Ace Jord Cooks up a Saddlers special!
JORDAN COOK’s screamer left both openmouthed bosses paying tribute as Walsall came from behind to beat outof-form Barnsley.
Cook was running away from goal when he connected with a stunning half-volley from 20 yards that flew into the top corner to bring the Saddlers level.
He then set up Tom Bradshaw to put Walsall ahead before sealing the points with his second goal late on – but it was Cook’s first strike that had everyone talking.
Tykes boss Danny Wilson said:“I know the distance isn’t the same but it just reminded me of Aaron Ramsey’s goal for Arsenal in the Champions League.
“I don’t know how he’s kept it down, it’s terrific. He’s running away from goal to start with, wraps his foot around it and he’s managed to keep the ball under control.”
Walsall boss Dean Smith purred:“It was a fantastic finish and there was a great little bit of skill from Jordan again to lay on the second for Tom Bradshaw.
“I’ve got a lot of time for Jordan. I think he’s a super player. Pre-season some of our players were asking me how we had managed to get him on a two-year contract.
“Then unfortunately he broke his ankle and it takes time to come back from that. Now he’s starting to look brighter and brighter and that’s only good news for us.”
The game burst into life with three goals in five minutes around the halfhour as Lewin Nyatanga’s glancing header from a corner put Barnsley ahead.
However, Cook’s stunner levelled matters almost immediately and he robbed Reece Brown to set up Bradshaw for his tenth of the season shortly after.
Barnsley had chances to get back on terms either side of the break but Walsall keeper Richard O’Donnell made smart saves from Marcelo Trotta, Dale Jennings and Connor Hourihane.
Cook flashed a free-kick inches over at the start of the second half but wrapped up victory in stoppage time, steering home Mathieu Manset’s layoff.
It moved Walsall up into the top half, four points off the playoffs, and a pleased Smith said:“We’ll just keep pushing on because we’ve got a tough period coming up against Sheffield United, Swindon and MK Dons.”
Wilson, meanwhile, had to contend with Barnsley’s away supporters turning on the players with chants of ‘you’re not fit to wear the shirt’ late on.
He added:“It’s not helpful but they’ve got an opinion and a right to voice it. It’s not something that you like to hear but you’ve got to have that rhino skin and move on.
“We created great situations but just frittered them away.”
STAR MAN JORDA
N COOK Walsal