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SADDLERS SLIP IN FINAL

2 May 2013

Second-string succumb to Stafford Rangers...

A SADDLERS' under-21 side went down to a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Stafford Rangers in the Final of the Walsall Senior Cup on Wednesday evening.

"We started slowly and found ourselves a goal down early on," said Academy Manager, Neil Woods. "I was pleased with the players' response to going a goal down; they attempted to try and play the right way but were restricted by the pitch which didn't allow us to be as fluid as we would have liked.

"Our equaliser came from a corner and was a poachers' goal by Aaron Williams who turned the ball home from close range.

"The whole game changed on the decision to send Alex Dallison off. There is no question that there was contact, but the issue is whether he was the last man and where he played the ball.

"Despite being reduced to ten men, we were comfortable up to half-time and we spoke during the interval about the need to be organised and keep a good shape, which we did for the majority of the second period.

"We missed a great chance to regain the lead and were made to pay when Stafford were awarded a penalty with around ten minutes to go, which they duly converted. It was disappointing because we felt that their player was offside before contact was made.

"As the clock ticked down, we gave it a real go, but in the end it was not to be.

"The application of our players has to be applauded. It was the final game of a long, hard season but they gave it their all. Credit also has to go to Stafford who gave it 100% throughout."

WALSALL: Roberts, Ashmore, Benning, Dallison, George, Taundry, Morris, Kinsella, A. Williams, Bowerman (Griffiths, Rush), J. Jones. Subs not used: Reid, Christopherou, R. Jones.

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