Tom Bradshaw scored the game's only goal in the second halfFleetwood Town slipped to a narrow defeat at the hands of promotion chasing Walsall this evening as Tom Bradshaw’s second half goal separated the two teams.
Bradshaw gave the Saddlers the lead in the 50th minute as he beat Chris Maxwell with a rifled finish into the top corner from inside the box.
Steven Pressley handed young Scottish midfielder Thomas Grant his Town debut in place of Victor Nirennold, while Wes Burns came in for Shola Ameobi.
And it was Burns who had the game’s first attempt, as he cut in from the left and unleashed a fierce effort which went wide of the goal.
Sam Mantom went close for the visitors soon after when his free kick from a dangerous position crashed into the side netting.
At the other end, Eggert Jonsson headed goalwards from inside the box, and keeper Neil Etheridge had to do well to prevent the ball from finding the top corner.
Welshman Burns was a danger for the Saddlers’ backline, and cut in once more from the left before forcing Etheridge into a fine diving save.
Town were playing some really neat stuff in the final third, with Grant, Burns and Ash Hunter all linking up impressively.
The Hunter-Burns combination nearly brought the first goal, but the man on-loan from Bristol City fired over from the edge of the box just before the break.
Bradshaw opened the scoring though five minutes after the interval, as he directed a rifled finish into the top corner past Maxwell from inside the area.
The Saddlers had their tails up after Bradshaw’s strike, and Romaine Sawyers went close to doubling the advantage when he struck an effort inches wide of the target.
Amari’i Bell then broke positively into the area, and it took a last ditch block to prevent him getting a shot away at Etheridge.
The visiting stopper was called into action to tip Burns’ superb effort with the outside of his boot past the post as the Cod Army began to grow in confidence.
For the Saddlers, Mantom linked up with Bradshaw well, and found the striker in a pocket of space in the box before he shot over the bar.
Etheridge was then called into action as Joe Davis’ header was deflected towards goal but the shot stopper held well.
Jimmy Ryan almost brought the scores level with ten minutes to play as his low strike from distance was palmed away.