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REPORT: Nike Academy 0 Walsall 5

Earlier today Walsall Football Club travelled to St George's Park to take on a Nike Academy side in their first 'behind closed doors' friendly, of the 2015/16 Pre-Season campaign. A brief report of the match, which was played in a 3x30 format, is below.
Earlier today Walsall Football Club travelled to St George's Park to take on a Nike Academy side in their first 'behind closed doors' friendly, of the 2015/16 Pre-Season campaign. A brief report of the match, which was played in a 3x30 format, is below.

Starting XI: MacGillivray, Demetriou, Trialist A, O'Connor, Henry, Baxendale, Trialist B, Chambers, Forde, Trialist C, Cook

The Saddlers began the game on the front-foot and hit the bar after two minutes, winger Anthony Forde sending a strike in from twelve yards.

After five minutes, left-back Rico Henry burst down the wing, beating a couple of defenders only to see his inviting cross go to waste as no-one had gambled on the ball.

Later in the half 'Trialist B' sent a shot just past the post, as the score remained all-square.

With almost twenty-minutes gone the Saddlers continued to dominate proceedings, Baxendale and Demetriou combining well down the wing.

The Saddlers took the lead shortly after, Adam Chambers sending a diving header past the 'keeper following a good ball-in from Forde.

A few minutes later Demetriou and Baxendale combined to create room for a shot, Demetriou seeing his effort go over the bar from a tight angle.

With just under half an hour gone the Saddlers had a shout for a penalty turned down as 'Trialist C' looked to have been pulled down inside the area.

End of first 30 minutes: Nike Academy 0 Walsall 1

Second XI: MacGillivray, Rowley, Trialist A, Downing, Taylor, Kinsella, Trialist D, Mantom, Flanagan, Murphy, Bradshaw

The second half-an-hour period got underway, and was a scrappier affair with both sides battling for the ball.

With ten minutes of the third gone the Saddlers had a couple of corners, the second one saw vice captain Paul Downing rise above the defence and send a header just past the post.

The Saddlers doubled their lead with forty-three minutes gone, as Reece Flanagan's corner was bundled home by the Nike Academy goalkeeper.

Walsall extended their lead soon after, last season's top-scorer Tom Bradshaw sent the ball home following a low cross from out wide.

After fifty minutes, Reece Flanagan, Sam Mantom and Liam Kinsella looked to have control of the midfield, wide-man Jordan Murphy has a cross charged down as the Saddlers sought another goal.

With a few minutes of the third remaining Reece Flanagan sent an inviting ball through to Bradshaw, he saw his effort cannon off the out-rushing 'keeper.

The Saddlers extended their lead soon after, Tom Bradshaw with a well-taken strike, giving the 'keeper no-chance. Walsall continued to be on top as the third came to an end.

End of second 30 minutes: Nike Academy 0 Walsall 4


Third XI: Etheridge, Trialist E, Preston, Rowley, Trialist D, Kinsella, Trialist B, Morris, Sawyers, Bakayoko, Trialist C

The final period of thirty-minutes got underway with Romaine Sawyers sending in a stinging effort from the edge of the area.

'Trialist C' was sent through by a dangerous Sawyers pass only to be denied by a last-ditch tackle, Walsall looking good in attack.

With sixty-six minutes gone, Kieron Morris sent a shot wide following good work from 'Trialist D'. Striker Amadou Bakayoko also had a shot on goal soon after, but nothing came of his effort.

Walsall extended their lead with seventy-one minutes gone. Romaine Sawyers saw his initial effort blocked but followed up with a low effort into the bottom corner.

Sawyers was again involved soon after, he sent an effort crashing of the underside off the bar after turning his marker inside-out.

With around ten minutes remaining, 'Trialist C' sent an effort over the bar following neat build-up play from Kinsella and Morris.

After eighty-six minutes Neil Etheridge was called into the game for the first time, as he raced out to block an effort, a quiet day for the new recruit.

The match ended soon after, a good run out for the Saddlers as they prepare for the coming campaign.

FULL TIME SCORE
NIKE ACADEMY 0 WALSALL 5
GOALS: A.Chambers, OG, Bradshaw (2), Sawyers
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