DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE | Walsall 0 Bradford City 6 DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE | Walsall 0 Bradford City 6
Posted by: Bescot Banter

DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE | Walsall 0 Bradford City 6

Earlier today, Walsall Football Club's Reserves played host to Bradford City Reserves in the Saddlers' last Final Third Development League (West) fixture of the season.
Earlier today, Walsall Football Club's Reserves played host to Bradford City Reserves in the Saddlers' last Final Third Development League (West) fixture of the season.

Walsall Starting XI | Liam Roberts; Jordan Potter, Dilano Reid, Ben Kendrick, Raekwon Smith, Isaiah Osbourne, Levi Rowley, Lewis Archer, Khaellem Bailey, Milan Butterfield, Oliver Rathbone

Walsall SUBS | Brandon Ganley; Jordan Murphy, Dwayne Gardiner, Morgan Bailey, Mitchell Candolin

Walsall's final Final Third Development League match of the season saw them take on West Division league leaders Bradford City at Lilleshall this afternoon.

Isaiah Osbourne started the match, as he continues to recover from a knee injury which has kept him sidelined for much of the season, along with a number of trialists, watched on by the first-team managers of both clubs, Jon Whitney and Phil Parkinson.

The match got off to a lively start and just one minute in, Bradford took the lead, as Liam Roberts was beaten to the ball by Reece Webb-Foster. Walsall responded quickly, as Lewis Archer sent a firm drive towards the Bradford goal. Bradford 'keeper Chandler Hallwood turned the powerful driven shot away at his near post to maintain his teams lead.

The match continued at a lively pace, and seven minutes in, Bradford were awarded a free-kick thirty yards out. Webb-Foster opted to shoot, but sent the ball sailing high over the bar without troubling Roberts.

The young Saddlers enjoyed a good spell as they settled into the game and seventeen minutes in were unlucky not to equalise as Levi Rowley sent a low cross in, which evaded two Walsall attackers, before being cleared by Bradford's defence.

Undetered, the Saddlers continued to press, with Isaiah Osbourne demonstrating some individual skill as he went on a strong run before sending a low shot straight at the waiting Hallwood, from twenty five yards.

Both teams sought to create goal-scoring opportunities and twenty minutes in Rowley sent a deep cross in which fell to Khaellem Bailey-Nicholls who volleyed over. Moments later Bradford saw a chance of their own go to waste, as Sumaili Cissa sent in a shot which was well off target.

Webb-Foster continued to cause problems for the Saddlers defence, and, latching onto a through ball from Payne, he fired a low shot in which struck the outside of the post. Unlucky not to double his sides lead on that occasion.

Moments later, Webb-Foster again found himself in shooting range, as Kesi Omolokun picked him out with a long ball in. Webb-Foster lifted a right-footed shot over Walsall 'keeper, Roberts to double his, and his sides, tally.

The match quietened a little after Bradford secured their second goal, though the Bantams continued to present a danger going forward, with Niah Payne firing a shot just wide of Roberts' near post, finding the side-netting.

Ten minutes before the break, Roberts brilliantly executed a double save to deny, first, Webb-Foster who had worked his way in behind the Walsall defence, and then Daniel Devine who sent in a follow-up shot.

Roberts keeping his side in the game as half-time was called. Bradford City leading two-goals-to-nil as the teams left the field.


The teams re-emerged with Walsall having made a change at the break, as Osbourne made way for Jordan Murphy.

The second half started at a slower pace than the first, and the first real action of the half was a second Saddlers substitution as a quiet Dilano Reid was replaced by Morgan Bailey, with thirty five minutes to play.

As we reached the hour mark, the tempo increased as the Saddlers sought to find a way back into the match, winning themselves a free-kick in a dangerous position. Oliver Rathbone sent a testing shot towards Hallwood's near post, but the Bradford 'keeper was equal to it and prevented the ball finding it's intended target.

Hallwood was further tested moments later as the Saddlers continued to press. Rowley sending a low strike goal-wards, which the Bradford shotstopper got behind to parry, alleviating the pressure momentarily.

The match quietened once again, though not before a long clearance from Roberts set Rathbone away and clear through on goal. Unfortunately for the Saddlers, his shot was aimed straight into the waiting Hallwood's arms.

That would signal the last real threat of the Saddler's finding a route back into the game as Bradford established their dominance fifteen minutes from time. Luca Mellor working his way forward to set up an easy tap in for Cissa who turned the ball home to extend the Bantams lead to three.

With ten minutes to play, Bradford effectively put the game to bed, with Webb-Foster scoring his third of the match, a lovely right-footed shot from a few yards out. Bradford followed up quickly with a fifth goal shortly after the re-start as Webb-Foster again got himself involved to set up Devine with a low cross in from the byline.

As we neared full time, a neat pass from Jack Waters found a rampant Webb-Foster, who beat Roberts from the edge of the box, securing a final goal for his team, as they beat the Saddlers six-goals-to-nil.

GOALS | Webb-Foster (1', 25', 80', 90'), Cissa (76'), Devine (81')
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