Salford City tasted defeat at Walsall as the home snatched victory in injury time.
The hosts sealed the win in the 94th minute through substitute Conor Wilkinson. A long ball looped into the box thwarted the Salford defence and fell to the Walsall number nine who calmly converted into the near post.
It was a frustrating end to The Ammies afternoon who showed their resilience in the second half to pull the scores back level through Ash Eastham’s header. But afterwards a disappointed Gary Bowyer had his say on his side’s performance;
“We grew into the game as the second half went on, got our equaliser and looked like we were going to go on and get a second. Then we have one ball lumped into the box and we don’t defend it well enough.
“Between both penalty boxes, I thought we were comfortable in and out of possession but we’ve not been good enough in the penalty boxes, it’s as simple as that. We’ve created enough, but the chances that we did we haven’t got on the end of it.”
It was a slow start from the visitors with Walsall opening the scoring inside 30 seconds after a meandering run from winger Kieran Phillips resulted in the ball being slotted past King, an early wake-up call for Salford.
“We started the game not very well at all, to concede in the manner that we did is not acceptable and then after a ten-minute spell I thought we controlled the game in terms of possession.”
Bowyer made all three changes towards the back end of the second half to revitalise Salford’s threat. Just over 10 minutes from time, the ball was in the back of the net and the scores were level, captain Eastham getting on the end of an Ash Hunter corner for his second of the season.
It looked as though The Ammies were going to be spurred on to win it in the closing stages, attacking towards the travelling support, but couldn’t find the breakthrough in front of goal.
“We brought the subs on to make a difference and add a bit more energy which it seemed to do, we just couldn’t make that final pass. Our overall decision making wasn’t quite at the levels which it’s been and our execution wasn’t.”
After back-to-back away games, Salford return to M7 next week as they welcome Hartlepool United to The Peninsula Stadium. With a week to reflect on their performance in the West Midlands, Bowyer’s squad will hope to add the finishing touches to their game ready for the home fans.
“We’ve got to dust ourselves down, take this one on the chin and then get ready for next Saturday. We’ve got to stop doing what we’re doing at the moment in terms of giving goals away.”