The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Michael Beard­more

WAL­SALL keeper Neil Etheridge was ‘Premier League’ but ref­eree Trevor Ket­tle was ‘Sun­day League’ as Bolton’s un­beaten start was ended by the ter­rific ten-man Sad­dlers.

Etheridge pro­duced a string of sec­ond­half stops to pre­serve a vi­tal three points for Wal­sall, who played more than 75 min­utes with ten men af­ter Joe Ed­wards’ harsh red card for an el­bow.

Bolton also ended the game with ten af­ter sub­sti­tute Keshi An­der­son’s far­ci­cal dis­missal, lead­ing both man­agers to reach boil­ing point over Ket­tle.

Lead­ing the crit­i­cism was Wan­der­ers boss Phil Parkin­son af­ter An­der­son’s first book­ing came for en­ter­ing the field too soon when re­plac­ing Chris Tay­lor.

Parkin­son moaned: “I thought all-round it was a very poor ref­er­ee­ing per­for­mance.

“I was stood next to the fourth of­fi­cial and he prac­ti­cally pushed Keshi on to the pitch. They will deny that they sent him on but I was stood right next to him and I saw it.”

While unim­pressed with Ket­tle, the Bolton boss had noth­ing but ad­mi­ra­tion for Sad­dlers stop­per Etheridge.

Parkin­son added: “We did ev­ery­thing we could to get back in the game and their keeper has pulled off some in­cred­i­ble saves. Two or three of the saves the keeper made are Premier League saves. The one from Jamie Proc­tor is as good a save as I’ve seen in a long while.”

It was a huge win for Wal­sall boss Jon Whit­ney and he felt Ed­wards’ harsh dis­missal gal­vanised the Sad­dlers play­ers and fans.

He said: “I wasn’t ex­pect­ing the red card. I thought it was quite harsh. There was no move­ment of the hand to­wards the face. Joe had his eye on the ball all the time.

“He was too quick to get the red card out. But it united us. It re­sulted in a great at­mos­phere in the crowd.

“Credit to the boys, they de­serve that. They have had some crit­i­cism over the last few weeks and a per­for­mance like that hope­fully shows why we have said we had be­lief in our play­ers. A cou­ple of Neil Etheridge’s saves were un­be­liev­able. He is a big-game keeper.”

For the first 15 min­utes phys­i­cal­ly­im­pos­ing Bolton looked head and shoul­ders – lit­er­ally and fig­u­ra­tively – above their hosts.

But Proc­tor saw their best chance, a header from 12 yards, clip the bar and af­ter Ed­wards’ 16th-minute red for an el­bow on Tay­lor, Wal­sall ral­lied.

They went ahead on 25 min­utes as Mark Howard flapped at a free-kick and Ja­son McCarthy bun­dled home.

Bolton al­most lev­elled im­me­di­ately but Andreas Makris cleared Lewis Bux­ton’s header off the line be­fore Etheridge pushed away Proc­tor’s 20-yard rocket.

Af­ter the in­ter­val, Etheridge made two stun­ning stops – from David Wheater’s close-range header and Proc­tor’s 12-yard half-vol­ley.

And Bolton’s woes were com­pounded by An­der­son’s stop­page-time red card.

PIC­TURES: Pro Sports

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