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Club News

Flynn bursting with pride after cup victory

9 January 2023

Club News

Flynn bursting with pride after cup victory

9 January 2023

Walsall Head Coach Michael Flynn, was bursting with pride following his side’s dramatic late, but deserved victory in the FA Cup third round away to fellow League Two side Stockport County.

There were 9,178 in attendance at Edgeley Park as Andy Williams converted a 95th minute penalty to progress to the fourth round of the prestigious competition for the first time since 2016.

Despite leaving it late, Flynn believed his side were good value for the result and were unlucky not to tie up the victory sooner in the closely contested fixture.

“It was nothing more than what we deserved. We should have had a stonewall penalty first half, the boys were saying that [the ball] went over the line second half as well, but it’s a tough place to come, they’re a good team Stockport,” Flynn admitted.

“I thought it was a real FA Cup, exciting game and for us to come out on top I’m obviously pleased.”

Flynn reflected that his side made it harder for themselves than perhaps necessary, dropping deeper than instructed which invited pressure from the hosts, although he was pleased with the Saddlers resilience and physicality in coping with the quality players Stockport possess.

“We sat back a little bit for a ten-minute period, and we didn’t want to do that. Yes, we left one up front, but I didn’t want us as deep as we were.

“We could still have been ten yards further up the pitch and we would still have stopped one or two balls into their front players which allowed them to build.

“They’ve got good players; Paddy Madden scored a great goal, Kyle Wootton is handful at any level, he’s a big strong unit and like I said, it’s what we deserved and I’m over the moon.”

The deadlock was eventually broken in the 68th minute and in spectacular fashion. A mighty Manny Monthe headed clearance found its way into the path of Danny Johnson, who has been in fine goalscoring form.

Johnson watched the ball drop over his shoulder before unleashing a beautifully struck left-footed half volley from outside the area. Stockport keeper Ben Hinchliffe got a strong hand on the effort, but it wasn’t enough as the ball sailed over him and in.

“I was right behind him. It was some strike,” Flynn said when asked about the opening goal. “He’s caught it sweet as a nut and everybody will say it was a goalkeeping error, but I thought he had done well to even get a hand on it, let alone anything else, so a fantastic strike. I don’t care who scores, as long as we are into the next round.”

In the 95th minute, after Liam Kinsella was chopped down by Madden who consequently was shown a yellow card, the visitors were awarded a penalty, which the experienced Andy Williams, who also joined the Saddlers in the summer, dispatched emphatically.

“It was a fantastic penalty,” Flynn assessed. “I’m glad he was on the pitch at the time because he’s a cool character. [He has] lots of experience and he practises day in, day out, so fair play to him.”

It wasn’t all good news however, as young midfielder Jack Earing was ruled out of the contest with injury. Flynn admitted that he is unsure of how long the 23-year-old will be side-lined, although explained that the team are wishing him a speedy recovery.

“Jack unfortunately has suffered what looks like a bad knee injury, we don’t know the outcome of that yet. The players wanted to hold up his shirt here today, just to show that they are thinking of him, he’s part of our team and he’s got all of our support.”

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