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AN INDEPENDENT LOOK AT WALSALL FOOTBALL CLUB

Central League: Walsall 2 Grimsby Town 0

Walsall's development team were back in Central League action on Tuesday afternoon as they played host to Grimsby Town Reserves on the 4G pitch at Banks's Stadium.
The match was played on the 4G pitch behind the HomeServe Stand at Banks's Stadium as the pitch at the Birmingham City FA's headquarters on Ray Hall Lane remains in poor condition due to a combination of several fixtures and recent bad weather.

The Saddlers' most recent Central League outing saw them bounce back from going a goal down to defeat Rotherham United by two-goals-to-one with Luke Pearce being joined on the scoresheet by Millers defender Jake Hull who slipped the ball past his own goalkeeper to gift Walsall their first win of the campaign.

Development coach Brian Dutton named a varied side as he and first-team manager Darrell Clarke continue to consider their options with several places in next season's squad still up for grabs.

Walsall XI: Rogerson; Coogan, Lynch, K.Roberts, Leak, Jules; Nolan, Bates, Hardy; Pearce, McSkeane

Substitutes: S.Perry, Francis, Moss, Stephens, Campbell

The Saddlers' first opening of the game came via former Reading winger Jack Nolan who looked to open the scoring with a long-distance effort. Sadly, Jack's couldn't get his effort on target as the ball cleared the bar.

James Hardy was the next Saddler to have an effort on goal as he found space on the edge of the area and - as with Jack Nolan's effort - a promising attacking move ended with the ball clearing Grimsby's crossbar as the scores remained tied.

The visitors' first real opening arrived after around seventeen minutes and saw striker Ahkeem Rose cut the ball back to an onrushing Brandon Buckley, who was unable to capitalise upon the space afforded to him as he sent an effort wide of Dominic Rogerson's goal.

Walsall's next effort came via James Hardy as the former AFC Fylde prospect unleashed an effort which Mariners goalkeeper Hugo Banks was equal to as he kept his sheet clean with under ten minutes of the first-half remaining.

There were no further openings as the match reached the break with the scores tied, all to play for in the second forty-five.

WALSALL
0 - 0
GRIMSBY

The first chance of the second-half went the way of the Saddlers as Alfie Bates' free-kick was met by an advanced Kory Roberts who could only flick the ball onto the bar as the scores remained tied.

The Saddlers soon went on to make a couple of changes with Sam Perry and Jayden Campbell replaced Alex McSkeane and Tom Leak as Brian Dutton opted for some fresh legs both in attack and defence.

Saddlers sub Jayden Campbell was able to have an almost immediate impact as he got on the end of a Nolan cross to head the ball home at the back post to give his team a welcome and deserved lead.

Buoyed by Campbell's goal the Saddlers went on to double their lead with eighteen minutes of the game remaining as Luke Pearce got on the end of Nolan's long-ball to nod the ball past the 'keeper before slotting home.

Shortly after doubling their lead the Saddlers went on to make a few more changes as Jack Nolan, James Hardy and Luke Pearce made way for Ramani Stephens, Perry Moss and Ade Francis.

There were no further goals as the Saddlers were able to secure a welcome win, their second in as many games, a result which puts them level on points with their defeated opponents heading into the next round of fixtures.

WALSALL
2 - 0
GRIMSBY
Campbell (63')
Pearce (72')



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