THE CENTRAL LEAGUE | Port Vale 2 Walsall 2

Walsall's development team were back in action on Wednesday afternoon as they took on Port Vale Reserves in the final Central League (North West) fixture of the season.
Walsall's development team were back in action on Wednesday afternoon as they took on Port Vale Reserves in the final Central League (North West) fixture of the season. You can find a match report below.

Ganley, Tonks, Cockerill-Mollett, Sangha, K.Roberts, Vassell, Shorrock, Butterfield, Peters, Kinsella, Hayles-Docherty

SUBS | Caswell; Maddocks, Vann, Candlin, Cela

The Saddlers had already been crowned as champions of the league before kick-off having won eight of their nine league fixtures, and headed into the contest looking to keep up their recent spell of form, which had seen them go undefeated in their last thirteen outings.

This afternoon's match, which was delayed due to the Saddlers being stuck in a traffic jam on the M6, was a competitive affair, with both sides looking to move the ball around in search of goal-scoring opportunities.

Sadly for the Saddlers it was their opponents who opened the scoring as young striker Brian Barton curled a shot into the corner from the edge of the area with thirty-four minutes on the clock. A fine strike from the Vale prospect.

Vale's lead was short-lived as Walsall went on to equalise soon after. Youngster Tobias Hayles-Docherty unleashed a strong effort which squirmed under Ryan Boot in the Vale goal.

Our opponents re-took the lead before half time as Liam Mottram was alert to slam home following an initially saved effort, a disappointing end to the half for John Ward's side, but plenty of time to fix things during the second half.


The Saddlers had the first meaningful effort of the second half as Milan Butterfield found space in the middle of the park but could only lift his shot over the bar, no danger for the 'keeper in the Vale goal.

Jordon Sangha, who has been in fine form for the development side over the course of the season, was the next Saddler to have an effort on, or near, goal as he sent an effort just over the bar from the edge of the area.

Vale almost extended their lead as the second half continued, but Mike Conlon, who was found following some fine play by substitute Gezim Shalaj, was denied by an alert Ganley in the Walsall goal, the young stopper keeping his side within a chance of taking some points.

Lezion Cela almost levelled the scores shortly after Conlon's effort as he found space in the box but could not beat the 'keeper who kept his side in the lead.

Shalaj was the next to have an effort on goal as the game began to open up. His shot drifted wide of the goal as he neared the final fifteen minutes of the match.

Walsall levelled the scores with around ten minutes of the second half remaining as Mitchel Candlin slipped the ball home following Ashley Maddocks' powerful volley, which crashed off the crossbar into the path of Candlin.

Shalaj saw another effort drift just past the post before the final whistle but there were no further goals as the sides took a point each to end their Central League (North West) campaigns.

GOALS | Barton, Mottram - Hayles-Docherty, Candlin

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