League One
Crawley1Walsall0

Crawley Town 1-0 Walsall

Crawley substitute Conor Henderson's late free-kick earned three points against a wasteful Walsall.

Home goalkeeper Jamie Ashdown made two crucial saves from midfielder Romaine Sawyers to keep the score level.

Adam Chambers and Paul Downing then missed good chances for the visitors before their profligacy was punished.

With a minute left, Henderson curled a superb 25-yard free-kick over the wall into the top corner to condemn Walsall to a third straight league defeat.

With Crewe winning, the Saddlers drop to 23rd in League One, kept off the foot of the table by Scunthorpe United only on goal difference.

Michael Cain, on loan from Leicester City, made his Walsall debut in midfield, while Saddlers skipper Sam Mantom made a return late on for his first appearance of the season after a knee ligament injury.

Walsall manager Dean Smith told BBC WM:

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Smith on Crawley v Walsall

"We've been undone cruelly at the end by a free-kick that wasn't a free-kick. Adam Chambers won the ball and then the referee puts the wall 11 yards back. That's difficult to take.

"But we were excellent. The only thing we didn't do was take our chances. You can't have 25 attempts and be worried. Another day you'll score five or six. But that's football for you. It can be a cruel game.

"Michael Cain came in and did a good job, slotting in seamlessly alongside Adam Chambers. And it's good to have Sam Mantom back as he's been missed."

Crawley Town assistant manager Paul Groves told BBC Surrey:

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Groves on Crawley v Walsall

"It was important for us that we got back to getting a clean sheet and that's our ninth clean sheet so we are in the right direction.

"Understandably the fans towards the end of the game, they want you to push for the game but we were aware of conceding goals and we wanted to build on from another clean sheet.

"Conor Henderson has come up with a bit of quality and that can always happen, so for us tonight the win was massive, the clean sheet was huge, the application, the attitude, the commitment from the players was fantastic."

Line-ups

Crawley

  • 25Ashdown
  • 2OyebanjoBooked at 26mins
  • 5LeacockBooked at 73mins
  • 12Walsh
  • 26Sadler
  • 7Edwards
  • 8SmithSubstituted forHendersonat 68'minutes
  • 14Young
  • 33ElliottBooked at 86mins
  • 11SimpsonSubstituted forBawlingat 77'minutes
  • 9McLeodSubstituted forHarroldat 81'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Jensen
  • 4Henderson
  • 6Bradley
  • 15Banya
  • 18Harrold
  • 20Bawling
  • 21Tomlin

Walsall

  • 1O'Donnell
  • 2Purkiss
  • 6Downing
  • 15Chambers
  • 3Taylor
  • 7ChambersBooked at 88mins
  • 10Sawyers
  • 11BaxendaleBooked at 45minsSubstituted forGrimesat 74'minutes
  • 12Cain
  • 27FordeSubstituted forMantomat 90+2'minutes
  • 21CookSubstituted forMansetat 79'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4O'Connor
  • 8Mantom
  • 13MacGillivray
  • 14Benning
  • 18Morris
  • 24Grimes
  • 37Manset
Referee:
Keith Stroud
Attendance:
2,204

Match Stats

Home TeamCrawleyAway TeamWalsall
Possession
Home50%
Away50%
Shots
Home5
Away25
Shots on Target
Home3
Away6
Corners
Home5
Away8
Fouls
Home15
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, Crawley Town 1, Walsall 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Crawley Town 1, Walsall 0.

James Chambers (Walsall) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Foul by Lewis Young (Crawley Town).

Corner, Crawley Town. Conceded by Sam Mantom.

Substitution

Substitution, Walsall. Sam Mantom replaces Anthony Forde.

Corner, Walsall. Conceded by Mat Sadler.

Goal!

Goal! Crawley Town 1, Walsall 0. Conor Henderson (Crawley Town) from a free kick with a left footed shot to the top left corner.

Booking

Adam Chambers (Walsall) is shown the yellow card.

Conor Henderson (Crawley Town) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Adam Chambers (Walsall).

Booking

Marvin Elliott (Crawley Town) is shown the yellow card.

Foul by Marvin Elliott (Crawley Town).

Romaine Sawyers (Walsall) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Attempt missed. Ashley Grimes (Walsall) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high.

Foul by Matt Harrold (Crawley Town).

Paul Downing (Walsall) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Hand ball by Mathieu Manset (Walsall).

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Richard O'Donnell (Walsall) because of an injury.

Substitution

Substitution, Crawley Town. Matt Harrold replaces Izale McLeod.

Substitution

Substitution, Walsall. Mathieu Manset replaces Jordan Cook.

Corner, Crawley Town. Conceded by Adam Chambers.

Substitution

Substitution, Crawley Town. Bobson Bawling replaces Josh Simpson.

Foul by Conor Henderson (Crawley Town).

Adam Chambers (Walsall) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt saved. Anthony Forde (Walsall) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Walsall. Ashley Grimes replaces James Baxendale.

Booking

Dean Leacock (Crawley Town) is shown the yellow card.

Foul by Dean Leacock (Crawley Town).

Romaine Sawyers (Walsall) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Corner, Crawley Town. Conceded by Ben Purkiss.

Conor Henderson (Crawley Town) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ben Purkiss (Walsall).

Substitution

Substitution, Crawley Town. Conor Henderson replaces Jimmy Smith.

Attempt missed. Paul Downing (Walsall) header from the centre of the box is too high following a corner.

Corner, Walsall. Conceded by Gwion Edwards.

Foul by Jimmy Smith (Crawley Town).

Adam Chambers (Walsall) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

goal

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Bristol City1495030151532
2Peterborough148242214826
3Preston1274123111225
4MK Dons1272327151223
5Notts County136522012823
6Sheff Utd137242118323
7Swindon1264225151022
8Oldham145722116522
9Rochdale136252315820
10Chesterfield135442320319
11Fleetwood145451513219
12Bradford145451818019
13Crawley145271323-1017
14Colchester144461920-116
15Leyton Orient133641515015
16Barnsley134362022-215
17Doncaster124261220-814
18Port Vale143471723-613
19Gillingham143471320-713
20Coventry143471523-813
21Yeovil143471223-1113
22Crewe144191230-1813
23Walsall142661115-412
24Scunthorpe143381728-1112
View full League One table

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