REPORT: Wanderers Reserves 5-1 Walsall Reserves

A young Wanderers Reserves side registered an emphatic victory against basement boys Walsall at Lostock on Tuesday afternoon.

Adam Senior scored twice from the spot inside the opening eight minutes of the game to leave the Saddlers with it all to do and Sam Olawumi made it three just after the quarter hour mark.

In a remarkable first half for Senior, the Wanderers central defender turned the ball past Ellis Litherland to give the West Midlands outfit a lifeline but goals in the second half from Mitchell Henry and Lamine Toure rounded off the win.

Senior’s two penalties – taken in an almost identically composed fashion – put Wanderers in the driving seat right from the get go, and after Max Conway saw a shot cleared off the line by Dan Baldwin, Olawumi fired a third into a barely guarded goal following an error by Saddlers goalkeeper Jensen Kilroy to drive an attempted clearance straight into his path.

Despite trailing by three goals, Walsall had a flurry of decent opportunities before the break. First, Ronan Maher fired a shot over the bar before Litherland had to make a good save low to his right to keep Ryley Reynolds’ effort out.

Maher went close again shortly afterwards with Will Uchenna firing a shot straight at Litherland from 12 yards out after he’d managed to conjure up some space to pull the trigger inside a crowded box.

A goal for the visitors was coming and it did come just before the break. Senior’s attempted pass into midfield was latched onto by a high-pressing Walsall midfield, and the ball was worked into the feet of Ollie Waddison who cannoned a shot off the post with the loose ball bouncing off Senior a yard away from goal and into the back of the net.

Wanderers were quick out of the blocks in the first half, and it proved to be the case in the second half too. Within 60 seconds of the restart, Mitchell Henry restored the three-goal cushion with a close range finish to put his side in an ultimately unassailable position.

Finlay Lockett was making his first start since an ACL injury last May that has kept him out for the majority of the season and he saw a shot kept out by Kilroy following some good work down the left-hand side by Conway and a few minutes later Walsall were reduced to ten men with Josh Simcox picking up a second booking.

With a man advantage, Wanderers controlled the tempo of the game well as it headed into the final quarter, and Matthew Tweedley went agonisingly close to adding what seemed an inevitable fifth goal with an angled drive from inside the box.

The fifth goal came on 83 minutes following a well-worked corner routine. Arran Pettifer played the set-piece short into the feet of Conway who turned away from his man superbly before teeing up Tweedley for a cross that was powered into the back of the net from close range by Toure.

With the final home fixture of the season ticked off for the Reserves, they head to Walsall next week for the final away fixture, in search of a Central League double over the Saddlers.


Wanderers: Litherland, Beardsworth (Toure 59), Halford, Senior, Conway, Tweedley, Pettifer, Ahmed-Sharples (Burgess 78), Lockett (Jones 62), Henry, Olawumi.

Unused Subs: Dallimore, Kamara.

Goals: Senior pens (5, 8), Olawumi (16), Henry (46), Toure (83).

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