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League One

Smith rues late lapses

16 December 2012

Walsall manager Dean Smith blamed two mistakes in the last few minutes for his team wasting a two-goal lead and having to settle a 2-2 draw against Yeovil.

The result meant the Saddlers winless run was extended to a worrying 16 matches.

Smith said: "The only way I could see them (Yeovil) scoring was from a mistake or set piece and that's what happened. Ben Purkiss went down when he should have cleared for their first and the second was from a free-kick when we should have won the first header but the lads are a bit nervous having gone so long without a win."

Walsall took the lead in the 13th minute when former Manchester United striker Febian Brandy delivered a perfect low cross to the far corner of the box and Jamie Paterson met it first time to score his fourth of the season.

It looked all over when Brandy found Will Grigg in the 72nd minute and her cut inside a defender before driving in his fifth of the season with a low left foot shot. But after Grigg almost notched a third for Walsall, Yeovil poured forward and Sam Foley crossed for substitute Reuben Reid to cut the lead from close range after 78 minutes.

Just as the game entered stoppage time a McAllister free-kick unsettled the home defence and Foley smashed a low shot into the back of the net to claim a rather lucky point for Yeovil.

Yeovil boss Gary Johnson was disappointed with his team's performance for 80 minutes, and said: "The lads gave it a go towards the end but we had to make a few substitutions to get us going.

"We needed some mental toughness in the game, and we were playing poor, as well. With all due respect to Walsall we came here to win the game and they had gone a long time without winning, so we have lost a couple of points."

Johnson was annoyed with two decisions by referee Tony Bates - disallowing a Yeovil goal in the first half and blowing the final whistle just when the ball was played into the Walsall box in stoppage time and the Glovers were looking for a winner.

James McAllister's 21st minute free-kick sailed into the net but the referee ruled Walsall keeper Aaron McCarey had been fouled by Don Burn. "I didn't think it was a foul," said Johnson. "Then how does anyone know to the second when a game finishes? The ball goes into their penalty box and he blows for full time."

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