sport

Smith: Saddlers lacked spark

Dean Smith described Walsall's display as 'average' after they avoided defeat thanks to a last-minute own-goal in a 1-1 draw with Crewe.

Mark Ellis had the misfortune to turn the ball past his own goalkeeper Ben Garratt as he tried to clear Milan Lalkovic's cross while being put under pressure by Michael Ngoo.

Smith, whose team seem to be slipping out of the play-off race, said: "It was an average performance by us, certainly in the final third. But I don't think we deserved to lose the game.

"It was a poor goal we conceded and we didn't have that spark in the final third, except for Febian Brandy who was really sharp.

"Butts (Andy Butler) should have put us ahead in the first half with a header. We moved the ball well but didn't penetrate, which is something we shall have to work on and try to get better.

"We saw a hell of a lot of the ball but Crewe banked up and tactically were good, making it hard for us to play through them."

Chucks Aneke put Crewe in front with a low shot - his 15th goal of the season - in the 51st minute when a strike from Mathias Pogba rebounded to him following a low cross from Cameron Park.

For a long time that looked good enough to give them only their second win in seven games.

Bradden Inman could have wrapped it up for the visitors in a quick break 12 minutes from time following a Walsall corner, but he was caught on the edge of the box before he could shoot.