The Central League: Grimsby Town 1 Walsall 1

The Walsall Development team were in Central League action on Tuesday afternoon as they travelled to Blundell Park in Cleethorpes to take on Grimsby Town.
Following a season-long hiatus, Walsall's development side have been placed in the North East Midlands group of this season's Central League competition.

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

As well as tackling 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.

Unfortunately the Reds' second outing of the campaign was far from a success as opponents Scunthorpe opened their campaign with a comfortable four-one win with youngster George Dunkley netting a consolation for his side.

Grimsby Town XI: Battersby, Painter, Hope, Curran, Smaller, Idehen, McPherson, Derrick, Owoeye, Buckley, Stead. 

Substitutes: Boyes, Khouri, Goundry, Drinkell, Blakeley
Walsall XI: A.Trialist, B.Trialist, Lynch, Leak, Perry, K.Roberts, Campbell, C.Trialist, McSkeane, Willis, Mukadam

The Saddlers team, today managed by Head of Youth Miguel Llera, started the match well with the home side forced to defend for much of the opening quarter of the contest as Walsall went on search of the first goal of the game.

Alex McSkeane had the first effort of the game as he saw a shot flash wide of goal after just three minutes of play. Midfielder Joe Willis also saw an effort fly wide with Sam Perry joining them in the 'not quite' club.

Grimsby's Brandon McPherson and Lennon Stead both saw chances go begging with neither 'keeper willing to give up their clean-sheet without a fight.

Both sides continued to create chances but were unable to open the scoring during the first-half although both probably should have made more of their opportunities as the half went on.

Grimsby started the second-half well, and saw a couple of corners go to waste,but it was the visiting Saddlers who ultimately opened the scoring as defender Kory Roberts got on the end of a corner to head home at the back post.

THe home side didn't let the goal get them down and soon went in search of their own. And, following a trio of changes and a misplaced toe=poke, were rewarded just seven minutes from time.

The Mariners' goal came via Stead who was alert enough to poke the ball home following a flicked-on throw in as Saddlers hearts were broken as their search for a win continues.

1 - 1
Stead (83')
K.Roberts (62')
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