The Football League Paper - - LEAGUE ONE - By Rosie Swar­brick

WALSALL boss Dean Keates was left to rue a se­ries of missed chances as his side drew at Fleet­wood.

The Saddlers had 13 corners at High­bury, but could not break the dead­lock with Rus­sell Martin and Jon Guthrie spurn­ing free head­ers.

And Keates was dis­ap­pointed they did not leave the Fylde coast with three points or score in front of the Sky cam­eras.

He said: “We were fairly dom­i­nant in the first half.

“At half-time we had ten corners and we added to that in the sec­ond half.

“We had two free head­ers and I am dis­ap­pointed we did not con­nect with them.

“Russ should have done bet­ter, John Guthrie should have done bet­ter.

“Sec­ond half, Fleet­wood, the home team, stepped up and cre­ated op­por­tu­ni­ties.

“We are dis­ap­pointed from our side. On an­other day we could have had three points.”

Walsall’s Josh Gin­nelly and Martin wasted good op­por­tu­ni­ties as the hosts’ de­fence, along with shot-stop­per Alex Cairns, strug­gled in the air.

Cairns and com­pany took their time com­ing to terms with the con­di­tions as the early kick­off and un­usual crisp au­tum­nal weather saw a low sun im­pact­ing their vi­sion.

Ja­son Holt had the best chance for Town, the on-loan Rangers man blast­ing the ball over the top af­ter Nathan Sheron had put the ball on a plate for him.

Ross Wal­lace ac­ro­bat­i­cally thun­dered the ball straight at Liam Roberts at the start of the sec­ond half as Fleet­wood tried to cap­i­talise on the sun ad­van­tage.

Ash Hunter was thwarted by Nicky Devlin’s block as his thun­der­ous ef­fort looked des­tined to fi­nally break the dead­lock, while Walsall sub Mor­gan Fer­rier nearly won it for the Saddlers, nod­ding Zeli Is­mail’s cross from the right just wide of a post.

It was Town who nearly got their re­ward for their pa­tient play, Paddy Mad­den blast­ing over sub Ched Evans’ cut back.

Fleet­wood boss Joey Bar­ton was also left to pon­der what might have been.

And though he was happy with a first clean sheet since they beat Don­caster 4-0 at the start of the sea­son, Bar­ton wanted more. He said: “You look at the chances. Yes we have had to de­fend 13 corners, but we did that man­fully.

“On the bal­ance of play Ross Wal­lace’s chance, a great save from the keeper.

“Ash Hunter’s chance nine times out of 10 he puts that in the back of the net, but a re­ally good block.

“Right at the end our lead­ing goalscorer gets pre­sented with a golden op­por­tu­nity. Very un­like him that he misses the tar­get. It was a scrappy game and it was go­ing to be a bit of ge­nius or tak­ing one of those chances that de­cided it.

“Dis­ap­point­ing in one as­pect, but very pleas­ing from a de­fen­sive stamp.”

PIC­TURE: PA Im­ages

STAR MAN ROSS WAL­LACE Fleet­wood CHAL­LENGE: Ched Evans bat­tles for the ball with Martin Rus­sell In­set: Jon Guthrie heads wide

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