Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Wednesday, 25 January 2017

THE CENTRAL LEAGUE | Burton Albion 1 Walsall 2

On Wednesday afternoon John Ward's Walsall Development side travelled to St George's Park as they took on Burton Albion in the latest Central League (North West) fixture of the season. News on how the Saddlers got on is below.
On Wednesday afternoon John Ward's Walsall Development side travelled to St George's Park as they took on Burton Albion in the latest Central League (North West) fixture of the season. News on how the Saddlers got on is below.

WALSALL XI | MacGillivray; Kinsella, Vann, K Roberts, Laird; Morris, Dobson, Sangha, Flanagan, Moussa; Makris

The Saddlers, who fielded a strong starting eleven, enjoyed a good start to the match as both Andreas Makris and Franck Moussa both had efforts saved, the latter also had a penalty claim turned down following a tangle of legs in the Albion penalty area.

Burton 'keeper Harry Campbell was called into action just after the first-half reached the halfway point as Reece Flanagan found Kieron Morris in space, the Hereford-born winger then skipped past his marker, broke into the box and unleashed a left-footed shot, the stopper was equal to the effort and kept his sheet clean.

With around ten minutes of the half remaining the Saddlers looked to establish their passing game and almost created the opening goal of the game as, following a move which saw more than twenty passes completed, Scott Laird's cross fell short of Makris who had found space, a nice display from the visiting side.

The Brewers took the lead after around forty-minutes of play as,following a corner, captain Marcus Harness broke into space and slotted the ball past Craig MacGillivray in the Walsall goal.

Burton's lead was short-lived as Walsall went on to equalise before the break as Kieron Morris crashed the ball home from distance with a low effort, a disappointing goal for Campbell in the Brewers' goal, but a superb effort from the Saddlers winger.

Moussa went close to putting the Saddlers in the lead just before the break as he made space with several neat touches before dragging his shot just past the post. All-square at the break.


Walsall made a change ahead of the second half as Reece Flanagan, who continues to recover from a long-term knee injury was replaced by youngster Ashley Maddocks.

The Saddlers had a couple of chances to go into the lead early in the second half as first Kieron Morris stole the ball high up the pitch and drove forward, but failed to find the back of the net with his effort from a tight angle, then Franck Moussa also had an opening following a Makris header, but was prevented from scoring by the Brewers' defence who scrambled the ball clear.

Walsall continued their strong start to the half as, after nine-minutes of play, record signing Andreas Makris was found in space by on-loan Hammer George Dobson, he drove forward but slipped just as he was to unleash an effort on goal, the scores still tied but the Saddlers clearly the better side.

Jordon Sangha, who has scored three goals in his last three development games, was the nest to have an effort as he is found by Moussa but couldn't keep his effort down as the ball drifted over the bar.

Morris and Makris were the next Saddlers to link-up as Morris squared the ball to Makris, but the Cypriot winger couldn't keep his effort down as the scores remained level.

Walsall went into the lead with twenty-minutes of the game remaining as Andreas Makris tapped home following George Dobson's blocked effort, a well deserved goal for the Saddlers.

Left-back Scott Laird was the next Saddlers to have an effort, as the on-loan Scunthorpe United defender, who recently extended his stay at Banks's Stadium, flashed a shot across goal following some nice, patient build-up play.

Andreas Makris almost grabbed his brace with nine-minutes of the match remaining as he forced a save out of the 'keeper with a neat header. Alert play from Campbell who had plenty to do over the course of the game.

James Harrison almost levelled the scores late on as he latched on to a poor backpass and rounded MacGillivray, but failed to make use of the opportunity as the chance went begging.

The Saddlers continued to put pressure on the home goal as Liam Kinsella slotted a shot wide of goal following nice link-up play with George Dobson.

There were no further goals at the Saddlers continued their fine Development League form with another win.

GOALS |  Harness (41') - Morris (43'), Makris (70')

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