sport

Walsall draw frustrates Smith

Dean Smith was disappointed that Walsall failed to clinch all three points despite dominating a hard-fought draw with Bradford.

The closest either side came to a goal was when Saddlers skipper Adam Chambers saw his thunderous stoppage-time drive brilliantly saved by Jordan Pickford, who played a major part in keeping out the impressive hosts.

"We are disappointed we didn't get all three points," said Smith. "But I thought we controlled the game and credit to their players because they defended with 11 men behind the ball and, to be fair, were well organised.

"It's very difficult to break down a team as well organised as that but the positive thing for me is the way we moved the ball really well, and it's a clean sheet."

Smith praised the performance of young defender Liam Kinsella.

He said: "It's the policy of this club that if you are 18 and good enough, we put you in."

Bradford assistant manager Steve Parkin was pleased with his side's defensive showing.

"It was a very good point, but we were a yard off the pace in the first half," said Parkin. "In the second half we dug in a bit deeper and they didn't cause us too many problems. It was a great clean sheet.

"It's been a stop-start week for us but very enjoyable to have two wins, then a draw against a really good Walsall side. We were not great going forward but we were excellent defensively.

"We need to be a bit stronger and we need a couple more players to make the squad very competitive."

Parkin also praised Bradford's two centre-backs, Andrew Davies and Rory McArdle, who never put a foot wrong in coping with the busy Saddlers.

He added: "They were excellent - they all were. We have a bit to do but we have the basis of a really good defensive team, and I think we shall be okay in the strikers department with James Hanson, Aaron Mclean and Mason Bennett."