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Walsall Secure Semi Final Spot With Victory Over Solihull Moors

On Tuesday evening John Ward's Walsall development side travelled to the Automated Technology Group Stadium as they took on Solihull Moors in the Quarter Final stage of this season's Birmingham FA Senior Challenge Cup.
On Tuesday evening John Ward's Walsall development side travelled to the Automated Technology Group Stadium as they took on Solihull Moors in the Quarter Final stage of this season's Birmingham FA Senior Challenge Cup. A brief rundown of the match is below.

Lewis, Fagbola, Kelly, Nortey, Daly, Kettle, Obeng, Murombedzi, Asante, Sterling-James, Mwanyongo

SUBS | Willock, Rodgers, Martin, Shade, Morris
Ganley; Kendrick, Cockerill-Mollett, Vann, Vassell; Butterfield, Kouhyar, Kinsella, Sangha, Oliver, Peters

SUBS | Caswell, Candlin, Cela, Hayles-Docherty, Shorrock

Solihull started the game well and had the opening opportunity of the match as Akwasi Asante hit the side-netting following Curtis Obeng's alert play.

Obeng was soon involved in the action once again as he broke down the wing and forced a save out of Brandon Ganley in the Walsall goal.

Walsall looked to pressurise their opponents by passing the ball around the park, though the home side were not fazed by the pace of the action, and were a threat on the counter.

The Saddlers' first real chance of the match came after around seventeen minutes of play as Milan Butterfield sent a deflected drive over the bar, the Bermudian midfielder fed the ball following a nice attacking move involving Theo Vassell, the defender keen to impress following his recent loan spell with Chester.

Obeng continue to be a threat, and forced another save out of Ganley later in the half, the young Saddlers 'keeper alert to the danger as both sides searched for the game's opening goal.

With around ten minutes of the first-half remaining, the Saddlers almost opened the scoring as Maziar Kouhyar finished off a nice passing display with an effort on goal, sadly for the visitors Joel Kettle was in position to head the ball away from goal as the game remained level.

Kouhyar had another effort blocked a short time later as Nat Kelly defended well, the Saddlers were however awarded a free-kick as Shepherd Murombedzi fouled his man. The resulting free-kick, which was taken by Butterfield,came to nothing as his low effort was blocked.

The first-half finished all-square but not before Cameron Peters had a couple strikes on goal, the first was a shot which sailed over the Solihull bar. He then sent an effort just wide of goal as the defence once again allowed him space. No goals, but not the worst half of football ever to be played either.


Both sides made a substitution before the second-half got underway as veteran striker Luke Rodgers replaced former Walsall trialist Omari Sterling-James for the Moors, whilst Rory Oliver, who has recently been dealing with a long-term injury, was replaced by Tobias Hayles-Docherty for the Saddlers.

With a minute-or-so of the second-half gone Rodgers almost made an immediate impact for the home side as he sent an effort just past the post, as Ganley looked on.

Pearson Mwanyongo was the next to have a shot on goal for the hosts as he cut inside following a pacy run down the wing and sent his effort just past the post.

With an hour on the clock the Saddlers saw an effort of their own go off target as Butterfield could only lift the ball over the bar following a corner-kick.

Shortly after Jordon Sangha had a dipping free-kick saved, the home side opened the scoring as Luke Rodgers tapped home following nice play between Mwanyongo and Asante, with the latter crossing the ball into a dangerous area.

The opening goal galvanised the home side as they were soon in search of a second. Liam Daly headed wide from a corner, which was awarded following spme alert defending by first-year pro Dan Vann.

Walsall levelled the scores with fifteen minutes of the game remaining as Sangha found space in the Moors' penalty area and sent a shot into the corner of Danny Lewis' goal.

The Saddlers went on to take the lead with eighty minutes played as Cameron Peters slotted home, the forward doing well to score as the Solihull defence had blocked Sangha's initial effort,,the ball falling to Peters who was denied by Kelly but remained alert to score from the rebound.

As the match continued there were substitutions by both sides, the Saddlers forced to bring the injured Ben Kendrick off for Lezion Cela as Romario Martin replaced Mwanyongo for the hosts.

There were no further goals as the Saddlers secured their place in the Semi-Finals of the competition.

GOALS | Rodgers (70') - Sangha (75'), Peters (80')
REFEREE | Grant Taylor (West Midlands)

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