DANNY WON’T DISH OUT BLAME
CHESTERFIELD boss Danny Wilson leapt to the defence of his defenders despite seeing three moments of madness.
Centre-half Tom Anderson gifted promotion-chasing Walsall two goals, while Dion Donohue saw red for clashing with celebrating Saddlers players after Sam Mantom fired the visitors 2-1 up.
But Wilson blasted the sending-off, saying: “The referee said he saw a punch being thrown but Dion categorically denies that.
“Nothing was done to their boy, who started off the melee in the first place by jumping in to one of our players to celebrate, which I thought was a bit crass.
“Our player was sent off and their player only got booked which I find difficult to fathom.”
Anderson, meanwhile, was the culprit for Walsall’s first and third goals, slicing home a horrendous own goal and later gift-wrapping one for Jordy Hiwula with a poor mis-control.
But Wilson said: “The pass that Tom was given was a very, very poor pass. He’s on his own and he’s got a striker breathing down his throat and the ball should not have been played to him.
“The first goal, the own goal, he’s going to have a few of them in his career, there’s no doubt about it – the ball came at him at pace and it’s caught him flat-footed but I’m not going to castigate him.”
Walsall revived their automatic promotion push with the win as they ended a winless run of six games that cost boss Sean O’Driscoll his job. Physio Jon Whitney is now interim boss and admits he fancies following the route Nigel Adkins famously took into management.
Whitney said:“I don’t see myself as being a physio, I see myself as a performance coach. “I wasn’t actively looking for this opportunity but it’s arrived and I think I’ve got the attributes to do it.
“I’m hard working, I don’t let negatives get me down, I don’t get carried away when we win or we lose, I keep to an emotional baseline which I try to instil into my players.
“If we can do that, then we can cope with going 1-0 down away from home and come back, and that puts us in a good position at the end of the season.
“You can’t guarantee wins but what you’ve got to do is give your all and leave everything out on that on the pitch. The players did that today and got their just rewards.”
Chesterfield’s Lee Novak was denied at point-blank range by Walsall keeper Neil Etheridge, who could only look on in horror soon after as James O’Connor’s headed own goal put the hosts ahead.
But Anderson sliced a Mantom cross into his own net under no pressure to bring Walsall level on 35 minutes.
And the game was decided on 57 minutes as Mantom fired home from 20 yards and Donohue saw a red card in the fracas that followed.
Chesterfield collapsed and Anderson’s error gifted the third to Hiwula, whose lovely flick set Mantom free to tuck home the fourth.