Posted by: Bescot Banter


Earlier this evening Walsall travelled the short distance to Keys Park to face Hednesford Town in the Second Round of the 2013/14 Birmingham Senior Cup.
Earlier this evening Walsall travelled the short distance to Keys Park to face Hednesford Town in the Second Round of the 2013/14 Birmingham Senior Cup;

The game began with an early effort for Walsall winger James McQuilkin who broke free from his marker to drive his shot over the bar. Hednesford also had early efforts from, Alex Melbourne, Tom Thorley, Ben Bailey, Elliott Durrell and John Disney who all tried in vain to beat Saddlers 'keeper Shane Lewis. Durrell also saw a free kick saved as Walsall sat back, allowing the Pitmen to take early control.

Soon-to-be pro Amadou Bakayoko went close for Walsall following a Ben George cross, but Town countered forcing Lewis to quell a Durrell attempt.

Later Bakayoko and James McQuilkin combined to earn a Saddlers corner, which was easily cleared by a well-drilled defence.

Hednesfords Wayne Riley almost sent his side, Saddlers keeper Shane Lewis just beat him to the ball following a great cross.

Tom Thorley gave the game it's first shot on target, forcing Lewis into a save down to his left.

Soon after Walsall's James McQuilkin sent in a free kick but the referee blew for another foul, this time to our hosts, too much pushing in the box.

The Saddlers had a succession of corners, however the Pitmen defended well going into half time, a great showing for the Skrill North side.

HALF TIME: Hednesford Town 0 Walsall 0

At the beginning of the second half Hednesford made two changes,  Dave Macpherson and Nathan Woolfe are on for Alex Melbourne and Michael Lennon.

The Pitmen won an early corner, following a deflected free kick, however this was easily cleared by the Saddlers defence at the near post.

'Keeper Shane Lewis tipped a Riley header over, resulting in a Woolfe corner, which went straight out for a goal kick.

Mid-way through the second half Mal Benning broke down the wing, his cross found Kieron Morris who shot high and wide, a glorious chance missed.

Winger James McQuilkin had a good run down the right, sadly his shot was poor and went wide of the post.

Soon after, Walsall have their best effort as Mal Benning intercepts a poor pass, moves forward down the wing, feeds Westleigh Rush, who has a low drive tipped round the post by 'keeper Crane. The resulting corner is poor and easily cleared.

After 68 minutes Hednesford are awarded a free kick, Saddlers first-year pro Reece Flanagan receives a booking for failing to give ten yards.

GOAL: Hednesford Town 1 (Riley 70') Walsall 0

Wayne Riley picks up the ball on the edge of the area and somehow beats Shane Lewis after beating a few defensive tackles, the ball going in off the far post.

GOAL: Hednesford Town 2 (Riley 71') Walsall 0

A Hednesford defender aims a long-ball for Riley who goes past Aris Christopherou after the defender failed to connect with a header, and fires home, Shane Lewis stranded.

The Saddlers bring on Carlton McKenzie who replaces James McQuilkin, whilst Kris Taylor replaces Tom Thorley for the Pitmen.

Not long after, Hednesford's Elliott Durrell hit the bar with a curling effort following a one-two with Darren Campion, Shane Lewis was left stranded by a defence which was distracted by the run of the ball.

GOAL: Hednesford Town 2 Walsall 1 (McKenzie 87')

Substitute McKenzie lobs the keeper to give Walsall a small chance of remaining in the Birmingham Senior Cup.

GOAL: Hednesford Town 3 (Riley 89') Walsall 1

Wayne Riley completed his well deserved hat-trick, slotting home following a well placed Elliott Durrell header.

FULL TIME: Hednesford Town 3 (Riley 69', 70' & 90+1) Walsall 1 (McKenzie 87')

An impressive performance from Hednesford tonight, obviously Walsall fielded a second string, however the Pitmen looked far superior, probably more than the Saddlers would've expected.
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