Walsall held at the Alexandra Stadium...Centre-back Matt Preston admits Walsall paid the price for not taking their chances in the 1-1 draw at Crewe.
The Saddlers started like a train, with Tom Bradshaw hitting the bar and Crewe keeper Ben Garratt denying Bradshaw, Romaine Sawyers and Preston – all inside the opening 15 minutes.
Walsall finally made the breakthrough through Bradshaw’s 32nd-minute penalty, but Brad Inman headed Crewe level just after half-time.
And despite late chances for Paul Downing, Milan Lalkovic and Bradshaw, Sean O’Driscoll’s men were unable to find a winning goal.
“We had a lot of chances and their keeper made some unbelievable saves,” said Preston afterwards.
“We started the first half very well, the goal in the second half pushed us back a bit but we’re a very good team at bouncing back from things and I felt we did that well.
“By the end of the game, we could easily have scored two, three, maybe four goals but it was just one of those games.
“We played well, created a lot of chances but just couldn’t finish.”
With James O’Connor ruled out with a thigh problem, Preston was handed his fourth start of the season against the Alex.
The 20-year-old was solid throughout, producing an assured display in the heart of the defence.
And Preston, who has now featured 11 times this season, was pleased with his individual display.
“I thought I played well,” Preston added.
“I’m always critical of myself and I like to analyse my performances and come back and try to do better next time.
“But it was good to play – I enjoyed it.
“Obviously Jim’s injury allowed me to play, but hopefully I can keep starting games.”
The Saddlers now face back-to-back matches against promotion-rivals Wigan and Burton.
Gary Caldwell's fourth-placed Latics are first up this weekend - and Preston believes it could be an important few weeks.
"We feel the next two games are crucial to our season," he said.
"If we play how we played against Crewe then I think we’ve got enough capability in the team to push on and win those games."