Youth Alliance: Walsall 2 Accrington Stanley 4 Youth Alliance: Walsall 2 Accrington Stanley 4

Youth Alliance: Walsall 2 Accrington Stanley 4

Here is how the Saddlers' Under-18s got on in their latest EFL Youth Aliance outing of the new campaign.
Walsall Under-18s returned to action on Saturday morning as they played host to Accrington Stanley Under-18s in the EFL Youth Alliance - North West.

After losing their opening two games of the 2023/24 Youth Alliance campaign with a 3-0 defeat to Blackpool and 4-1 reverse against Carlisle United, the young Saddlers were looking to return to winning ways when they welcomed Accrington Stanley to Ray Hall Lane.

Stanley, on the other hand, have enjoyed an unbeaten start to the new season as they opened the campaign with a 5-3 triumph over Port Vale, before drawing 202 with Wrexham ahead of a 3-2 Alliance Cup victory over Burton Albion.

Barrett; Poskitt, Roberts, Bennett, Jones, Cox, Preeze, Thomas, Wragg, Juliff, Leydon

Substitutes: Kilroy; Etheridge, Chakki, Straw, Uchenna
Walsall named a team consisting of first and second-year scholars along with several players from the Under-16s as the management look to provide a clear pathway trough the academy and into the first-team.

Unfortunately for the Saddlers, their desire to upset the apple cart didn't get off to a great start as the visitors took the lead via Brad Kelly's back post tap-in with just eleven minutes of the first-half played.

Walsall's poor start continued just three minutes later as Stanley doubled their lead, however, they were able to halve the visitors' advantage minutes later as young forward Jaiy Leydon slotted the ball into the bottom corner.

Despite going two down with just fourteen minutes on the clock, the Saddlers were able to avoid a total collapse and put the game back on level terms with thirty-minutes played as Leydon grabbed his and his team's second of the contest in a goal-heavy first-half.


The visitors repeated their strong start to proceedings in the second-half as, following a scramble inside the Walsall area, the ball was bundled beyond Saddlers stopper George Barrett and over the line, putting them back into the lead.

Looking to change the direction of the contest, the Saddlers made their first changes of the game shortly before the hour mark as Charlie Wragg was replaced by Will Uchenna with Jackson Preece replacing Linton Chakki later in the half.

The game looked to be getting away from the Saddlers with around thirteen minutes of the half remaining as after a Stanley corner was only partially cleared, the visitors were able to get the ball back into the final third and, more importantly, over the line, to double their lead.

Walsall responded to the goal by making some more changes as Ollie Jones made way for Will Etheridge before George Barrett and Tom Cox were replaced by Jenson Kilroy and Stan Straw, as the coaches continue to offer plenty of game time to some of their youngest prospects.

Another defeat for the youngsters, but more match minutes for some of the apprentices who are vying for scholarships both at the end of the current campaign and beyond.

LEYDON (17')
LEYDON (30')

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