The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Michael Beardmore To com­ment on this match go to http://boards.footy­

BRIS­TOL CITY boss Steve Cot­ter­ill reck­ons his side can reach the top half be­fore the sea­son’s out af­ter his side’s dra­matic as­cent up the League One ta­ble con­tin­ued with this win at Wal­sall.

Lan­guish­ing in the bot­tom four when Cot­ter­ill took over in De­cem­ber, City reached the mag­i­cal 50-point bar­rier thanks to Sam Bal­dock’s penalty in first-half stop­page time.

And while ad­mit­ting he’s al­ready plan­ning for a pro- mo­tion push next sea­son, Cot­ter­ill still has am­bi­tions for this cam­paign, namely the tenth-placed spot cur­rently held by the beaten Sad­dlers.

Cot­ter­ill said: “We’ve got four games left to play and we want to see if we can end up get­ting our­selves in and around that top ten area.

“That would be fan­tas­tic to come from 23rd/24th to there. We should be top half next sea­son – we prob­a­bly should have been this sea­son and we

still can be. We’ve al­ready been qui­etly plan­ning ahead. What we need to make sure is that we try to re­cruit well, that’s the key to this sum­mer .

“If we can add wisely to the play­ers we’ve al­ready got, I’d be re­ally dis­ap­pointed if we weren’t in the top half next sea­son.”

Wal­sall had much the bet­ter of the first half but the only time they worked City keeper Si­mon Moore was when he pushed aside Sam Man­tom’s de­flected 30-yard free-kick.

City, mean­while, of­fered lit­tle but were gifted the lead on the stroke of half-time – Bal­dock was go­ing nowhere when he was felled by Andy Tay­lor and grate­fully slammed home the penalty.

Wal­sall had a chance to level from the spot 11 min­utes into the sec­ond half but Man­tom’s weak spot-kick was saved by Moore af­ter Greg Cunningham pulled down Sad­dlers striker Michael Ngoo.

And Moore foiled the hosts’ best other chance of res­cu­ing a point late on, su­perbly tip­ping over a 25yard rocket from Nicky Feather­stone.

“We’re not go­ing to make the play-offs now, which is dis­ap­point­ing, but it’s dis­ap­point­ing that we’ve got beaten at home be­cause we didn’t de­serve to,” said Sad­dlers boss Dean Smith.

“We feel like a rob­bery has been com­mit­ted be­cause they didn’t de­serve it.

“It’s the story of the sea­son – we had all the pos­ses­sion, con­trolled the game, con­trolled the tempo but just didn’t put the ball in the back of the net. The per­for­mance was ok up un­til the fi­nal third.”

And the Sad­dlers boss felt the penalty should not have been, adding: “Andy Tay­lor toes the ball away and Bal­dock throws him­self down.”

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