PETERBOROUGH 1-1 WALSALL
Simeon Jackson netted his fourth goal of the campaign as Walsall extended their unbeaten run to three matches with a hard-fought draw at Peterborough.
The Canada international headed home Florent Cuvelier’s right-wing cross to give the Saddlers a 17th-minute lead, but Marcus Maddison equalised ten minute later with a spectacular 20-yard strike.
Neil Etheridge produced two impressive saves to thwart Posh in the second half, while Scott Laird struck the post for the Saddlers late on. Jon Whitney’s side are now 18th in League One, with ten points from nine matches.
Walsall made an encouraging start, with Kieron Morris having a first-minute drive blocked, Scott Laird testing Luke McGee from range and Florent Cuvelier firing wide.
Grant McCann’s Peterborough, two points ahead of Walsall at the start of play, then enjoyed a decent spell.
Michael Bostwick’s half-volley was straight at Etheridge, who then held Marcus Maddison’s low drive and also pushed away a Paul Taylor cross-shot.
The Saddlers had scored just one goal in their previous four away games, but they doubled that tally on 17 minutes.
Cuvelier, back in the side after injury, delivered a pinpoint cross from the right towards Jackson, who guided a superb header into the bottom corner to put Walsall ahead.
Peterborough immediately went in search of a leveller, with Andrew Hughes’ fizzing shot flashing wide of the far post.
On 24 minutes, a communication breakdown between Etheridge and Laird saw the defender head past his own keeper but, thankfully from a Saddlers perspective, the ball rolled agonisingly wide.
Three minutes later, though, Peterborough did find an equaliser when Maddison curled a wonderful left-footed effort into the top corner from 20 yards.
Only the reflexes of Etheridge prevented Posh taking the lead moments later, as he got down quickly to turn away Gwion Edwards’ deflected shot.
Erhun Oztumer, making his first return to Peterborough since leaving the club for Walsall in the summer, then drilled wide from the edge of the box, before Morris dragged off target.
The home side almost went ahead on the cusp of half-time, but Cuvelier was perfectly placed to clear Edwards’ goalbound effort from a corner off the line.
Half-time: Peterborough 1-1 Walsall
Peterborough continued to create the better chances after the break, with Taylor setting up George Moncur, who was denied by a brilliant finger-tip save by Etheridge.
Moments later, Taylor fired over from a tight angle at the near post following slick interplay from the hosts.
Walsall, still searching for their first away win, had a fine opportunity to go back in front just before the hour mark.
Cuvelier played a great ball down the line for Jackson, who skipped inside Ryan Tafazolli but could only blaze high and wide from inside the area.
The Saddlers were indebted to the impressive Etheridge again, though, on 71 minutes.
Taylor stood up a right-wing cross for Tom Nichols to head towards goal but Etheridge – arguably Walsall’s man of the match in the previous three matches – parried at full stretch.
The visitors could have snatched victory with six minutes remaining, when Oztumer slipped in Laird who smacked the inside of the post with a left-footed drive from an acute angle.
Full-time: Peterborough 1-1 Walsall
Team: Etheridge, Laird, O’Connor, McCarthy, Chambers, Cuvelier (Moussa 61’), Jackson, Oztumer, Morris, Toner, Makris (Osbourne 77’).
Subs not used: MacGillivray, Dobson, Kinsella, Preston, Bakayoko.
Attendance: 4,906 (314 Walsall supporters).