FA Youth Cup: Walsall 1 Notts County 2 FA Youth Cup: Walsall 1 Notts County 2
Posted by: Bescot Banter

FA Youth Cup: Walsall 1 Notts County 2

Here is our Match Report from Friday evening's FA Youth Cup - First Round clash between Walsall Under-18s and visitors, Notts County Under-18s.
The match, which took place at Banks's Stadium, was an opportunity for Graham Biggs' side to improve upon their disappointing start to the season as they looked to secure safe passage to the Second Round.

Walsall's young guns have failed to secure victory in any of their six Youth Alliance outings this season with the cup competitions giving them the best opportunity to secure success.

There was little in the way of goalmouth action during the opening stages of the match as both sides looked to get the ball down and play, with the away side possibly having the lion-share of the ball.

Walsall goalkeeper Ethan Dawe had to be alert and was given something to occupy his mind around ten minutes in as County forward Kion Etete found space and sent the ball wide of goal.

Shortly after Walsall had earned their first corner of the game, midfielder Alfie Bates became the first Saddler to have an effort on target as his long range free-kick was saved by County stopper Max Culverwell, Bates looking to continue his strong spell of form.

The match continued to be a relatively close run affair with not much to separate the two sides. County number nine Etete grabbed the away side's first effort on target with a header after around thirty-minutes of play.

Sadly for the Saddlers they were unable to keep their sheet clean as County's midfield pounced on a loose ball inside the Walsall half, moved play up the pitch before eventually finding Etete in space on the edge of the area, the forward slamming the ball it into the top corner of Dawe's goal.

0 - 1

Following a fairly tame start to the second-half Walsall boss Graham Biggs opted to  make a double change as Joe Willis and Jacob Walton were replaced by Perry Moss and Danny Coogan, the gaffer looking to get his side back on level terms.

Refusing to let their heads drop, the young Saddlers continued to look for openings and would soon get themselves back on level terms shortly after the hour mark as midfield man Alfie Bates saw a whipped in corner kick end up in the back of the net. County 'keeper Culverwell was unable to deal with the turn on the ball.

The manager's double change continued to have a positive effect on the Saddlers as they searched for their second goal of the game. Sub Danny Coogan went close as an effort drifted past the post after a neat through ball.

Both sides continued to push for the goal which would ultimately win the contest and County probably should have retaken the lead with around five minutes remaining as second-half substitute Coden Duncan rattled the post before Corey Bucalossi headed wide of goal.

Walsall hearts were broken deep into second-half stoppage time as the ever-present Etete remained alert to head Owen Betts' long ball over an advancing Ethan Dawe, a massive disappointment for the Saddlers who had been much improved during the second forty-five.

The match finished with something of a bitter taste with some of the players allowing their emotions to get the better of them. Understandable, given the late, late drama.

1 - 2
Bates (64')

Etete (40')
Etete (90+4')
Attendance: 286
Referee: Richard Cattell
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