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10 December 2013

Academy Manager on our 2-1 defeat at The Hawthorns...

THE SADDLERS' youth team went down to a 2-1 defeat at neighbours, West Bromwich Albion in the FA Youth Cup.

A goal from Carlton McKenzie on the half-hour gave us the lead but The Baggies managed to turn the scoreline around to edge through.

"They had control for the opening ten or 15 minutes," admitted Academy Manager, Neil Woods. "I was pleased with our organisation and discipline during this period and it allowed us to go on and take control of proceedings for the remainder of the half.

"We played some good football and were a particular threat in wide areas. We took a deserved lead on the half-hour but were unfortunate to concede an equaliser shortly afterwards.

"That said, I was very pleased at half-time, it was a professional and organised display.

"To their credit, West Bromwich Albion keep the ball well and they started the second period brightly, but we worked hard and, to be fair, I couldn't see a goal coming.

"Unfortunately they managed to get their noses in front and I was disappointed with our reaction to that. We failed to react in the way that our hosts did when they went behind and I was looking for a spark from somewhere, which sadly didn't come.

"Albion were the better side for most of the second half, but, at the end of the day, we've come away being narrowly beaten by a good Premier League outfit with good coaches and players, which is no disgrace.

"Our good bits were good, but we failed to maintain the standards that we set ourselves in the latter part of the first half."

WALSALL: Jones, Ashmore, Henry, Kinsella, Dallison, Christopherou, McKenzie, Delaney (L. Rowley), Bakayoko, Rush, Reid (K. Rowley). Subs not used: Lovett, Garner, Probert.

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