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League One

Smith happy with his young Saddlers

26 August 2012

Walsall manager Dean Smith was full of praise for his battling young side after they downed a previously unbeaten Notts County side with a deserved 1-0 win at Meadow Lane.

An 80th-minute goal - with outstanding Saddlers skipper Andy Butler beating County stopper Bartosz Bialkowski from Ben Purkiss' free-kick - was enough to give the visitors all three points.

The home side dominated the first half without truly testing Walsall goalkeeper David Grof, and Smith admitted his side were second best but felt their impressive display after the break merited victory - the club's first in the league this season.

Smith said: "They (County) are a very, very good team and played much better than us first half. Second half we stepped it up and tried to press further up the pitch and I thought we did a lot better, when we won the ball in their half we kept the ball better and looked dangerous.

"We were organised and made it hard for them to get in behind us and in between us and kept the ball in front of us. It will certainly give the lads confidence to come to a good side and come out victors."

Notts County manager Keith Curle was philosophical in defeat and felt his lack of attacking options cost his side in the end.

He said: "The lack of availability was frustrating with not having Yoann Arquin and Francois Zoko - you can't afford to miss players like that.

"In the two games prior they both got goals and at the minute Lee Hughes is not quite firing, he might benefit from having other goal threats around him.

"This result highlights the beauty of this division, anybody can beat anybody, and when you think teams are going to get an easy three points it doesn't happen."

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