2-1 home reverse for second-string...
THE SADDLERS have slipped to a 2-1 defeat to Wrexham in our first home game of the Central League West Division season.
On a sunny afternoon at The Scholars Ground, it was Walsall who started on the front-foot with Troy Hewitt making room for a low strike that he dragged wide. He then blazed another opportunity over shortly afterwards.
A curling effort from Reece Flanagan went wide before the 24th minute saw a deep cross from Ben Purkiss headed inches wide by Kieron Morris.
Ben George was denied by a block from the 'keeper and as the ball came back out, Hewitt could only head wide.
The visitors had the ball in the net with their first real effort at goal as Liam Roberts pushed out a cross from the right only as far as Theo Bailey-Jones who found the net from close range.
The goal injected life into the visitors as they pushed for a second.
With half-time approaching, a sharp move by The Saddlers ended with Flanagan finding Morris whose header sailed over. Then a neat ball from Nicky Featherstone found Hewitt who effort was touched round the post by Andy Coughlin.
There was still time for another smart save from the Wrexham 'keeper who helped his side go in at the break in front.
There was an early penalty for Walsall in the second period as George was felled only for Hewitt to fire the resulting spot-kick off the crossbar.
The visitors doubled their advantage when a cross from the right was swept home and despite The Saddlers pressing, we only had a goal from Hewitt to show as we lost the game 2-1.
"There were some good things," said reserve team boss, Richard O'Kelly. "What we are going to have to do is learn to deal with disappointment; we will react to this in a positive manner and move on to the next game.
"We conceded a sloppy opening goal and then stopped doing the things that had worked for us for a time after that.
"It was a good test for us. We've tried to do things with the ball and it was good to see Troy Hewitt get his name on the scoresheet, whilst we also got valuable game time into Andy Taylor and Matt Preston who are returning from injury."
WALSALL: Roberts, Purkiss, Taylor (Henry), Preston (Christopherou), Holden, Featherstone (Griffiths), George, McQuilkin, Hewitt, Flanagan, Morris. Sub not used: Jones.