BEN COMES TO CREWE’S RES­CUE

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Richard Gar­nett

STEVE Davis lauded the per­for­mance of goal­keeper Ben Garratt af­ter bat­tling Crewe came from be­hind to res­cue a point against high-fly­ing Wal­sall.

A Tom Brad­shaw penalty had put the Sad­dlers ahead in a first half dom­i­nated by the vis­i­tors but an early se­cond-half header from Brad In­man earned the Rail­way­men a hard-fought point.

Wal­sall at­tacked freely for large pe­ri­ods but met their match in Garratt, who pro­duced a string of cru­cial saves in both halves, sat­is­fy­ing a grate­ful Davis.

He said: “It’s a good re­sult. We could have been down early in the game. They had some great chances, Ben made a cou­ple of great saves, they hit the bar and should’ve scored.

“We could have been three down af­ter 15 min­utes. It was a re­ally poor start.We talked about it at half-time and then be­cause they hadn’t taken their chances we’ve got a chance.

“We grad­u­ally got into the game. It was end-to-end. It was quite ex­cit­ing.The se­cond half was a real bat­tle. Ben made some ter­rific saves and kept us in the game.”

The Sad­dlers shot out of the traps, with Ro­maine Sawyers’ pull back find­ing Brad­shaw who shot straight at Garratt.

Brad­shaw re­turned the favour a minute later but Sawyers’ low shot was held by Garratt who then de­nied Matt Pre­ston as the vis­i­tors showed why they have the best away record in English league foot­ball with a dom­i­nant open­ing dis­play.

When Mi­lan Lalkovic found Brad­shaw in­side the six-yard box, this time the un­der­side of the cross­bar came to Crewe’s res­cue, when a goal looked like the only out­come.The vis­i­tors were awarded a penalty on 32 min­utes when Ge­orge Cooper was ad­judged to have han­dled in the box, which Brad­shaw duly con­verted.

Shortly af­ter the break Crewe drew level when Semi Ajayi headed a David Fox free-kick back across goal be­fore In­man nod­ded the ball into the net for his sixth goal in as many matches.

Wal­sall pushed hard but found Garratt in im­pe­ri­ous form – first tip­ping a fizzing shot from Brad­shaw round the post at full stretch be­fore deny­ing Lalkovic mo­ments later. Sub­sti­tute Rico Henry had a chance late on but could only vol­ley wide as the Sad­dlers had to set­tle for a point.

Wal­sall man­ager Sean O’Driscoll said: “I’m just re­ally pleased with the level of per­for­mance from the lads again.

“That’s foot­ball I sup­pose. We could have been out of sight in the first ten min­utes.

“If we’d have put two men in the wall we’d have had some­body in that space were Brad In­man came round and got the header. They’re the lit­tle de­tails that some­times cost you.

“I think all game Garratt’s kept them in it.

“If you go two or three goals up it’s ex­tremely dif­fi­cult for any team but 1-0 gives them a chance. “But the level of per­for­mance from this group has been ter­rific all sea­son.”

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