League One
WalsallWalsall2CoventryCoventry City1

Walsall 2-1 Coventry City

By Carson WishartBBC Sport at the Banks's Stadium
Tom Bradshaw
Tom Bradshaw (r) gave Walsall a 2-0 lead just after half-time

Walsall ended Coventry's 100% start to the season, climbing to second in League One with a goal in each half.

Walsall led on 40 minutes when Milan Lalkovic threaded in Anthony Forde to fire home from inside the box.

The Saddlers went 2-0 up seven minutes after the break through Tom Bradshaw's sweet strike into the bottom corner.

Coventry quickly got one back with on-loan Norwich striker Jacob Murphy's spectacular 25-yard curler into the top corner, but it was not enough.

Bubbling Bradshaw among the goals again
Tom Bradshaw, Walsall's top scorer last season with 20 goals in all competitions, has already struck five times in as many games this season.

In fact, the home side came close to extending their lead 10 minutes from time when defender Andy Taylor's powerful effort from 20 yards shaved the post.

The Sky Blues had been handicapped by an early injury blow when 18-year-old striker James Maddison had to be substituted by Murphy after just four minutes, having suffered a leg injury stretching into a challenge.

Murphy had his sweeping shot from the left superbly saved one-handed by Saddlers keeper Neil Etheridge, but the home side were mainly on top.

Skipper Sam Ricketts was forced to clear off his own line, while Lalkovic's shot from an acute angle bounced off the woodwork.

Walsall boss Dean Smith told BBC WM:

"We just have to keep our feet on the floor, and take one game at a time.

"Milan (Lalkovic) was nailed on for this game, he loves playing in this kind of atmosphere as we have all seen before.

"Anthony Forde has been doing really well in training and when he's come on in games.

Sky Blues manager Tony Mowbray told BBC Coventry & Warwickshire:

"Too many underperformed from the standard they have set themselves. We lost some poor goals and weren't as fluent as we have been. I'm disappointed for the fans who turned out in huge numbers yet again.

"I'm conscious of trying not to make excuses, but we had three or four players carrying injuries. The positive is that, over the next few games, we have breathers in between matches.

"We know there's going to be some adversity along the way. We can't just keep winning every game: a defeat was coming. The strength of any team is how we bounce back from a defeat."

Line-ups

Walsall

  • 1Etheridge
  • 2Demetriou
  • 6Downing
  • 4O'Connor
  • 3Taylor
  • 7Chambers
  • 15LalkovicSubstituted forCookat 73'minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 8Mantom
  • 10Sawyers
  • 12FordeSubstituted forMorrisat 66'minutes
  • 9Bradshaw

Substitutes

  • 11Baxendale
  • 13MacGillivray
  • 14Henry
  • 16Preston
  • 17Flanagan
  • 18Morris
  • 21Cook

Coventry

  • 1Burge
  • 2WillisSubstituted forPhillipsat 53'minutes
  • 5Johnson
  • 18Ricketts
  • 3Stokes
  • 4VincelotBooked at 65mins
  • 7Fleck
  • 8Lameiras
  • 10MaddisonSubstituted forMurphyat 7'minutes
  • 11O'BrienSubstituted forMorrisat 45'minutes
  • 9Armstrong

Substitutes

  • 12Morris
  • 17Phillips
  • 20Tudgay
  • 21Martin
  • 23Charles-Cook
  • 25Murphy
  • 27Thomas
Referee:
Jeremy Simpson
Attendance:
7,176

Match Stats

Home TeamWalsallAway TeamCoventry
Possession
Home56%
Away44%
Shots
Home17
Away11
Shots on Target
Home6
Away4
Corners
Home2
Away4
Fouls
Home8
Away13

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Walsall 2, Coventry City 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Walsall 2, Coventry City 1.

  3. Post update

    Foul by Chris Stokes (Coventry City).

  4. Post update

    Kieron Morris (Walsall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  5. Post update

    Hand ball by Reda Johnson (Coventry City).

  6. Post update

    Ruben Lameiras (Coventry City) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Jordan Cook (Walsall).

  8. Post update

    Attempt missed. Kieron Morris (Walsall) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Sam Ricketts (Coventry City).

  10. Post update

    Andy Taylor (Walsall) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Sam Ricketts (Coventry City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  12. Post update

    Attempt saved. Ruben Lameiras (Coventry City) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Romain Vincelot (Coventry City).

  14. Post update

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

  15. Post update

    Hand ball by John Fleck (Coventry City).

  16. Post update

    Jason Demetriou (Walsall) hits the right post with a left footed shot from long range on the left.

  17. Post update

    Corner, Walsall. Conceded by Sam Ricketts.

  18. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Sam Mantom (Walsall) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Walsall. Jordan Cook replaces Milan Lalkovic.

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. Milan Lalkovic (Walsall) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left from a direct free kick.