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WHITNEY BEAMING AFTER SIXTH STRAIGHT HOME WIN

8 March 2017

Laird with the only goal against Chesterfield...

Jon Whitney was left beaming after his in-form side recorded a sixth successive home win with a deserved 1-0 victory over struggling Chesterfield. 

Scott Laird scored the only goal nine minutes into the second half when he turned in Joe Edwards’ corner from close range. 

The hosts dominated throughout and would have won far more convincingly but for an impressive goalkeeping display from Thorsten Stuckmann, who made fine saves to thwart Erhun Oztumer, Kieron Morris and Simeon Jackson. 

Saddlers stopper Neil Etheridge was rarely troubled as Whitney’s men secured a second home victory – and clean sheet - in four days. 

The result lifted us up to eighth in League One, six points shy of the play-offs – and also saw us break the 50-point barrier. 

“I set the lads three targets before the game,” said Whitney afterwards. 

“I told them that it was an opportunity to go to 52 points, go eighth and get the sixth home win on the bounce. 

“But to get that we had to show energy and enthusiasm. It had to mean more for us to achieve that than it did for them to get three points to try to stay in League One. 

“If you can match their energy, enthusiasm, passion and will to win, then you’ll have a chance. We earned the right to play and I thought it was a deserved 1-0 win. 

“I didn’t see them scoring, even when they were going route one and put three or four up top. I thought we handled it really well and we knew what to expect from them. 

“The way they set up was very similar to their game at Swindon. They limit your space and options, and then they make changes and bring a bit of energy on. They got the win on Saturday doing it that way. 

“But I thought once we got the goal we were quite comfortable. It would have been nice to get the second but it’s my favourite score is 1-0. 

“Clean sheets are always good and it was nice to score from a set-piece. It was brilliant for Scott too and the last two games have probably shown what we are about as a group. 

“We’ve got resilience, we’re gritty when we need to be, we’ll scrap if they want to scrap, and we can also play teams off the park, which we did at times.”

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