Walsall keep automatic promotion hopes alive with win
Walsall kept alive their hopes of automatic promotion to the Championship at the Banks’s Stadium with a comfortable 3-1 win over Fleetwood, who still need a point from their last game to ensure they avoid relegation.
The Saddlers were never in any doubt of winning this one, but could regret conceding a late goal to Devante Cole if it comes down to goal difference with rivals Burton.
Walsall made a blistering start and were two ahead by the 18th minute, top-scorer Tom Bradshaw notching his 19th of the season after just two minutes’ play.
Jason Demetriou found Anthony Forde, whose low cross was swept first time high into the net by the Welsh international’s right-foot drive, and 16 minutes later central defender Paul Downing volleyed home Forde’s corner for his second of the season.
Fleetwood picked up as the interval approached but Nick Houghton’s rising drive flew straight into the hands of home keeper Neil Etheridge.
The visitors improved in the second half, but any hope they had disappeared when Romaine Sawyers drilled in a low shot off the far post from a Kieron Morris pass on 58 minutes.
Substitute Cole got a consolation goal for the Cod Army with a bending low shot after cutting in from the left in the 84th minute.