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League One

Stalemate satisfies Walsall manager Dean Smith

24 August 2014

Dean Smith was entitled to be the more satisfied of the two managers after watching his Walsall side pick up their third league draw of the season against Leyton Orient.

A turgid affair at Brisbane Road was summed up with the 0-0 scoreline. However, the Saddlers should have come away with all three points.

A back pass by O's Matthieu Baudry caught goalkeeper Adam Legzdins unaware and his poor touch fell to Anthony Forde who tried unsuccessfully to back heel the ball into the net from just four yards out.

Neither team composed too much by way of realistic threats on goal with the few chances coming from distance, although the second-half was at least better than the drab first 45 minutes.

After the stalemate, Smith said, "I thought that it was a good performance. It's always a tough place to come and they play a little bit different to the way they did last year with Darius Henderson up front but we defended the first and second ball really well.

``We had some chances and counter-attacked really well from winning that second ball and overall, I'm really pleased with that performance.

``We've played much better than we did during the week and created a lot more chances. I thought that for 25 minutes we had to withstand a little bit of pressure without the ball and without too much in the way of goalmouth action.

"But then we got back into the game and started using the space out wide and working the ball into little pockets. Anthony Forde had a great chance, he pressed with conviction and blocked the keeper and to be honest, that was something we had worked on because we felt it might lead to a couple of chances.

``He did get the block but he probably and more time than he thought to pop the ball into the net."

Orient boss Russell Slade said: "It was a little bit frustrating that we couldn't get a goal although obviously I'm pleased with the clean sheet.

``I felt that we had a little pocket of play in the first-half and 15 or 20 minutes in the second-half when we ought to have got a goal. On another day, we would have done.

"Walsall got right behind the ball, they were well-organised and made life difficult for us to break them down and they were tough opposition - they always are. We worked their keeper a lot more than they worked ours yet we gifted them probably the best opportunity of the afternoon.

"In terms of open play, I thought that we were much the better side. As a group, we are still a work in progress but we are improving, there is no doubt about that from the first game of the season. Defensively, we are looking very sound.

"We have the personnel and the attitude to ensure that we will be an improving side to go on and be a real force, we've just got to be patient at this moment in time."

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