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SMITH "DEFLATED" AFTER DRAW AT PETERBOROUGH

21 September 2015

Boss disappointed with Saturday's result...

WALSALL manager Dean Smith was left “deflated” after his side conceded a late penalty to draw 1-1 at ten-man Peterborough.

The Saddlers, who would have gone top of League One with a win, went ahead eight minutes into the second half through Romaine Sawyers’ stunning 25-yard strike.

In an explosive final six minutes, Peterborough’s Jermaine Anderson was sent off for throwing a water bottle into the crowd.

And moments later, substitute Michael Bostwick won and then scored an 87th-minute spot-kick to deny Walsall victory.

“I’m deflated,” said Smith afterwards.

“It feels like a defeat, how we haven’t won that I don’t know.

“We took the lead with a great strike and were in control of the game.

“Their lad gets sent off – I feel sorry for him but you can’t do that. He’s just flung a bottle into the crowd. He didn’t mean to but he could have taken someone’s eye out. It was the right decision.

“However, it triggered the events that happened afterwards.

“It was naivety from us as we had a corner and had more than enough men forward to take it short and keep the ball. We didn’t, we put it in the box and we didn’t deal with the long kick. No blame attached to the corner taker – we have to take collective responsibility.

“They’ve got into our box and Neil (Etheridge) has given their lad the opportunity to go down but I don’t believe there was any contact.

“If that was outside the box, that wouldn’t have been given.”

Smith’s men controlled proceedings for sustained spells on a baking hot September afternoon at the ABAX Stadium.

Even after Posh’s late leveller, Sam Mantom, Milan Lalkovic, Anthony Forde and Sawyers each went close as Walsall laid siege to the hosts' goal in stoppage time.

And Smith believed his players’ efforts were worthy of all three points.

“It was a tough game but we controlled it for long periods without really getting in behind them and making their keeper work a great deal,” he said.

“Both teams looked like they were feeling the heat. It was a great strike from Romaine and I fully expected us to go on and win it. We were comfortable keeping the ball then.

“We had a couple of chances after they scored. Milan’s had one that has gone just wide, Sam’s hit the bar as well.

“I thought we fully deserved to win the game and I’m disappointed that we didn’t.”

Attention now turns to Wednesday’s eagerly-awaited Capital One Cup third round tie against Premier League champions Chelsea.

“I’m looking forward to it,” said Smith.

“Hopefully we can get the Banks’s rocking and pull off a cup shock.”

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