The Central League: Scunthorpe United 4 Walsall 1

The Walsall Development team were in Central League action on Tuesday afternoon as they travelled to Birkdale Park in Bottesford to take on Scunthorpe United.
After a season-long hiatus, Brian Dutton's development side have been placed in the North East Midlands group of this season's competition.

The Saddlers will come up against the likes of Doncaster Rovers, Grimsby Town, Mansfield Town, Rotherham United, and this afternoon's opponents Scunthorpe over the course of the campaign.

Along with the Central League Walsall will also take part in the Birmingham, Staffordshire, and Walsall Senior Cups, giving the squad plenty of opportunities to impress and earn a place in the first-team.

The Saddlers opened their Central League campaign with a one-all draw at home to Mansfield Town as James Hardy's first-half opener was cancelled out by Jordan Graham just three minutes from time.

The Iron are were yet to open their Central League campaign, but they had been active with their most recent pre-Saddlers game taking place last Wednesday, when they defeated Bottesford Town by five-goals-to-two in a friendly fixture.

Scunthorpe Collins; Rowe, O'Malley, Hornshaw, Cummings, Bedeau, Pugh, McAtee, Potts, Hallam, Butroid

Substitutes: Lambert, Jessop, Barks, Shrimpton, Wilson
Walsall XI: A.Trialist; Hunter, Cole, Friel, Nimmo, Walton, Harper, Petrovics, Parker, Purnell, Derry

Substitutes: Clapp, Patterson, Dunkley, De Sousa, Dawkins

Walsall coach Brian Dutton named an inexperienced line-up made up of under-16s and under-18s for this afternoon's outing with his team also including former Oxford United goalkeeper Niall Clayton, who is currently training with the team.

Walsall got the match got underway at around two-o'clock but saw the home side enjoy much of the attacking play as their strong side sought to dominate proceedings.

Scunthorpe created a plethora of goal-scoring opportunities and were eventually rewarded for their patience as Jordan Hallam opened the scoring after Jai Rowe and Tom Pugh, who broke past his marker after sending the ball between his legs, combined to find him in space.

The home side were buoyed by their opening goal and went on to double their lead five minutes into the second-half as John McAtee slammed the ball past Clayton in the Walsall goal.

The Iron had initially won a corner was headed towards goal where Clayton was on hand to save with his legs before Hallam saw a follow-up blocked as McAtee was on hand to slip the ball home.

Scunthorpe went on to extend their lead just six-minutes later as substitute Jack Lambert, who had replaced Tom Pugh just moments earlier, was found in space by fellow sub Harry Jessop, before taking a touch and slotting the ball across the 'keeper and into the back of the net.

Walsall did manage to grab a goal of their own as substitute George Dunkley was able to beat the offside trap before sending a powerful effort high into the back of Tom Collins' net from outside the box.

Sadly for the Saddlers Scunthorpe would go on to regain their three-goal lead as McAtee saw a free-kick parried into the path of George Hornshaw, who tapped the ball home as the 'keeper looked to regain his feet.

There were no further goals as the Iron opened their Central League campaign with a win.

4 - 1
Hallam (39')
McAtee (50')
Lambert (61')
Hornshaw (81')
Dunkley (71')

Referee: Peter Henger (South Yorkshire)
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