Youth Alliance: Walsall 1 Tranmere Rovers 1 Youth Alliance: Walsall 1 Tranmere Rovers 1
Youth Alliance: Walsall 1 Tranmere Rovers 1

Youth Alliance: Walsall 1 Tranmere Rovers 1

Walsall's Under-18s were back in action on Saturday morning as they played host to Tranmere Rovers at Ray Hall Lane.
The young Saddlers arrived at the morning's match after failing to secure victory in any of their first three league outings, and also suffering a narrow 2-1 defeat to Doncaster Rovers during their opening Youth Alliance Cup group game last weekend.

Wirral-based Rovers have enjoyed a better start to the campaign than their hosts, having won one and lost the other of their two league outings. Rovers began their Alliance Cup run with a 3-1 victory over Oldham Athletic and went into the match looking to secure three more points.

The match started with a fast tempo as both sides looked to create an early opening. It was the Saddlers who would eventually get the better of the early goings with Alex McSkeane and Tyreece Ruddock combining to force the 'keeper into a save.

Walsall's next opportunity fell to striker Jacob Walton, with the youngster unable to find the target as he effort drifted past the post. Some neat footwork on display from the forward as he found space to shoot.

Rovers were not without opportunities and could have opened the scoring themselves as Danny Walker-Rice lifted the ball over the bar after some neat build-up play. No shot to save but still an early warning to the Saddlers' backline.

Both sides continued to look for openings as the match descended into something of a midfield battle. An entertaining half, but without too many truly goal-scoring opportunities despite a frenetic opening.

0 - 0

The second-half got underway in similar fashion to the first as Rovers created the first goal of the game with just two minutes of the second forty-five gone, giving Graham Biggs plenty to ponder on the sidelines.

The goal came as London-based forward Jake Burton was found in space with a defence-splitting pass. The striker made no mistake and slipped the ball past Josh Griffiths in the Walsall goal.

The Saddlers could have levelled the scores around ten minutes later as an Alfie Bates free-kick whistled past Joe Bickerstaff's post, the 'keeper alert to his angles but still had plenty to think about.

Walsall didn't have to wait too long for their equaliser to come as Alex McSkeane was on hand to finish off a fast, flowing Saddlers attack, the forward being afforded too much space, and making no mistake.

Walsall were soon in search of their second goal as midfielder Joe Willis, who was a second-half substitute, got into space on the edge of the Tranmere are and sent an effort just past the post. More nice footwork on display as the scores remained level.

The Saddlers continued to look for another goal and, after eighty-four minutes of play, went close once again. This time Sam Perry and Alex McSkeane combined to find space inside the box and force Bickerstaff into action. The 'keeper was equal to the effort and saved well.

The Rovers stopper looked to have got the measure of Walsall's efforts and managed to preserve a point for his side late on, as he saved a whipped free-kick. The points were ultimately shared as the referee blew for full-time, an entertaining affair.

1 - 1
McSkeane (67')
Burton (47')
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