Walsall manager Jimmy Mullen hailed his side's 1-0 victory at Brighton with nine men as the best 'backs-to-the-wall' performance he had been involved in during his 40-year career in the game.

The Saddlers had to defend for over an hour with nine men after defenders Rhys Weston and Netan Sansara were both shown straight red cards.

Mullen said: "The funny thing is this is our first clean sheet in 20 games and we did it with nine men. But the players gave me everything and we deserved it."

"It was a tough game, but after the sendings off we scored and then defended magnificently."

"Dwayne Mattis' goal was a quality one. It was a great delivery from Chris Palmer and the header was very well taken. It gave us something to defend and we battled through for 66 minutes, including the six minutes of stoppage time."

Brighton's defeat was hardly the preparation they wanted ahead of their glamour clash against Manchester City in the Carling Cup and boss Micky Adams admitted fans had every right to vent their frustration.

He said: "When the team you're playing goes down to nine men then you should go on and win the game, so we've got to be disappointed and embarrassed.

"I hope they will be embarrassed with the effort and work they've put in."

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