Walsall 3-2 T & T Pro League XI...
Walsall 3-2 T & T Pro League XI
Sunday, 7th July
Ato Boldon Stadium, Trinidad
The Saddlers took on a Trinidad and Tobago Pro League XI at the Ato Bolden Stadium this evening.
The match kicked off at 6.30pm as a women's cup final was played before the main event.
The Saddlers lined up as follows:
Liam Roberts, Ben George, Andy Butler, Dean Holden, James Chambers, Ashley Hemmings, Nicky Featherstone, Jake Heath, James Baxendale, Danny Griffiths, Rundell Winchester.
Our hosts made a lively start to the game, almost as lively as the steel band that played, at great pace, from the opening whistle.
Liam Roberts did well to palm away a Mikhail Awai drive from close range after five minutes.
Danny Griffiths almost opened the scoring when he turned on the edge of the 18 yard line. However his rasping drive was tipped over by Kevin Graham.
T & T took the lead on the half hour mark when Jomal Williams slotted home from 18 yards.
Mal Benning replaced James Chambers as The Saddlers reverted to a flat back four just before the interval.
The Saddlers lined up for the second-half as follows:
Liam Roberts, Ben Purkiss, Mal Benning, Paul Downing, Dwight Pope, Reece Flanagan, Sam Mantom, Omari Sterling-James, A Triallist, Gem Gordon.
Tobagan Triallist, Gem Gordon, almost made an immediate impact when he was played in by Omari Sterling-James. However, the youngster's shot was easily gathered by Graham.
Paul Downing was next to threaten the T & T goal when he connected with a Reece Flanagan centre. However, his header went just wide of the back post.
Our hosts doubled their advantage soon after as Neil Benjamin Jr timed his run to perfection to latch on to a well-placed through ball and slot home.
Credit to The Saddlers though who, despite an early start and intense strength session, continued to press and compete in the humidity of the Trinidadian evening.
Tobagan triallist, Gem Gordon, pulled one back for The Saddlers with 20 minutes to go when he coolly slotted home.
And Gordon quickly levelled proceedings when he made it two in two minutes after being played in by Reece Flanagan.
A. Triallist was next to try his luck as he spotted Graham off his line he attempted to lob the T & T keeper only for Graham to recover in time and tip the ball over the bar.
If that wast drama enough, The Saddlers completed a stunning comeback to snatch a deserved victory with just minutes to go.
A. Triallist and Gordon linked up well on the edge of the box before the former curled home to give Dean Smith's Men a second successive victory.
Afterwards, The Saddlers were presented with the Challenge Trophy along with medals for each player to mark their victory on Trinidadian soil.