Football - Smith credits Cox

Walsall boss Dean Smith acknowledged the quality of the Leyton Orient goal that knocked his side out of the FA Cup.

PA Sport Report

However, Smith was also was left to rue some opportunities the Saddlers squandered during their 1-0 defeat in the second round at Brisbane Road.

Dean Cox's solitary strike after 41 minutes settled a dour and scrappy affair. O's captain David Mooney crossed the ball into the penalty area and although Shaun Batt scuffed his attempt, the ball fell to Cox and the midfielder blasted the ball home from 12 yards for his eighth goal of the season

"It was a really good finish," said Smith, whose team should have equalised in injury time through Paul Downing but he shot high over the cross bar from close range.

"We huffed and puffed but it just wasn't to be. We hit the inside of the post and the ball bounded into the arms of the goalkeeper and we missed a good chance right at the end.

"In fact, we were probably having our best spell of the game when they scored.

"I thought it was going to be a really good game but in all honesty, I thought it was a bit flat. There wasn't much of an atmosphere or much of a crowd.

"We feel we are doing the right things but what we can't afford to do is to fall behind. We got into some good positions and created a good chance early on that was saved by their goalkeeper.

"I don't know whether it's a case of not being clinical enough in front of goal or whether we are unfortunate at times but we are certainly disappointed and frustrated with this result because we controlled the game.

"The lads know what they can do and what they can achieve and we have to take heart at what we are doing."

Orient finished the game with 10 men after tempers became frayed in the final moments with Mooney shown a straight red card after an incident involving Downing.

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