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Brian Dutton 'Gutted' as Walsall & Harrogate Town Play Out a Goalless Draw

Head Coach Brian Dutton spoke to the press following the Saddlers' League Two clash with Harrogate Town.
Speaking after his side and the Sulphurites played out a goalless draw at Banks's Stadium, Dutton admitted he was ‘gutted’ to only take a point from a game which saw several goal-scoring opportunities go to waste.

Among the missed opportunities was Emmanuel Osadebe's missed first-half penalty along with several other chances to secure what would have been Dutton's first win since replacing Darrell Clarke at the helm.

Speaking to the assembled media, Brian said; "I’m gutted for the lads because they deserved that win. It was a far more attacking and entertaining game of football, one where we created the opportunities to win the game.

"It’s a real step in the right direction in terms of the performance, I’m just gutted for the lads that they weren’t able to get that goal, win and get the monkey off their back. It’s really bittersweet to be honest."

The undoubted Man of the Match was Harrogate stopper James Belshaw, a former Walsall scholar, who made several fine saves to deny the Saddlers. When asked about the goalkeeper’s performance, Dutton admitted his side were unlucky to meet a 'keeper in form.

Dutton continued; "We’ve ran into one today haven’t we.

"That seems to be how it is sometimes but we’re not going to get too down about it, we’ll take the positives out of the performance and roll into another fixture on the Monday, another quick turnaround."

Despite earning an eighteenth draw of the league season, the Saddlers entered a much-improved performance whilst also welcoming back long-term absentee Rory Holden who made a second-half cameo but was unable to grab the match winning goal.

Head Coach Dutton, who is coming under increasing pressure as his search for a win continues, was determined to focus on the positives as focus turn to Bank Holiday Monday's meeting with Leyton Orient.

Brian added; "The major positive for me is that we created the opportunities to win the game. We don’t want to limp into wins, we want to take the game to the opposition and stamp our authority down.

"I thought we did that for large spells. Rory Holden being back out on the pitch and getting through the game is another massive positive and we can’t look past Sam Perry again.

"A 19-year-old lad bossing the midfield, coming up against Beck who is a giant and dealing with him really competently. There’s more positives than that but they’re three major positives for me."

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