League One
Walsall2Peterborough0

Walsall 2-0 Peterborough United

Walsall struck in each half to see off third-placed Peterborough and earn their first points in three matches.

On-loan Chelsea winger Milan Lalkovic's run and low right-foot curling shot gave the Saddlers a 26th-minute lead.

Romaine Sawyers then added a deserved second on 69 minutes when he fired home left-footed from 15 yards.

Posh had Sean Brisley sent off for a second booking before Walsall missed a late penalty when Ashley Hemmings' weak kick was saved by Bobby Olejnik.

Brisley, already booked for a foul on Craig Westcarr, went for a clumsy challenge on the lively Lalkovic, his second bookable offence, as Posh succumbed to a third straight League One defeat.

After Posh full-back Craig Alcock's fierce shot was tipped onto the bar by home keeper Richard O'Donnell, the Saddlers then went close when centre-half Paul Downing's toe poke was denied at close range by Olejnik.

But former Aston Villa trainee Olejnik was left powerless when, having just swapped to the left side, Lalkovic weaved his way in from the flank to slip a neat finish under him.

Walsall top scorer Westcarr should have made it two after the break when he fired straight at the keeper after being set free by a poor backpass from Grant McCann, while home centre-half Downing had a header cleared off the line by Posh striker Britt Assombalonga.

The disappointing visitors were nearly let in but Nathaniel Mendez-Laing could not take advantage of another loosely-hit backpass by Andy Taylor.

Instead, the sparkling Saddlers went up the other end to wrap up victory - and a rise of four places back up the table to seventh.

Lalkovic set up Sawyers, who should immediately have added a second when he too was sent clear by the third comically underhit backpass of the night.

But the best chance for a Walsall third came in the final minute of normal time when Posh sub Gabriel Zakuani was adjudged to have fouled Downing in the box, Olejnik going low to his left to keep out sub Hemmings' feebly struck left-foot penalty.

VIEW FROM THE DRESSING ROOM

Walsall manager Dean Smith told BBC WM:

"It was a good pass and move then an excellent finish from Milan Lalkovic to get us going and we never looked back from that.

"The only thing missing was that we could have scored a few more.

"Our aim at the start of the season was to be competitive in every game but, if we keep playing like that, we'll beat anyone.

"We actually feel a little bit disappointed with our points return, given how consistently well we've played, but this is a tough league."

Peterborough United manager Darren Ferguson told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire:

"It's very rare when you get a game in which every player on the other team are better than yours. But you have to give credit to the opposition. Walsall are a good team.

"Sean Brisley's challenge was silly at that stage of the game when he'd already been booked. That's four red cards we've had now which does not make it any easier.

"But, once we'd gone down to 10 men, we were lucky not to get beat by more.

"We've hit a blip and it's up to me to do what I can to get our form back but there will certainly be changes. I know what I really want to do but it's just disappointing that we can't do anything about it until January."

Line-ups

Walsall

  • 1O'Donnell
  • 15Chambers
  • 3Taylor
  • 7Chambers
  • 12Downing
  • 4Butler
  • 9LalkovicSubstituted forHemmingsat 84'minutes
  • 8Mantom
  • 10WestcarrSubstituted forHewittat 89'minutes
  • 25Sawyers
  • 16BaxendaleSubstituted forGrayat 85'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Purkiss
  • 6Featherstone
  • 11Hemmings
  • 13Lewis
  • 14Benning
  • 24Hewitt
  • 27Gray

Peterborough

  • 1Olejnik
  • 31LittleBooked at 71mins
  • 3NtlheSubstituted forKearnsat 45'minutesBooked at 56mins
  • 2Alcock
  • 4BrisleyBooked at 77mins
  • 6Bostwick
  • 22Ephraim
  • 8Payne
  • 19Mendez-Laing
  • 9AssombalongaSubstituted forZakuaniat 82'minutes
  • 11McCannSubstituted forBarnettat 58'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Zakuani
  • 7Swanson
  • 12Vassell
  • 13Day
  • 16Kearns
  • 23Barnett
  • 36Jeffers
Referee:
David Coote
Attendance:
4,597

Match Stats

Home TeamWalsallAway TeamPeterborough
Possession
Home55%
Away45%
Shots
Home24
Away5
Shots on Target
Home11
Away3
Corners
Home4
Away4
Fouls
Home9
Away16

Live Text

Match ends, Walsall 2, Peterborough United 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Walsall 2, Peterborough United 0.
Corner, Walsall. Conceded by Gabriel Zakuani.
Attempt blocked. Andy Taylor (Walsall) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Ashley Hemmings.
Penalty saved! Ashley Hemmings (Walsall) fails to capitalise on this great opportunity, left footed shot saved in the bottom right corner.
Penalty Walsall. Paul Downing draws a foul in the penalty area.
Penalty conceded by Gabriel Zakuani (Peterborough United) after a foul in the penalty area.

Substitution

Substitution, Walsall. Troy Hewitt replaces Craig Westcarr.
Corner, Walsall. Conceded by Gabriel Zakuani.
Foul by James Chambers (Walsall).
Nathaniel Mendez-Laing (Peterborough United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Walsall. Julian Gray replaces James Baxendale.

Substitution

Substitution, Walsall. Ashley Hemmings replaces Milan Lalkovic.

Substitution

Substitution, Peterborough United. Gabriel Zakuani replaces Britt Assombalonga.
Attempt missed. James Chambers (Walsall) right footed shot from more than 35 yards misses to the left.
Attempt saved. Milan Lalkovic (Walsall) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Craig Westcarr.
Attempt missed. Milan Lalkovic (Walsall) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Romaine Sawyers.

Dismissal

Second yellow card to Sean Brisley (Peterborough United) for a bad foul.
Foul by Sean Brisley (Peterborough United).
Milan Lalkovic (Walsall) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Tyrone Barnett (Peterborough United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by James Chambers (Walsall).
Corner, Walsall. Conceded by Michael Bostwick.
Attempt saved. Romaine Sawyers (Walsall) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.
Foul by Milan Lalkovic (Walsall).
Daniel Kearns (Peterborough United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

Mark Little (Peterborough United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Sam Mantom (Walsall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Mark Little (Peterborough United).

Goal!

Goal! Walsall 2, Peterborough United 0. Romaine Sawyers (Walsall) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Milan Lalkovic.
Attempt blocked. James Baxendale (Walsall) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Romaine Sawyers.
Attempt saved. Britt Assombalonga (Peterborough United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Nathaniel Mendez-Laing (Peterborough United) because of an injury.
Attempt saved. Andy Taylor (Walsall) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Craig Westcarr.
Attempt blocked. Andrew Butler (Walsall) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Andy Taylor with a cross.
Corner, Walsall. Conceded by Mark Little.
Andy Taylor (Walsall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Daniel Kearns (Peterborough United).
Attempt blocked. Craig Alcock (Peterborough United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Hogan Ephraim with a cross.
goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLGDPts
1Wolves1612312039
2Leyton Orient1612222338
3Peterborough1610241132
4Brentford16934830
5Preston16862830
6Swindon168261026
7Walsall16745425
8Bradford166641024
9Rotherham16664224
10Port Vale16727-123
11MK Dons15645422
12Coventry169431221
13Crawley16556-420
14Gillingham16538-518
15Colchester16385-617
16Carlisle16457-1217
17Shrewsbury16376-316
18Oldham15438-415
19Bristol City16286-414
20Stevenage164210-1114
21Tranmere16358-1414
22Crewe16349-2413
23Sheff Utd163310-1112
24Notts County163112-1310
View full League One table

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