Walsall head coach Jon Whitney has told the club website that he is happy to win games ugly like they did against Shrewsbury Town.
Whitney warned his Walsall players that Shrewsbury would be like a wounded animal, more dangerous than ever, without their manager after Micky Mellon elected to leave the club to join Tranmere Rovers. And while it seemed as if that wouldn’t be true after Amadou Bakayoko put the Saddlers ahead, they soon learned what Whitney meant when Oliver Lancashire headed in an equaliser.
Walsall would go on to retake the lead through Kieron Morris before it was level once again through Junior Brown before the game was decided in dramatic fashion by Erhun Oztumer.
But the game will probably be remembered for how badly tempered it was with both sides having a player sent off. Ryan McGivern was sent off for his second bookable offence after having an off the ball clash with Bakayoko before he was sent off for his second yellow after his over exuberant celebrations for Oztumer’s winner.
Whitney said of the game: “It was a proper derby,”
“The only threat to us was ourselves when we perhaps had too many touches, similar to the Bolton game where they didn’t pass it quick enough.”