Mat Sadler has accused his Walsall players of giving Crewe a return to play after they missed a two-goal lead in a 2-2 draw in League Two at Gresty Road.
The Sheddlers were thwarted by an stoppage-time equalizer from Alex’s midfielder Jack Powell, whose cross evaded everyone and hit the far corner of the goal.
Previously, the West Midlanders looked impressive as they gained the lead with a Freddy Draper strike in the first minute and Isaac Hutchinson’s superb strike before the half-hour mark.
Elliott Nevitt hit back for Crewe on the hour, but Sadler’s team appeared to have quelled the home reaction and were moving towards their second victory of the campaign before they were shocked by Powell’s late intervention.
“I thought we were great for 60 minutes and we really understood our game plan. There should have been three or four of us comfortably,” Sadler said.
“But the Crewe have lost 2-0 twice this season and we have given them the opportunity to come back again.
“It frustrates me that we were comfortable, but we gave them the opportunity to return to the game when they did not deserve it. However, even after their first goal, we slowed down and the crowd turned on them.
“Unfortunately we didn’t get the ball in the penalty area and we need to improve the situation. We had some fantastic moments and showed that we are a real team, a really good unit.
“Isaac led him forward and Ryan Stirk controlled midfield while Freddie and Danny Johnson were a handful.”
Crew boss Lee Bell said: “I thought we were trying to play but we had too many under par in the first half. Elliott’s goal got us back in the game and he took it very well.
“Now I am refusing stoppage time and it seems like they (the judges) have been told to cut it.
“I thought we would have more time than that and with that extra time we could have a winner.
“We have a small team and are missing a few areas that we want to strengthen. But every professional in the club will get their chance.
“We must continue to move in the right direction and we will use the free week to prepare well for the next one.”