FA Youth Cup: Coventry City 1 Walsall 2

Walsall Under-18s were in action on Wednesday evening as they faced Coventry City in the First Round of this season's FA Youth Cup.
Along with the Youth Cup the young Saddlers, who are managed by former Sheffield Wednesday defender Miguel Llera, have entered a variety of competitions giving the prospects plenty of opportunities to impress.

Wednesday's outing Walsall's first outing in over a week as last weekend's EFL Youth Alliance Cup clash with Scunthorpe United was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch after much of the country had seen record levels of rainfall in just 24 hours.

Coventry City XI: Tyler; Taylor, Martin, Ngandu, Burroughs, Ward, Nightingale, Costa, Raine, Hawley, Bapaga

Substitutes: Fallows, Korsyth, Nee, Purves, Pitts-Eckersall, Rodber, Reeve
Walsall XI: Rogerson; Foulkes, Lynch, Perry, Zona, Dallywaters, Moss, Willis, Pearce, Campbell, Mukadam

Substitutes: Jackson, Francis, Perry, Sharp, Taylor, Hunter, McSkeane

This evening's clash took place at The Phillips 66 Community Stadium, the home of Leamington FC and got underway at around 7pm as referee Ben Cooke had completed all of his pre-match checks.

The Saddlers enjoyed a strong start to the match and would go on to take the lead just six-minutes into the game a poor post free-kick clearance fell to Luke Pearce who saw a shot saved before Perry Moss pounced to tuck the ball home.

Coventry didn't allow the Saddlers' opening goal to get them down and went in search of an equaliser. Their efforts were soon rewarded as, following efforts by William Bapaga and Joseph Nightingale, they were able to level the scores with thirteen minutes on the clock.

The goal came via a corner as City captain George Burroughs did well to find some shooting space before firing the ball past Walsall stopper Dominic Rogerson from the edge of the box.

With the match once again tied both sides went in search of the lead with the Saddlers' openings coming via captain Joe Willis, who was only able to hit the side-netting, and Jayden Campbell, who forced 'keeper Cian Tyler into a save.

At the other end of the pitch our hosts kept the Saddlers' backline alert as they saw a Jonathan Ngandu free-kick saved as Rogerson was able to read the flight of the ball and keep the scores tied.

The game looked to be heading to the break all-square however midfield man Perry Moss wasn't having any of that as he engineered enough space to cut inside onto his left foot before crashing the ball home from distance. A fine finish from Perry who has enjoyed a good start to the season.

1 - 2

The Sky Blues opted to make a change in their midfield at the break as Samuel Pitts-Eckersall took the place of Alexander Costa for the second forty-five.

It was the home side who would have the first goal-scoring opportunity of the second-half as Jacob Raine was afforded too much space inside the area as he forced the 'keeper into a save.

The Coventry manager continued to look for the right balance and soon made his second change of the half as Ryan Howley make way for Harrison Nee in attack.

Walsall went close to extending their lead shortly before the hour mark as a corner was delivered towards the near-post and, following a scramble for possession, the ball fell to Saif Mukadam who was denied as City cleared off the line.

Saddlers manager Miguel Llera soon opted to make a change in attack as Luke Pearce was replaced by Alex McSkeane. McSkeane was looking to grab his first goal as an 18-year-old having celebrated the milestone on Monday.

Coventry continued in their pursuit of an equaliser and were almost rewarded as Raine was able to get on the end of a deep cross and had the defence scrambling with a header which ultimately cleared the crossbar.

Walsall made their second change of the game with less than fifteen minutes of normal time remaining as double goal-scorer Perry Moss made way for Ade Francis in midfield.

The Saddlers were soon back on the attack and went close to extending their lead as Mukadam drove into the box before finding Joe Willis in space but the midfielder man was unable to capitalise and sent an effort over the bar.

The Saddlers were almost dealt the ultimate punishment for their miss as Coventry went up the other end and were awarded a penalty by referee Cooke.

Thankfully for the Saddlers, young 'keeper Rogerson was able to retain his side's narrow lead after pulling off a fine save to deny William Bapaga from the spot.

City weren't daunted by their saved spot-kick and shortly after Hayden Purves had replaced Joe Nightingale in midfield, they saw another effort go inches past the post as Bapaga looked to make amends for his earlier effort.

There were no further chances on goal and, after five minutes of time added on which saw Joe Foulkes sent off for a second bookable offence, the Saddlers secured safe passage to the Second Round of this season's competition.

1 - 2
Burroughs (13')

Moss (6')
Moss (45+2')
Attendance: 327
Referee: Ben Cooke
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