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Keates hails Dobson after Northampton winner

30 April 2018

Dean Keates hailed George Dobson after the midfielder’s last-gasp winner secured a vital 1-0 victory over Northampton.

After starting the move inside his own half, the 20-yard-old calmly swept home Amadou Bakayoko’s pull-back from the edge of the box to spark jubilant scenes inside the Banks’s.

The result moved the Saddlers three points clear of the relegation zone and within one point of guaranteeing safety.

“The goal, and the quality Dobbo showed for a young lad, was fantastic,” the boss commented.

“We were getting put under pressure as Northampton needed the points, and for Dobbo to bring it down 25 yards out from our goal showed great composure.

“It worked out being about a 70-yard one-two with Ama. He put Ama down the channel and Ama did really well and squared it back.

“Of all the players in the squad I’ve got, I’d want Dobbo to be arriving on the edge of the box. He’s got great quality and technique, and he slotted it into the bottom corner.”

Keates was pleased with the commitment of his players to get the all-important three points.

“Since the lads have been here, they’ve given everything,” Keates added. “We were compact and blocked shots.

“Everyone knew what the game was about and what was at stake.

“To score at that time gives you that euphoria. It was then about remaining calm and being compact as you’re going to be put under pressure for another two minutes.

“It was a little bit edgy and both teams had opportunities. Robbo pulled an unbelievable save off in the first two minutes, tipping a good shot onto the post.

“In the second half we had good opportunities ourselves. The keeper made a good save off Devs [Nicky Devlin] and he had a free header which he put just wide.

“We broke well in the second half, got bodies forward and we could have taken a few more opportunities.”

We did ride our luck at times, particularly when Matt Grimes’ over-hit cross looped over Liam Roberts and hit the post, struck the keeper’s back and bounced onto the bar.

But the boss felt we were due some good fortune.

“You look back and we’ve not had much luck,” he said.

“You think back to Wimbledon and the penalty decision [for their winning goal]. Would that have been given outside the box? No it wouldn’t.

“We had no luck in that game but we did get a little bit of luck with the one that hit the post, hit Robbo and hit the crossbar.

“You need luck in any sport and any walk of life. We worked hard and we earned that little bit of luck.”

It was the Saddlers’ second win under Keates, the first having also been by a 1-0 scoreline thanks to a last-minute goal, against bottom club Bury.

“I’ll take a 1-0 instead of going in at half-time 2-0 up and losing 3-2!

“It’s not good for my heart but it was just about getting the result.

“We got that and the emotions are sky high, but we’ve got to bring them back down to earth for a massive game on Tuesday.”


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