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Dean Keates 'relieved' with late Walsall show

By Joseph Masi | Walsall FC | Published:

Boss Dean Keates admitted he was a relieved man after a stoppage time Kieron Morris strike earned Walsall a deserved win at Bristol Rovers.

Dean Keates

The winger struck in the 94th minute to see the Saddlers return to winning ways in League One after a home defeat to Accrington was followed by a goalless draw with Shrewsbury.

In both those games, Keates’ men missed a host of chances which cost them points.

But Morris’ strike saw them get what they deserved at the Memorial Ground, even though Sam Matthews saw a free-kick pushed onto the post by Liam Roberts in stoppage time.

“I’m relieved,” Keates said.

“Towards the end you’re asking yourself ‘is it going to be another of those days?’

“It was a bit like the last two games.

“When you’re playing away and the home goalkeeper gets named man of the match - that tells you everything you need to know.

“In the last two games both keepers have had a great games and the keeper has pulled off some great saves again today. But I felt we deserved it.”

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Walsall saw a goal wrongly ruled out in the eighth minute when Luke Leahy nodded in from close range.

But while the linesman gave the goal, referee Lee Swabey felt the full-back put the ball in with his hand.

“We have had a perfectly good goal ruled out in the first half,” Keates continued.

“After the past few weeks, that is the point where you’re again thinking, ‘are we going to get a decision?’

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Roberts had little to do over the course of the 90 minutes but his stoppage time save - which saw him push a free-kick against the post - came just seconds before Walsall’s winner.

“As much as the 10 outfield players have contributed to the goal, Robbo has played his part there,” Keates added.

“He wasn’t really involved in the whole game. He has had to deal with one-shot from distance that has moved. But he got good hands to it.

“But he got a great touch on the free-kick, he showed great athleticism.”

Joseph Masi

By Joseph Masi
Football MMPJ - @josephmasi_star

Football journalist for the Express & Star covering Walsall FC.

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