Friday, 9 March 2018

YOUTH ALLIANCE: Walsall 6 Tranmere Rovers 0

YOUTH ALLIANCE: Walsall 6 Tranmere Rovers 0

Walsall's Under-18s were back in action earlier this afternoon as they played host to Tranmere Rovers at Ray Hall Lane.
Graham Biggs's Walsall Under-18s were back in action earlier this afternoon as they played host to Tranmere Rovers' Under-18s in their latest EFL Youth Alliance (North West) fixture of the season.

Walsall XI: Ganley; Mason, Fisher, Bates, Leivesley, Kendrick, K.Flanagan, Freemantle, O'Sullivan, Parker, Cairns

Substitutes: Dawe; Friel, Ruddock, Nolan, Brown
Tranmere Rovers XI: Passant, Solomon-Davies, Kerr, Moreton, Long, Drysdale, Salkeld, J.Devine, Thompson, Walker-Rice, E.Devine

Substitutes: Wharton, Al-Hamadi, Burton, Hayde
The young Saddlers have had a season to forget and sit twelfth position in the Alliance table having won just three of their fifteen games. Their most recent outing took place in late February and saw them slip to defeat against Rochdale as Neil Kuemo's first-half strike secured three points for the visiting Dale.

Tranmere Rovers were sat fourth in the Alliance ahead of kick-off having won eight of their seventeen games. The Wirral side's last outing saw them draw one-all with Morecambe, a result that will not have gone down well given Morecambe's poor form.

This afternoon's match took place at the Birmingham County FA's Headquarters on Ray Hall Lane in Great Barr and kicked off at midday.

Despite their recent form, it was the Saddlers who stated the game on top and would be two goals ahead after half an hour as Dan O'Sullivan opened the scoring with a long-range effort which caught Rovers 'keeper Bayleigh Passant off his line.

Walsall's second goal arrived on thirty-two minutes as Ethan Freemantle lobbed the 'keeper to double his side's advantage. Not the greatest display from the young Rovers stopper as the home side stretched their lead.

Dylan Parker extended the Saddlers' lead in second-half stoppage time as he pounced on a defensive error to take Walsall into the break with a comfortable advantage.

Tranmere were unable to get back into the match and were eventually reduced to nine men during the second forty-five. Walsall had a couple of chances to further extend their lead during the second-half, including one which saw Dan O'Sullivan miss from the penalty spot.

The depleted Rovers were unable to prevent Walsall from stretching their advantage late in the game as O'Sullivan grabbed his second and the Saddlers' fourth as he slipped the ball home from close range.

Young striker Joe Cairns bagged the Saddlers' fifth as he was on hand to slot home shortly after the ever-present O'Sullivan saw a header saved.

The Saddlers' sixth goal came late in the game as Dylan Parker secured his second of the match. A superb result for Graham Biggs' side as they secured three much-needed points against previously strong opposition.

6 - 0
O'Sullivan (2)
Parker (2)

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