KEATES IRKED BY SADDLERS POINT
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.”
STAR MAN ROSS WALLACE Fleetwood CHALLENGE: Ched Evans battles for the ball with Martin Russell Inset: Jon Guthrie heads wide