.
“They know that defensively we weren’t as good as we should have been and they wanted to put it right – which they certainly did.”