MATT TOASTS GLORY WEEK

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE TWO RESULTS - By Ben Baker

MATT PRE­STON has had a week to re­mem­ber, but the promis­ing de­fender is con­vinced it could get even bet­ter for him and Wal­sall.

The 21-year-old en­joyed the mo­ment of his ca­reer last Satur­day when he climbed off the bench to set up an 89th-minute lev­eller for Tom Brad­shaw against Colch­ester, be­fore slam­ming home the win­ner four min­utes into in­jury time.

Just three days later, the cel­e­bra­tions con­tin­ued for Pre­ston as he signed a one-year con­tract ex­ten­sion at the Bescot Sta­dium.

This has been a whirl­wind sea­son for Pre­ston as the de­fender, who has been with the Sad­dlers since he was 16, was handed a first start in a Johnstone’s Paint Tro­phy de­feat to More­cambe in Septem­ber.

But, with Wal­sall head­ing into the busy Easter week­end out­side the au­to­matic pro­mo­tion places only on goal dif­fer­ence, Pre­ston is keep­ing the cham­pagne on ice, with plenty more cel­e­bra­tions still pos­si­ble for the Sad­dlers.

“It has been a crazy but good few days,” said Pre­ston, whose con­tract had been due to ex­pire in the sum­mer.

Cru­cial

“We had been talk­ing about the con­tract be­fore the game, but maybe the game against Colch­ester was the ex­tra bit I needed to get it done!

“This club is great for giv­ing young play­ers the chance and there is a great at­mos­phere here. I’m de­lighted to be stay­ing, though I know there is a lot I can still work on and a lot the club is still play­ing for.

“The club means a lot to me. And, in all my time here, I think we are the best-placed we have ever been.

“The squad we have and the coach­ing staff are great, and it’s a great at­mos­phere to be in.

“It would be a great achieve­ment to win pro­mo­tion to the Cham­pi­onship and I think, if we keep per­form­ing, we can def­i­nitely achieve it.

“My goal against Colch­ester could be cru­cial at the end of the sea­son. Mo­men­tum is a big thing so we need to keep win­ning games.”

Pre­ston de­scribed his win­ner against the U’s as if Wal­sall had just tri­umphed at Wem­b­ley.

But, if it was down to care­taker man­ager Jon Whit­ney, the young cen­tre-back might never have ex­pe­ri­enced such a high.

Pre­ston was sent up front late in the game, not by Whit­ney but by his team-mates, some­thing for which the de­fender will be for­ever grate­ful.

“I was told by a few of the se­nior play­ers to push on and try a dif­fer­ent ap­proach to the game be­cause we weren’t get­ting much joy,” added Pre­ston, who re­placed the in­jured James O’Con­nor af­ter 18 min­utes.

“I just went up there and tried to do some­thing. Thank­fully, I flicked on a header for the equaliser and got the win­ner.”

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