Strike duo Jamille Matt and Josh Gordon earn praise from Walsall boss Mat Sadler

By Sports Desk February 20, 2024

Strike partners Jamille Matt and Josh Gordon earned praise from Walsall manager Mat Sadler as the ruthless side beat Morecambe with a 3-0 League Two win.

The score did not tell the whole story with the Saddlers having to withstand plenty of pressure to move to within three points of the play-off places – despite remaining in 16th place.

Sadler said: “I thought Jamille and Josh up front were awesome and they beat them up. That was how I saw the game.

“I think by the 60 to 75-minute mark, they wanted no more of what they were offering and that was top centre-forward work from those guys, they brought everyone else into the game.

“Jamille and Josh did so much work off the ball. That is what’s brilliant about having those two working together because they understand the game.

“It was a brilliant performance from front to back and we have got a bit of momentum.

“I faced Jamille on numerous occasions as a player so I know what he is like and it wasn’t very pleasant. He is so strong and mobile.”

Walsall almost led when Isaac Hutchinson’s rising drive had to be tipped over by Archie Mair at the near post and the deadlock was broken from the corner that followed.

Hutchinson showing clever footwork before finding Ross Tierney to thump the ball low into the bottom corner in the 13th minute.

It was 2-0 when Matt’s colossal leap flicked Gordon into space in the right of the box to cut back from a tight spot for Matt to force inside the far post in the 26th minute.

Morecambe built more pressure early in the second half but the game was up when substitute Jack Earing found Matt to nudge the ball against the post, with on-loan Norwich defender Emmanuel Adegboyega slamming home the rebound in the 66th minute.

Sadler was pleased with the clean sheet, adding: “Clearly the squad is stretched and we had a back three which hadn’t played together all season but I thought they were brilliant from start to finish.

“Most importantly, that desire to want to keep a clean sheet was evident throughout.”

Opposite number Ged Brannan argued Morecambe had been the better side but also architects of their own downfall.

“We played some good football but we can’t concede two goals like we did in the first half,” he said.

“We dominated play without really hurting them, then we got two crosses in like that and we didn’t pick up. It is hard to swallow.

“We’re a good team. We were better than Walsall tonight, they sat in and counterattacked us and could afford to do that being two goals up.

“We believed in ourselves and tried to get a goal but it didn’t fall for us.”

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