Youth Alliance: Walsall 2 Port Vale 3 Youth Alliance: Walsall 2 Port Vale 3

Youth Alliance: Walsall 2 Port Vale 3

Walsall under-18s were back in EFL Youth Alliance (North West) action earlier today as they played host to Port Vale in their final game of the 2018/19 campaign.
The young Saddlers have endured a difficult season and will no doubt welcome the opportunity to rebuild during the summer months as they look to return to the level of performance achieved during previous campaigns.

Despite their recent struggles, the Saddlers had the chance to end their season with a run of three consecutive victories as they arrived art this morning's match on the back of an unlikely victory over league champions, Wigan Athletic.

The victory over the Latics, which matched their recent win over Fleetwood Town, helped the Saddlers to improve their improve their points tally and cut the gap to several of the sides above them in the table heading into their season-ending clash.

Opponents Port Vale sat at the foot of the table heading into Saturday morning's match as they had suffered seventeen defeats in their twenty-five Alliance outings. The young Valiants were victorious in their most recent meeting however, as Sevvy Aslam's side thrashed Shrewsbury Town 3-0 last weekend.

Walsall XI: Rogerson; Coogan, Petrovics, Willis, Jak.Walton, Foulkes, Campbell, Perry, Jac.Walton, Moss, McSkeane

Substitutes: Walker; Lynch, Makanden, Francis, Sharp
Port Vale XI: Blight; Barrett, Chambers, H.Campbell, Lake, Jackson, Wakefield, Berks, Chimenes, Hallchurch, Ede

Substitutes: Gregors, Johnson, Stevens, Lennon, Dyer

The Saddlers had the first real opening of the game as Sam Perry got on the end of a right wing cross but could only steer a header over the bar as Vale stopper Mawgan Blight went untested.

The visitors would go on to open the scoring just a few short minutes later as Joe Breks converted a penalty kick. Danny Coogan the man adjudged to have felled Finley Jackson in the box, the referee showing no interest in the protests.

Both sides continued to prod and probe in search of the game's second goal, but neither 'keeper saw any more decisive action until we reached the halfway point in the first-half as the Saddlers were awarded a penalty of their own following Jackson's foul on Jacob Walton.

Forward Perry Moss was the man to step up and take the spot kick, the prospect rising to the occasion as he slammed the ball home to put his side back on level terms.

The Saddlers, buoyed by their leveller, soon went on to take the lead as Coogan broke down the right wing before sending a strong, driven cross into the box where Perry Moss was on hand to grab both his and the Saddlers' second goal of the game.

Both sides continued to create chances with varying degrees of success. First Saddlers stopper Dominic Rogerson was on hand to deny Berks a second goal before Port Vale's goalpost prevented Jayden Campbell from extending his side's lead.

The Saddlers continued their search for more goals and went close once again as Sam Perry found Walton is space, his effort was a little wayward however, as the ball slipped past the post.

2 - 1

The second-half didn't get off to the greatest start for the Saddlers as the visitors levelled the scores via Louis Lake's header, the Valiant getting into space during a corner routine.

The Saddlers weren't happy to settle for a draw and went in search of another goal as Alex McSkeane broke into the box and forced a corner, from which, the Saddlers caused panic in the area as Campbell had an effort saved on the line before the 'keeper gathered.

The teams continued their search for a leading goal, with neither able to create a clear-cut opening as the match continued.

The Saddlers should have retaken the lead twenty-minutes from time as Willis and McSkeane combined to win another spot kick. Sadly for the Saddlers, 'keeper Blight was on hand to save and preserve a point.

The Saddlers were ultimately unable to make it three wins on the bounce as second-half substitute Ammar Dyer found space and smashed the ball home from 25-yards. A superb effort which gave the 'keeper no chance.

2 - 3
Moss P (23')
Moss (27')

Berks P (6')
Lake (49')
Dyer (79')
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