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Youth Alliance: Walsall 1 Preston North End 1

The young Saddlers were back in action on Saturday morning.
Walsall Under-18s returned to action on Saturday as they played host to Preston North End U18s in their latest EFL Youth Alliance - North West outing of the season.

After losing all eight of their alliance outings, Miguel Llera's side came up against third-placed Preston, with the young Lilywhites doing much better form wise, having won six of their nine games so far.

WALSALL TEAM
Charlie Jew; Dan Baldwin, Alex Worley, Jack Lynch, Antonio Cristoforo, Oliver Jones, Jack Shaw, Ronan Maher, Samin Sarvari, Marvellous Onabirekhanlen, Shay Willock

Substitutes: Zack Hedge; Piers Juliff, Josh Simcox, Kadeem Wisdom, Lucas Edwards
 
The match got off to a slow start, with neither side able to trouble their opposite defence for the opening fifteen minutes or so.
 
It was the Saddlers who would create the first effort of the game as Ronan Maher headed the ball just wide of goal following a well-worked corner routine.
 
Buoyed by their opportunity, the Saddlers would go on to take the lead just a few minutes later as Samin Sarvarigot on the end of a nice pass to round goalkeeper James Pradic and slot home from a tight angle.
 
Walsall went close to doubling their lead around twelve minutes after their opener, as Marvellous Onabirekhalen saw a shot creep just wide of the post, as Mather stretched to get on the end of the wayward effort.
 
The Saddlers continued to frustrate their opponents with the visitors forced into long-range efforts,  Jacob Slater going closest with ten minutes of the half remaining.
 
Not long after being forced into the first change of the match, as Dana De Oliveira Amaral was replaced by Kian Best, Preston produced some good link up play between Slater and Hashim Khan, which resulted in Slater firing wide of the Charlie Jew's hand post.

HT
WFC
1-0
PNEFC

Walsall started the second-half brightly, and went close to doubling their lead via the foot of midfielder Maher as the young prospect lifted the ball just over the Preston crossbar with a dangerous free-kick.

The visitors continued to be frustrated by a determined Walsall backline as they were forced into another long-rage effort. This time it was Rio Pemberton who did the honours, with Charlie Jew more than equal to the task.

A couple of minutes after seeing a tame effort gathered by the 'keeper, Walsall scorer Savari became Llera's first change of the game as Lucas Edwards took to the field.

Along with the booking of Josh Seary towards the end of the first-half, Preston went on to pick up another couple of cards as both Harry Nevin and Kian Best were added to the referee's ever-increasing list.

Frustratingly for the Saddlers, they couldn't hold onto their lead for the entire game as the visitors went on to grab an equaliser as Jacob Holland-Wilkinson got on the end of Seary's superb whipped cross to put his team back on level terms. Seary doing well to get down the wing after regaining the ball.

Walsall went on to make a further change after the North End leveller, as Jack Shaw was replaced by Kadeem Wisdom as Llera went in search of another goal.

The visitors also went on to make a change as Pemberton made way for Finlay Cross-Adair with just over ten minutes of the contest remaining.

Walsall continued to look for a lead-taking goal, but had to be alert at the back as the visitors were also seeking a winner. Preston went closes to a second as defender Joe Blanchard forced Jew into a super save with a well-placed effort on goal.
 
FT
WFC
1-1
PNEFC
Sarvari (22')
Holland-Wilkinson (68')
AT
Ray Hall Lane
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