Report | Walsall U18s 4-2 Wanderers U18s


Wanderers fall to defeat in the first group game of the Youth Alliance Cup against Walsall on Saturday morning.

A heavily rotated Wanderers side resulted in five changes made to the starting 11 that beat Blackpool 2-0 in the Lancashire FA Professional Cup and progressed to the semi-finals.

Wanderers started the game strongly with Anthony Pinto causing chaos down the right, but it would take until the 18th minute before the Whites had their first real opportunity as Leo Graham broke into the Walsall box but goalkeeper George Barrett made an excellent save to deny Graham from opening the scoring.

The next 25 minutes would see an end-to-end game but neither side able to get a clear cut chance on goal. Harley Irwin had a deflected strike from outside the 18-yard box deflected out for a corner and Anthony Pinto forced another top draw save out of Barrett.

Despite the chances as the half drew to an end Walsall would see a cross from the right headed home from three yards out at the back post as Jaiy Leyton put the hosts ahead on the stroke of the half-time whistle.

Wanderers went into the break a goal down despite having the chances which should’ve seen them take the lead themselves.

Only five minutes into the second-half, Walsall and Leydon doubled their tallies before Daeshon Lawrence made it two goals from two games as he fired home from Emile Oliver’s cross giving Wanderers a lifeline.

Walsall would then go on to score two quick fire goals with Jackson Preece adding a third before Leydon sealed his hat-trick.

Wanderers used their five substitutions, one of which was Yestin Shakespear who closed the deficit down to two again as he tucked his effort under the Walsall goalkeeper who spilled Sean Hogan’s 35-yard pot-shot.

The Whites continued to knock on the door as the final 10 minutes approached with Westwood, Lawrence and Shakespear all having chances but the Walsall defence couldn’t be breached for a third time.

The U18s are next in action this Saturday as they face Blackpool at The Eddie Davies Academy.

Wanderers are next in action in the Youth Alliance Cup as they face Shrewsbury Town and look for their first three points in the competition.

Report by Ben Livingstone

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