Etheridge per­formed like Banks, says Grant

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Joel Lamy

IT WAS like com­ing up against Gor­don Banks, be­moaned Grant McCann, as he saw his Peter­bor­ough United side de­nied by a goal­keeper who is be­ing tipped for the high­est level.

McCann was im­pressed but frus­trated by Wal­sall stopper Neil Etheridge who made sev­eral ex­cel­lent saves in­clud­ing a bril­liant one-handed ef­fort to keep out a Tom Ni­chols header.

It took a su­perb curl­ing ef­fort from Mar­cus Mad­di­son to beat the Philip­pines in­ter­na­tional, ten min­utes af­ter Simeon Jack­son had headed Wal­sall into the lead with his fourth goal of the sea­son.

McCann said: “I felt we did enough to win the game, es­pe­cially in the sec­ond half.

“We had to re­cover from con­ced­ing an­other sloppy goal, but we re­acted well with a fan­tas­tic goal from Mar­cus and then we couldn’t find an­other way past one of the best goal­keep­ers in this league.

“It is frus­trat­ing be­cause we re­ally need to be win­ning our home games, but it is essen­tial not to lose at home and we have man­aged to avoid that.

“I’d be more wor­ried if we weren’t cre­at­ing chances, but it is just a case of not tak­ing enough of them while com­ing up against a keeper play­ing like Gor­don Banks.”

Wal­sall led when Flo Cu­ve­lier, on his re­turn from in­jury, sent over a right-wing cross which Jack­son glanced into the far post.

Mad­di­son soon found the top cor­ner from 20 yards out, but Etheridge then came to the fore, mak­ing ex­cel­lent low saves from Paul Tay­lor and Ge­orge Mon­cur be­fore bril­liantly deny­ing Ni­chols.

The Sad­dlers nearly won it five min­utes from time but Scott Laird’s shot struck the in­side of the post and bounced out. Wal­sall boss Jon Whit­ney was not sur­prised by Etheridge’s per­for­mance. He said: “He does it day-in day-out. What we have said is we can’t keep ex­pect­ing Neil to pull us out. He would like a quiet day I’m sure of it.

“He would like to spec­tate for one 90 min­utes and hope­fully that will come and we can turn a lot of our pos­ses­sion into goals.

“The per­for­mance last week against Bolton was prob­a­bly bet­ter.

“He gets a lot of credit Neil, and he should do.

“I think he will go on and play at the high­est level.”

Whit­ney was also dis­ap­pointed Laird’s late ef­fort did not sneak into the far cor­ner, adding: “If that had gone in I prob­a­bly would have been like David Pleat run­ning down the side!”

STAR MAN NEIL ETHERIDGE Wal­sall

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