Youth Alliance: Walsall 1 Carlisle United 2 Youth Alliance: Walsall 1 Carlisle United 2

Youth Alliance: Walsall 1 Carlisle United 2

Walsall's Under-18s were back in action on Saturday afternoon as they played host to Carlisle United at Ray Hall Lane.
Much like last weekend's clash with Shrewsbury, Saturday afternoon's match was a meeting of two mid-table teams, with just two points separating the Saddlers and Cumbrians ahead of kick-off.

The Saddlers arrived at the clash on the back of last Saturday's two-all draw with Shrewsbury Town, with goals from Tyreece Ruddock and Joe Willis seeing the youngsters earn their sixth draw in sixteen league outings.

Carlisle sat 11th in the Alliance ahead of kick-off, one place below the Saddlers, and had won just four of their eighteen matches, drawing four, and losing ten, putting them just two points above the bottom two - Wrexham and Accrington Stanley.

Sadly for the Saddlers they were ultimately unable to build upon their point against the Shrews as Carlisle struck twice in fairly quick succession to both make Walsall's second-half strike a mere consolation and secure all three points.

The first goal, which arrived after fifteen minutes of play, saw goalkeeper Dominic Rogerson fail to deal with a long ball as the spin saw the ball ended up in the back of the net. No doubt a disappointing lapse in concentration for the young stopper as the Cumbrians went into the lead.

The visitors' second goal arrived just three minutes later as Liam Lightfoot bundled a header home to double his team's advantage with just eighteen minutes on the clock. Plenty of work for the young Saddlers to do in the remaining eighty seventy minutes.

Carlisle could well have further extended their lead before the break, but strong displays from Sam Leivesley and Rogerson, who sought to make amends for his earlier error, prevented the visitors from turning their lead into a potentially embarrassing one.

The Saddlers were much improved during the second-half with substitute Jayden Campbell forcing the 'keeper into a save following a superb run which saw him leave several defenders in his wake.

The visitors were not without chances and could have further extended their lead as the match progressed, with a lack of composure in the final third ultimately costing them more goals. Walsall's Dom Rogerson also played a part, as he forced the visitors to rush their final efforts.

The Saddlers were eventually rewarded for their improved display as, following Owen Nolan's initially saved effort, second-half substitute Ade Francis found teammate Maskeone with the rebound, they youngster seeing an effort deflect past the 'keeper and over the line.

The Saddlers almost levelled the scores with ten minutes of the game remaining as Callum Nimmo saw a header go just past the post, Carlisle scrambling to hold on as the Saddlers pushed for a leveller.

The visitors were ultimately able to hold on to their lead, securing three much-needed points and giving the Saddlers plenty to ponder as a a sloppy few minutes cost them a share of the spoils. 

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