Match Preview: v Brighton & Hove Albion U21s (H) Match Preview: v Brighton & Hove Albion U21s (H)
Posted by: Bescot Banter

Match Preview: v Brighton & Hove Albion U21s (H)

Here we take a look ahead to the Saddlers' EFL Trophy meeting with the Seagulls' Under-21s.
Don't forget to join us across our social media channels where we'll bring you all the matchday build-up, in-game updates, and post-match reaction as the Saddlers play host to Brighton's under-21s in their first group game of the EFL Trophy.


Walsall's less-than-encouraging start to the season continued at the weekend as they let slip a two-goal advantage to take a point away to Crewe Alexandra.

Scoring via Freddie Draper—who opened his account for the season with less than forty-seconds played—and Isaac Hutchinson, the Saddlers looked to be heading for their second win of the season.

However, in all-too-familiar fashion, Mat's men went on to concede two second-half goals to take just a point from a contest that they had bossed for lengthy periods of time.

Whether you believe the early games of the season shouldn't be judged too harshly, or feel the team should be on it from the opening day of the campaign, there is little doubt that too many repeats of Saturday's performance and the Reds will once again be facing down the barrel of a potential drop to the National League.

Most of the faithful will tell you that the team has the makings of a successful one, but will also be painfully aware that potential can easily go to waste, especially if you allow teams to fight back from two-nil down to take something from a game you should have won.


Walsall remain without the services of Priestley Farquharson, Rollin Menayese, Jack Earing, Brandon Comley, and Tom Knowles as they continue to work their way back to full fitness after suffering a variety of injuries and issues.

Joe Foulkes (knock) should be fit enough to feature in the matchday squad, despite being forced off against Crewe Alexandra on Saturday afternoon.

Head Coach Mat Sadler may well opt to give minutes to some of his fringe players, with the likes of Jackson Smith, Taylor Allen, and Ronan Maher looking to force their way into contention.


Brighton's Under 21s primarily compete alongside twenty-five other teams in the Premier League 2, and have played two games so far this season, winning one and drawing the other.

Managed by Head Coach Shannon Ruth, the young Seagulls could pose quite a threat to Walsall, especially given their timid start to the new campaign.


The midweek match won't be the first meeting between Walsall and Brighton's starlets, as they were previously drawn together in the EFL Trophy in 2021/22 with their group stage meeting taking place at the Bescot on Tuesday, 14th September 2021.

The match was a close-run affair with only Kieran Phillips' first-half goal to separate the two sides as Walsall grabbed their only win of the group stage, though they did advance to the Second Round after a shoot-out win over Northampton Town, a defeat to Forest Green Rovers, and some favourable results elsewhere..


The EFL has confirmed that Thomas Parsons will be the man in the middle, whilst Alan Cresswell and Marc Wilson have been named assistant referees. Jack Forder will act as Fourth Official.



If you're not planning on going to the game you can catch the match via the club's in-house service - iFollow Walsall - which takes you through the highs and lows of every Saddlers game.

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