Cook helps rustle up taste for success
WALSALL saw off a late Wycombe fightback to triumph in a five-goal thriller and record a first home league win since August.
Wycombe twice went close to leading in the first half as Craig Mackail-Smith sent a diving header wide from six yards and Paris Cowan-Hall lashed against the bar from 15 yards.
Against the run of play, Walsall led on 38 minutes as Connor Ronan’s teasing free-kick was headed home by Andy Cook.
Walsall doubled their lead after 52 minutes as Kane Wilson’s initial strike was blocked by Wycombe keeper Ryan Allsop but he pulled the loose ball back for Isaiah Osbourne to slot home.
Wycombe pulled one back after 80 minutes as Luke Leahy lobbed his own keeper Liam Roberts under pressure from Alex Samuel.
Another own-goal restored the Saddlers’ two-goal advantage four minutes later as George Dobson’s cross ricocheted in off Wycombe’s Dominic Gape.
Wycombe made it 3-2 in stoppage time as Dobson fouled Fred Onyedinma in the area and Samuel slotted home the rebound after Roberts saved Scott Kashket’s penalty.
Wycombe manager Gareth Ainsworth said: “When you score two goals away from home you feel you should get something out of the game but we defended poorly at times and you can’t do that at this level.
“A lot of us weren’t at the races. Okay, it was average, but average isn’t good enough in League One.
“You’ve got to make sure you are above average every week and some of Walsall’s players played better than their opposite numbers today and that was the story of the game.
“We can’t ship goals like that and think we are going to get something out of games.”
Walsall’s are now ninth and assistant boss Andy Davies said: “For us the most important thing was getting the result.
“It’s nice to get goals because that’s what you want to do, you want to entertain the supporters but the most important thing for us, whether it was 1-0 or 3-2, it was getting the three points.
“And we’ve got that on the back of two away defeats. Today is massive for us to get the victory and start a run of five home games and hopefully carry that on now.”