Cook helps rus­tle up taste for suc­cess

The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Do­minic Hogg

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.”

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