UP NEXT  Bescot Banter logo CHELTENHAM TOWN (AWAY) - SATURDAY, 31ST JULY 2021 - 3.00PM

Central League: Walsall 1 Grimsby Town 0

Walsall's Development team were back in action on Tuesday afternoon as they played host to Grimsby Town in the final home game of their 2017/18 Central League campaign.
John Ward's side, who haven't been in action since they were thrashed six-nil by Mansfield Town in late March, arrived at this match sat in mid table having won just three of their ten Central League fixtures and were keen to leapfrog the Mariners as they clashed at Ray Hall Lane.

Ganley; Kinsella, K.Roberts, Kendrick, Cockerill-Mollett; Sangha, Shorrock, Flanagan; Hayles-Docherty, Kouhyar; Shaibu

Substitutes: Dawe; Bates, Mason, Peters, Candlin
Killip; Davies, Sawyer, McAllister, Keeble, Osborne, Berrett, Clifton, Jackson, Jaiyesimi, Kelly

Substitutes: Jameson, Battersby, Saunders, Richardson

The Saddlers named a strong side for this afternoon's match with Liam Kinsella, Kory Roberts, Maziar Kouhyar and Justin Shaibu among those making the move from the first-team.

Opponents Grimsby named on-loan Walsall striker Simeon Jackson among their starting XI, the former Blackburn Rovers forward is looking to return to fitness in time to help the Mariners improve their league position.

Despite Walsall winning an early free-kick, the first opening of the game fell to Grimsby forward Dialling Jaiyesimi, who fired the ball wide following Harry Clifton's neat pass.

Walsall winger Tobias Hayles-Docherty had the first chance of note for the Saddlers as he sent an effort off target following Will Shorrock's pass, the ball flashing across goal, not really much of a test for Ben Killip in the Grimsby goal.

On-loan Brentford forward Justin Shaibu also had an effort on goal, his shot was on target but offered no threat for Killip, who saved comfortably.

Shortly after Shaibu's effort Simeon Jackson had an opportunity to score against his parent club as he cut inside onto his right-foot and sent a deflected effort towards goal, Saddlers stopper Brandon Ganley was alert to the danger and produced a fine save to protect his clean sheet.

Unfortunately for the Saddlers, winger Tobias Hayles-Docherty was unable to continue and had to be replaced by Cameron Peters, John Ward forced into a formation change.

With around thirty-minutes on the clock he visitors had a couple of efforts. The first a Sam Kelly 18-year drive which was gathered by Ganley, the second saw Jaiyesimi bring the ball under control before volleying just wide of goal.

Grimsby continued to provide a threat and forced the Saddlers defence into action as bodies were put on the line following a Mariners corner kick. Walsall eventually easing the pressure as referee Richard Price awarded them a free-kick.

Justin Shaibu also continued to provide openings for the Saddlers, with the loanee having a couple of efforts on goal. The first being saved by Killip, before he sent the ball wide following Kouhyar's through ball.

0 - 0

The first opening of the second-half fell to Walsall midfielder Jordon Sangha, the 20-year-old who is currently on-loan with Leamington, forced Killip into a save with a fine curling effort. The shot coming from just outside the penalty area.

Simeon Jackson continued to search for a goal as he got on the end of a long ball and lashed an effort wide of goal. Both sides continuing to push for an opening goal.

Grimsby's Kelly was the next to have an effort, his powerful shot forcing Ganley into action, the stopper could only push the ball up into the air before the defence eventually cleared the danger.

With around an hour on the clock the visitors continued to push for the game's opening goal and had efforts via Jackson and Ben Davies, the first being gathered at the near post before the second, a free-kick, slipped just wide of Ganley's goal.

Despite the visitors pushing for an opener it was Walsall who went on to secure the first goal of the game as, following a short corner, Ben Kendrick got on the end of Kouhyar's deflected cross and slipped the ball home at the far post.

Reece Flanagan could've doubled the Saddlers' lead a few minutes after their opener as he lifted the ball over the bar following Shaibu's superb set up, the forward beating his man out wide before setting up the flame-haired midfielder.

Both sides continues to look for goals with the visitors hitting the side netting via Kelly and the Saddlers going wide via Kouhyar.

As the match headed towards the full-time whistle Brandon Ganley remained alert and gathered the ball from a Jackson volley, the forward getting on the end of a Davies cross.

Substitute Kyle Richardson was the next Grimsby player to have an effort as he crashed the ball wide of goal as Kory Roberts forced him into a rushed shot.

A good win for Ward's side as they head towards the end of their 2017/18 Central League campaign.

1 - 0
Kendrick (63')

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