Youth Alliance: Walsall 1 Shrewsbury Town 0 Youth Alliance: Walsall 1 Shrewsbury Town 0

Youth Alliance: Walsall 1 Shrewsbury Town 0

Walsall's Under-18s were back in action on Saturday morning as they played host to Shrewsbury Town in their latest EFL Youth Alliance outing of the season.
This weekend's match was the young Saddlers' second outing of 2019 and was Graham Biggs' side's first opportunity to bounce back from last weekend's year-opening defeat to Rochdale.

The youngsters, who weren't without their own goal-scoring opportunities during a hard-fought contest, lost two-nil to the visiting Dale as Lewis Bradley and Morgan Moreland hit the back of the net to secure a crucial awayday win for the travelling side.

The Saddlers, who sat twelfth in the fourteen-team North West group ahead of kick-off, had won just two of their eleven games heading into Saturday morning's fixture and were hoping to end their recent three-game winless spell as took take on the Shrews at Ray Hall Lane.

Ninth-placed Shrewsbury also opened 2019 with a defeat as Fleetwood Town comfortably dispatched of their opponents by four-goals-to-nil at Shrewsbury Sports Village. The Shrews had only won one more game than the Saddlers and were hoping to avoid a further slip up as they made the trip across the border.

Dawe; Little, Brown, Bates, Leak, Nimmo, Willis, Perry, Ruddock, Flanagan, Campbell

Substitutes: Moss, Walton, Nolan, Petrovics, Leivesley
Agius; Corfield, Walker, Rowland, Taylor, Sears, Turner, Redding, Grosvenor, Leask, Mwandwe

Substitutes: Bevan, Elmore, O'Toole, Davies, Downes

The match was a hard-fought affair, with both sides creating openings from the very early stages. The Saddlers' opening sight of goal saw midfielder Alfie Bates, who is said to be on the radar of several other clubs, lift the ball over the bar.

Jack Leask was the man to have the Shrews' first effort, his shot giving Saddlers stopper Ethan Dawe a job to do as the shot was saved and gathered at the second attempt.

The Saddlers continued to push for the game's opening goal and again went close to doing just that after fourteen minutes when Jayden Campbell saw a shot slip past the post.

Shrews stopper Sam Agius was kept busy as the half continued, the youngster was able to quell much of the danger as the two sides continued to share the spoils.

The visiting side were forced into a change midway through the first-half as captain James Rowland was replaced by Ethan O'Toole. Hopefully nothing too serious.

Midfielder Kian Flanagan, the brother of former Saddler Recce, was the next man in red to have a shot as he got on the end of Tyreece Ruddock's cut-back to sting the palms of the goalkeeper. Some nice attacking play on display by the Saddlers.

Callum Nimmo also saw an effort saved before the break as the Shrews stopper continue to stand firm as his defence were forced into retreat with the Saddlers seeking an opening goal.

0 - 0

The first goal of the game arrived just before the hour mark as Sam Perry remained calm to toe-poke the ball over the line. The ball landing at his feet following a Saddlers free-kick which had started something of a melee in the opposition box.

The Saddlers, buoyed by their opening goal, went in search of another and could have doubled their lead soon after as Flanagan got on the end of a Joe Willis free-kick, sadly for the home side he failed to get good control of the ball and sent an effort wide.

The visitors continued to look for a leveller and had a couple of opportunities as the second-half continued. The first saw Kian Taylor go close as the Saddlers' backline forced him to rush after the ball had fallen to him in the six-yard box.

The second Shrews effort Jermaine Turner do well to get the ball down the wing before crossing into the box. Thankfully for the Saddlers Dawe was alert to the danger and gathered the ball before any damage could be done.

1 - 0
Perry (59')

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