Harrison Fleury bagged a hat-trick as the Youth Team bounced back from their first league defeat of the season in style to stay third in the EFL Youth Alliance table, writes Ben Livingstone.
Wanderers made three changes to the starting line-up that lost at Accrington Stanley as skipper Sean Hogan and striker Yestin Shakespear were added to the injury list.
B Team members Jack Flint and Gio Loureiro came into the side, while injuries presented an opportunity for some of the U16s group to make an impression on the bench.
Walsall went ahead as winger Charlie Wragg put the ball on a plate for Dylan Thomas to open the scoring.
The young Whites struggled early on with their first chance coming after half an hour mark as David Abimbola and Harrison Rice both tried to force the ball home following a corner.
However, the breakthrough then came to kick-start a burst of Wanderers’ goals before half-time as Anthony Pinto played in Jamie Grayson to deliver a pin-perfect cross met by the chest of Abimbola who converted from close range to make it 1-1.
Fleury added his first of the match as Pinto picked the midfielder out just outside the six-yard box and his cute finish came off the inside of the post to give Wanderers the lead.
And the Whites took further control as Loureiro then made it 3-1 as he rounded the keeper before calmly slotting home.
Fleury - leading from the front as captain - started the second half as he ended the first by adding his second goal from James Westwood’s pass.
Wanderers’ first change then saw Abimbola replaced by Daeshon Lawrence and the substitute immediately got amongst the goals as he set himself at the edge of the box before rifling a shot past Jenson Kilroy.
Two minutes later Fleury sealed his hat-trick with the best of the bunch as he drove from the half-way line before releasing a sweet strike from 20-yards out which Kilroy couldn’t get near.
The final 15 minutes saw three further changes as U16s Jack Sixsmith, Ethan Cutler and Toby Ritchie all got a taste of the action as Julian Darby’s youngsters cruised to a fifth victory of the season to get their campaign firmly back on track and sit two points behind table toppers Preston.
Wanderers: Jack Flint (GK), Anthony Pinto (Toby Ritchie), Harrison Rice (Jack Sixsmith), Oliver Smith, Harley Irwin, Jamie Grayson, James Westwood, Harry Leigh, David Abimbola (Daeshon Lawrence), Harrison Fleury, Gio Loureiro (Ethan Cutler). Substitute: George Barlow.