Tom Bradshaw nets winner as promotion hopefuls Walsall see off Fleetwood
Tom Bradshaw kept Walsall’s revived promotion push on track with the only goal in a 1-0 victory at strugglers Fleetwood.
Bradshaw netted the winner just after half-time as Walsall moved level with second-placed Wigan on 65 points in Sky Bet League One.
The relegation-threatened hosts edged a hard-fought first half but could not make the most of their possession around the Saddlers’ box.
Home midfielder Wes Burns came closest to breaking the deadlock, blasting over from 15 yards after a determined run down the right from Ash Hunter.
Walsall went into the break on level terms and within five minutes of the restart they took the lead.
Fleetwood’s appeals for offside fell on deaf ears as Bradshaw raced onto Sam Mantom’s slick pass, smashing home his 17th goal of the campaign from the right hand side of the box.
Burns nearly atoned for his first-half miss before the hour was up, nutmegging Adam Chambers and launching a curling shot which Neil Etheridge was forced to push around the post.
Etheridge was called into action again when Jimmy Ryan launched a thunderbolt from the edge of the box as Fleetwood pressed to the death for an equaliser to aid their survival cause.
And substitute Devante Cole nearly provided it, Etheridge with a superb reaction to deny the former Manchester City youngster as he looked certain to smash home Burns’ cross.