Saddlers go from joy to despair in 70 mins

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By Walsall Advertiser | Friday, December 14, 2012, 09:20


A FIVE-star showing from the Sky Blues at the Ricoh Arena pushed the pressure gauge even further into the red for the Saddlers this season.

Mark Robins side earned their biggest win since the former Manchester United man took the reigns at Coventry, pushing Walsall only three points above of the relegation places.

The win, a timely one for the resurgent Sky Blues, ensured the West Midlands bragging rights would be staying with the home side.

Saddlers' boss, Dean Smith, thought the showing from his side was not up to standard.

He said: "We came here with high hopes.

"I thought that we started the game well and were in control for the opening 20 minutes or so.

"We took a deserved lead with a well-worked goal, but we allowed them back into it with a couple of poor goals on our part and for the next 70 minutes our performance didn't reach the standards that I know we are capable of.

"We'll sit down and talk about where things went wrong once the dust has settled. We know that we have to be better defensively and we didn't handle their threats well enough.

"It's a case of taking it on the chin and making sure that we are ready for two important home games on the spin which follow."

The Saddlers boss added: "We understand where we're at as a club; it was always going to be difficult against a club that were in the Championship last season and still have Championship players, but I felt that we would be okay if we applied ourselves as we have done.

"Sadly it was not to be the case and whilst we were not happy with some of the decisions that went against us, our defensive display was nowhere near where it should have been.

"The fans were excellent and really got behind us. I can understand their frustrations and we'll be working hard to put things right."

And put things right Walsall will need to do.

Despite taking the lead through a Blair Adams own goal in the 16th minute, they capitulated and for the next 70 minutes were forced into chasing shadows.

They were pegged back level just before the half-hour mark when Carl Baker slammed home an effort from just inside the area.

Coventry were on the ascendancy at this point and six minutes before the break they took the lead for the first time.

David McGoldrick was the scorer as he found the net with a goal from close range.

The same player then confirmed that superiority for the home side as he made it two goals in as many minutes with his second almost straight from the restart.

The second-half saw more of the same as Walsall simply could not live with Coventry,

They soon found themselves 4-1 down when Cyrus Christie found the back of the net with a goal from deep inside the penalty box and it was game set and match 20 minutes after that.

First Andy Butler was dismissed for his second yellow card, and then 60 seconds later that blow was compounded when the home side netted their fifth of the afternoon.

The goal came from Baker who struck from just outside the box to the bottom left corner of the net.

Despite being more than a match for their hosts in the opening quarter of the match, Walsall could have no complaints with the 5-1 scoreline at the end of the game – the only hope now it proves to be the wake-up call they need.

Dunn, Clarke, Willis, O'Donovan.

Walsall: Mccarey, Taundry, Butler, Holden, Taylor, Featherstone (Hemmings 86), Mantom, Grigg, Paterson (A Chambers 67), Brandy (Downing 85), Westcarr.

Substitutes: Grof, J Chambers, Baxendale, Bowerman.



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