Walsall moved above Wycombe and out of the League One relegation zone thanks to victory over Colchester.

Anthony Wordsworth fired in from long range to give the visitors an early lead, but the Saddlers hit back with two goals in five minutes.

Emanuel Jorge Ledesma levelled with a stunning free-kick that found the top corner before Mat Sadler found the bottom corner to turn the game around.

George Bowerman rounded off victory with a well-taken headed goal.

VIEWS FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Walsall boss Dean Smith told BBC WM:

"It's a big win but it was a big performance as well. Going a goal down was hard and we could have ducked. But the lads were brave, each and every one of them.

"We looked like we could create, we looked like we could score, and we looked like we could defend as well.

"I'd spoken to George before the game, wanting an improvement in his work-rate. I know he can score goals but if he ups his work-rate, he'll score even more. He came on and he was hungry, he got his goal and it gave us breathing space."

Colchester manager John Ward told BBC Essex:

"We've floundered a little bit in the final hour of the game. They've come very strong.

"I'm reluctant to say it's a game too far, but it looked that way for some of the boys tonight.

"We suffered a little bit. The best team have won and that was Walsall.

"It was a good start, but we couldn't obviously maintain that."

Lineup, Bookings (2) & Substitutions (5)

Walsall

  • 21 Grof
  • 03 Sadler
  • 04 Butler
  • 12 Beevers
  • 06 Smith
  • 11 Hurst
  • 25 Cuvelier
  • 27 Mantom
  • 28 Ledesma (Paterson - 86' )
  • 10 Macken (Bowerman - 41' )
  • 16 Nicholls

Substitutes

  • 01 Walker
  • 05 Lancashire
  • 19 Peterlin
  • 15 Paterson
  • 17 Bowerman

Colchester

  • 01 Williams
  • 04 Okuonghae
  • 18 Eastman (Heath - 77' )
  • 20 Wilson
  • 25 White
  • 14 Bond Booked (Sears - 68' )
  • 22 Wordsworth
  • 09 Gillespie
  • 15 Odejayi
  • 16 Henderson Booked
  • 21 Massey (Vincent - 46' )

Substitutes

  • 03 Rose
  • 06 Heath
  • 27 Duguid
  • 07 Vincent
  • 11 Sears
Ref: Lewis
Att: 3,331

Match Stats

Shots

18 9

On target

9 5

Corners

8 0

Fouls

2 10

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +4:03 Full time

Full Time The referee signals the end of the game.

90:00 +3:08

Foul by John White on Alex Nicholls, free kick awarded. Sam Mantom takes the free kick.

90:00 +2:30

Kayode Odejayi has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.

90:00 +0:30

Sam Mantom produces a right-footed shot from outside the penalty area and misses left.

90:00 +0:06

Short corner taken by Jamie Paterson from the left by-line.

89:08

The assistant referee flags for offside against Steven Gillespie. Indirect free kick taken by David Grof.

88:15

The official flags Ashley Vincent offside. David Grof restarts play with the free kick.

87:37

Florent Cuvelier is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Ben Williams takes the free kick.

86:47

Corner taken short by Kevan Hurst.

85:52

David Grof takes the direct free kick.

85:52 Substitution

Substitution Jamie Paterson is brought on as a substitute for Emanuel Jorge Ledesma.

85:52

Free kick awarded for a foul by Ian Henderson on Kevan Hurst.

84:23

The offside flag is raised against Emanuel Jorge Ledesma. Indirect free kick taken by Ben Williams.

80:40

Unfair challenge on Andy Butler by Steven Gillespie results in a free kick. Free kick taken by David Grof.

79:06

John White takes a shot. Clearance made by Lee Beevers.

78:51

Steven Gillespie takes a shot. David Grof makes a save.

78:26

The referee blows for offside against George Bowerman. Free kick taken by Ben Williams.

76:59

Kevan Hurst has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.

76:03 Substitution

Substitution Tom Eastman goes off and Matt Heath comes on.

74:10

Emanuel Jorge Ledesma takes a shot. Save by Ben Williams. Emanuel Jorge Ledesma decides to take the corner short.

73:00

The assist for the goal came from Emanuel Jorge Ledesma.

73:00 Goal scored

Goal! - George Bowerman - Walsall 3 - 1 Colchester George Bowerman scores a headed goal from deep inside the penalty box. Walsall 3-1 Colchester.

72:58

Emanuel Jorge Ledesma delivers the ball,

72:04

The referee blows for offside. Ben Williams restarts play with the free kick.

70:59

Steven Gillespie takes a shot. Save by David Grof.

67:10 Substitution

Substitution Freddie Sears comes on in place of Andy Bond.

67:10

Florent Cuvelier takes a shot. Blocked by Anthony Wordsworth. Unfair challenge on Andy Butler by Ian Henderson results in a free kick. Florent Cuvelier takes the free kick.

64:58

Effort on goal by Ashley Vincent from deep inside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.

64:39

Kayode Odejayi takes a shot. Mat Sadler makes a clearance.

64:05

The referee blows for offside against George Bowerman. Ben Williams takes the indirect free kick.

59:44

Andy Bond challenges Emanuel Jorge Ledesma unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Kevan Hurst.

58:05

Emanuel Jorge Ledesma takes the direct free kick.

58:05 Booking

Booking Andy Bond is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

57:41

Florent Cuvelier fouled by Andy Bond, the ref awards a free kick.

56:14

Andy Butler fouled by Ian Henderson, the ref awards a free kick. David Grof takes the direct free kick.

53:57

Direct free kick taken by David Grof.

53:57 Booking

Booking Caution for Ian Henderson.

53:51

Free kick awarded for a foul by Kayode Odejayi on David Grof.

51:00

Close range headed effort by Andy Butler goes wide of the left-hand upright.

49:51

John White gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Alex Nicholls. Direct free kick taken by Emanuel Jorge Ledesma.

48:21

Long range shot from Kevan Hurst misses to the left of the goal.

45:01

The referee starts the second half.

45:01 Substitution

Substitution Ashley Vincent replaces Gavin Massey.

45:00 +2:03 Half time

Half Time The whistle is blown to end the first half.

45:00 +1:39

Kayode Odejayi takes a shot. Comfortable save by David Grof.

45:00 +0:33

The assistant referee signals for offside against Emanuel Jorge Ledesma. Ben Williams takes the indirect free kick.

44:24

Handball decision goes against Steven Gillespie. David Grof takes the direct free kick.

43:10

Assist by Alex Nicholls.

43:10 Goal scored

Goal! - Mat Sadler - Walsall 2 - 1 Colchester Mat Sadler gets on the score sheet with a goal from inside the box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Walsall 2-1 Colchester.

43:05

The ball is sent over by Alex Nicholls, Ben Williams makes a save.

40:02 Substitution

Substitution (Walsall) makes a substitution, with George Bowerman coming on for Jonathan Macken.

38:00 Goal scored

Goal! - Emanuel Jorge Ledesma - Walsall 1 - 1 Colchester Emanuel Jorge Ledesma grabs a goal direct from the free kick from outside the area to the top right corner of the goal. Walsall 1-1 Colchester.

36:43

Magnus Okuonghae is adjudged to have handled the ball.

35:24

Foul by John White on Alex Nicholls, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Emanuel Jorge Ledesma.

33:42

Free kick awarded for a foul by Emanuel Jorge Ledesma on Ian Henderson. Free kick taken by Ben Williams.

32:58

Corner taken by Emanuel Jorge Ledesma.

32:40

Kevan Hurst takes a shot. Tom Eastman gets a block in.

31:49

Alex Nicholls produces a volleyed right-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand upright.

30:57

The referee blows for offside. Ben Williams takes the indirect free kick.

28:33

Corner taken left-footed by Emanuel Jorge Ledesma to the near post, Sam Mantom has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the goal.

26:41

Inswinging corner taken by Emanuel Jorge Ledesma, Emmanuele Smith takes a shot.

26:10

The official flags Steven Gillespie offside. Indirect free kick taken by David Grof.

23:26

Ian Henderson has a headed effort at goal from just inside the box that misses to the left of the goal.

22:14

Mat Sadler takes a shot. Ben Williams makes a save.

18:50

The referee blows for offside. Brian Wilson restarts play with the free kick.

17:38

Emanuel Jorge Ledesma takes a shot. Blocked by Tom Eastman. Kevan Hurst takes a shot. Ben Williams makes a save.

13:35

The official flags Jonathan Macken offside. Indirect free kick taken by Ben Williams.

11:32

Foul by Sam Mantom on Ian Henderson, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Tom Eastman.

10:47

The assist for the goal came from Andy Bond.

10:47 Goal scored

Goal! - Anthony Wordsworth - Walsall 0 - 1 Colchester Anthony Wordsworth fires in a goal from long range to the top right corner of the goal. Walsall 0-1 Colchester.

10:10

Kevan Hurst takes the inswinging corner, Kayode Odejayi manages to make a clearance.

4:04

Emanuel Jorge Ledesma has an effort at goal from outside the box which goes wide left of the target.

1:56

Inswinging corner taken by Emanuel Jorge Ledesma from the left by-line played to the near post, Brian Wilson makes a clearance.

1:33

Emanuel Jorge Ledesma takes a shot. Ben Williams makes a save.

0:00

The referee gets the game underway.

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