Midfielder scored in Brentford win...Sam Mantom expressed his delight after scoring his first goal since August in the Saddlers’ 1-0 FA Cup victory over Dean Smith’s Brentford.
The 23-year-old midfielder netted the game’s only goal on 34 minutes, when he curled a delightful left-footed shot into the bottom corner.
Mantom’s superb strike sealed a memorable win over former-boss Smith and means we now face a fourth-round trip to Huddersfield or Reading.
“I thought I was going to get crunched at first!” admitted Mantom, who has now notched four goals this season.
“Paul Downing rolled it into me and I had to take it away from McCormack, thinking he was going to go through me.
“I had a decent touch, squared Dean up and dropped it to the left.
“It was hitting the post all the way and then it started to curl in – it was a great feeling!
“It’s been a while since I scored.
"It was disappointing not to play in the last game but hopefully now I’ve given the gaffer something to think about.”
Mantom says his match-winning strike is one of the highlights of his career.
“It’s up there with winning player of the year – that’s probably number one, then Wembley,” he said.
“But it’s definitely up there, especially being against Dean Smith and a good Championship team, as well as in front of 1,600 Saddlers.”
And the ex-West Brom man was pleased to send the vocal travelling fans home happy.
“It was great to score at that end where all the fans were rocking,” Mantom added.
“It was a great day for the fans and we’re pleased to send them home with a win and to be in the fourth round of the FA Cup.”
Attention turns to the league tonight as Walsall visit Midlands rivals Coventry in an intriguing top-of-the-table clash.
“It’s a massive game and we’ll have a big following there again,” said Mantom.
“It’s a big game off the back of the Rochdale match in the league and we’ll have to step up and be counted, which I’m sure we will.”
Supporters can pay on the gate at the Ricoh Arena this evening. Tickets go off sale at the Banks’s Stadium at midday.