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EFL Youth Alliance Cup: Walsall 1 Shrewsbury Town 1
Here is our update from the Saddlers' EFL Youth Alliance Cup clash with Shrewsbury Town.
Walsall Under-18s returned to action on Saturday morning as they played host to near rivals Shrewsbury Town Under-18s in their third and final EFL Youth Alliance Cup - Group 2 outing of the season.

The young Saddlers went into the game without a single win or draw in any of their Alliance or Alliance Cup games, as their dismal start to the season continued with last weekend's 3-2 defeat to Oldham Athletic.

WALSALL TEAM
Zach Hedge; Rio Sawyers, Tom Fox, Noel Angafor, Josh Simcox, Lee Quincey, Jack Shaw, Antonio Cristofaro, Marvellous Onabirekhanlen, Will Uchenna, Ronan Maher

Substitutes: George Barrett; Samim Sarvari, Callum Derry, Malik Lawal-Olumetbon
 
Sitting at the bottom of Group 2 the Saddlers, who are joined in the group by Port Vale, Burton Albion, and table-topping Shrewsbury, were in dire need of a positive result with the team losing all nine of their previous outings across the Alliance and Alliance Cup.
 
The game, which took place at the Birmingham County FA's headquarters on Ray Hall Lane in Great Barr, started slowly, with neither side able to make much impact in the final third, although Walsall did look particularly sharp.

The first notable action of the half came via Walsall's Will Uchenna, who was able to get the better of the Shrewsbury backline before breaking into the box and sending a strong effort just past the post.
 
The first goal of the game didn't arrive until the second-half, but it was worth the wait as the Saddlers took the lead via Ronan Maher's well-directed header just moments after the second forty-five had got underway.
 
It wasn't all good news, however, as goalkeeper Zach Hedge, who was originally named on the bench before moving into the starting XI, was forced off through injury shortly before the hour mark. His replacement, George Barrett, finally getting his place between the sticks.

Sadly for the Saddlers, substitute 'keeper Barrett's clean sheet didn't last long, as much-fancied Shrewsbury midfielder Josh Barlow got the visiting Salop back on level terms with sixty-four minutes on the clock.

There were no further goals as Miguel Llera's young Saddlers secured their first point of the campaign, sadly it'll do little for their league position as it came in the Cup competition.
 
FT
WFC
1-1
STFC
Maher (46')
Barlow (64')
AT
Ray Hall Lane
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