Saddlers boss blasts free kick decision during Luton draw

Walsall boss Dean Keates labelled the decision to award Luton the free kick which led to the corner they equalised from in stoppage time yesterday as an '˜embarrassment'.

Sunday, 30th December 2018, 3:32 pm
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 11:14 am
Harry Cornick is challenged during yesterday's 2-2 draw with Walsall
Harry Cornick is challenged during yesterday's 2-2 draw with Walsall

With time running out, Danny Hylton went down under a challenge from Jon Guthrie, which saw the Saddlers player shown a yellow card.

Sheehan’s delivery flicked off a defender to go behind for another set-piece that saw Kazenga LuaLua eventually divert over the line to make it 2-2.

However, speaking to the Express and Star, Keates said: “We will shoulder it on our side but there’s a decision that’s gone against us that’s an embarrassment.

“The free-kick that’s been given against Jon Guthrie in the middle of the park, the kid’s dived on the floor. He’s booked Jon Guthrie.

“I’m gutted for the lads if I’m honest.

“They gave absolutely everything I asked for in terms of a reaction from Boxing Day and they put in a great shift today for the football club.”

Having led 2-0 with just 18 minutes to play though, Keates admitted his side should have shown greater nous to see the game out, adding: “We fully deserved to be 2-0 up and at points, we were comfortable against probably, if you look at the form table, the best team in the division.

“We have more than matched them.

“We will look back and they will have to learn from it. I keep on going on about decision-making being massive in football and there’s points of the game where it should have been killed off.

“That’s being a bit more bright with the ball and making the right decision to kill the game in play."

“We made a few changes to combat how Luton are and I asked for a reaction from the last game and I thought every man gave that.

“Luton are the form team, they are absolutely flying, they are in a good position, they are well drilled and they will be right in there at the end of the season.

“They are in a great place and have one of the biggest things in football behind them – momentum. So we will take the positives out of it."