Central League Cup: Walsall 0 Rotherham United 3 Central League Cup: Walsall 0 Rotherham United 3

Central League Cup: Walsall 0 Rotherham United 3

Walsall Reserves were back in action on Tuesday afternoon as they played host to Rotherham United in the Central League Cup.
After opening their Cup campaign with a win over Huddersfield Town, the Saddlers' second-string were beaten 6-1 by Grimsby Town in their second cup outing earlier this month, giving the team plenty of frustration to take into this afternoon's match.

Tuesday afternoon saw the Saddlers name a young match squad, but, despite COVID protocols which mean the first-team and youth teams are kept apart, also included first-teamers Alfie Bates, Sam Perry and Shay Willock in his side.

Jackson; Manton, Simcox, Sawyers, Worley, Willis, Perry, Bates, Maher; Willock, Derry

Substitutes: Hedge; Angafor, Cristofaro, Shaw, Onabirekhanlen

Chapman; MacDonald, Exton, Cooper, Jenkinson; Greenhouse, Warne, Durose, Champion; Gratton, Greaves

Substitutes: Burnett, Carroll, McGuckin, Holvey, Nesbitt
The match was something of a slow burner, with the first notable effort not arriving until around eleven minutes of the first-half had passed as Millers man Will Jenkinson forced Walsall stopper Tommy Jackson into a save with a low, powerful effort on goal.

The next effort to pose a threat to the opposition 'keeper went the way of the Saddlers, as young prospect Ronan Maher, who continues to impress, as he found space before sending a dipping effort just past Joshua Chapman's post.

Walsall continued their search for the game's opening goal and, with just under ten minutes of the first-half remaining, went close via the foot of Callum Derry as the striker got past his man before forcing Chapman into a save from a tight angle.

Something of a goalmouth scramble followed Derry's thwarted effort, but the young Reds were unable to force the ball over the line as the scores remained tied heading towards the half-time break.

However, despite creating the lion share of openings during the first forty-five, the Saddlers reached the break a goal behind as Jerome Greaves put his side ahead with just a couple of minutes of the half remaining.


The first effort of the second-half went the way of Walsall as midfielder Joe Willis, who is currently on loan with Bromsgrove Sporting, advanced up the pitch before seeing his shot drift past the post.
Young prospect Ronan Maher was the next Saddler to try his luck as he was able to force Rotherham goalkeeper Chapman into a save with a well-placed volley.
After withstanding some Saddlers pressure, the visitors went on to double their lead as the match reached the hour mark as Greaves put the ball beyond Jackson. Back to the drawing board for the Saddlers.
Not long after netting their second goal, the visitors were handed an opportunity to add a third as the referee pointed to the spot following a coming together inside the area. Despite Greaves being on a hat-trick, it was Jacob Gratton who would step up and put the ball into the back of the net.
Walsall's search for a goal of their own was almost successful as Harry Manton, who netted the winning goal against Tranmere Rovers at the weekend, sent an effort just wide of goal.
The Saddlers went on to make their first change of the game as Callum Derry was replaced by Marvellous Onabirekhanlen. Following little action of note, the next change of the match saw Ronan Maher replaced by Antonio Cristofaro.

Joe Willis was the next to see an effort thwarted as he saw a powerful header saved by Chapman, the stopper producing the goods as he looked to protect his well-deserved clean sheet. Close, but not close enough as time continued to tick away.

Greaves (44')
Greaves (60')
 Gratton P (65')
Ray Hall Lane
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