Youth Alliance: Walsall 1 Preston North End 2 Youth Alliance: Walsall 1 Preston North End 2

Youth Alliance: Walsall 1 Preston North End 2

The young Saddlers were back in Alliance action on Tuesday afternoon.
Walsall Under-18s returned to action on Tuesday afternoon as they welcomed Preston North End to the Birmingham County FA's Headquarters on Ray Hall Lane for their latest EFL Youth Alliance outing of the season.

After suffering a four-nil thrashing to Shrewsbury Town at the weekend, the Saddlers were tasked with taking on table-topping Preston, a side that had only lost three of their twelve alliance outings, compared to the Saddlers' record of nine losses in eleven.

Kilroy; Beckford, Roberts, Bennett, Straw, Cox, Preece, Webb, Teesdale, Wragg, Etheridge
Substitutes: Barber; Wilkes, Lawal-Olumegbon, Davis, Leydon

Stowell; Brindle, Pasiek, Horan, McGhee, Khan, Tarry, Kamara, Rodriguez-Gentile, T.Mawene, Wilson

Substitutes: Critchley, Garrigan, Eccleston, Carroll, Gairns

Sadly for the Saddlers, their form showed little sign of improving as it was the visitors who went on to grab the opening goal of the game as, following what the referee adjudged to have been a foul inside the area, Kacper Pasiek stepped up and converted from the penalty spot.

The visitors could have doubled their lead around eight minutes later as Theo Mawene crashed a free-kick off Jenson Kilroy's crossbar, North End being handed the opportunity following Stan Straw's strong challenge on the edge of the area, something the youngster was booked for.

Despite their visitors' defensive strength, the young Saddlers were able to create openings of their own and went on to convert one such chance with around seven minutes of the first-half remaining as Charlie Wragg pounced upon a defensive error to slot the ball beyond Li-Bau Stowell and into the back of the net.

North End almost put themselves back into the lead late in the half as Kilroy's crossbar was once again struck with Ellis Horan the latest to be denied by the woodwork after finding himself in space on the edge of the Walsall area.


Preston started the second-half strongly and went on to put themselves back into the lead as 17-year-old Brazilian striker Felipe Rodriguez-Gentile reacted quickest to a Kilroy parry to tap the rebound over the line.

Walsall went on to make changes as the half continued with Cailen Beckford and Finn Teesdale being replaced by Jaiy Leydon and Kobe Wilkes before Ethan Davies replaced Will Etheridge, Charlie Wragg made way for Abdul-Malik Lawal-Olumegbon and Harrison Barber too the place of Jenson Kilroy between the sticks.

The match was something of an ill-tempered affair with the Saddlers collecting a series of bookings, whilst Preston captain Max Wilson was shown a red card for using his elbow in an aerial challenge.

There were no further goals as the visitors secured all three points, though the match was far from the thrashing the form guide might have suggested as the young Saddlers continue to enter positive performances without the reward of some points.

WRAGG (38')

PASIEK [P] (10')
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