sport

Depleted Walsall slip up

Walsall manager Dean Smith was happy with his team's performance despite a 2-0 defeat at Alfreton Town.

A header apiece from Jamie Jackson and Benny Clayton was enough to hand the hosts victory, but Smith believes the number of injuries to his squad had an effect on the game.

"We were down on numbers due to some niggling injuries and it meant that a few players got longer on the pitch than ideally we would have liked," Smith told the club's official website.

"It was disappointing to have lost the game, but it was a good work-out for us and I am pleased with where we are at right now.

"The hard work will continue because it is all about being ready for August 9."

Long-term absentees Sam Mantom (knee), Ben Purkiss (ankle) and Jordan Cook (ankle) were joined on the sidelines by Matt Preston, Romaine Sawyers and Reece Flanagan, who all had slight knocks.