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19 November 2013

Second-string continue feel-good factor...

THE SADDLERS' second-string were in seventh heaven with a 7-2 Central League West Division victory over Tranmere Rovers at a chilly Scholars Ground.

There were a couple of half-chances at either end in the opening exchanges before James McQuilkin found the net with a tenth minute opener.

A sharp turn and strike from Troy Hewitt produced a smart save from the visiting 'keeper as the resulting corner was blazed over by Mal Benning.

It was Walsall who were looking the most likely side and we made our advantage count with a three-goal burst in as many minutes. Firstly Hewitt hooked the ball goalwards as Julian Gray appeared to touch the ball over the line from close range.

Then McQuilkin lashed home with a sweet strike that gave the 'keeper no chance before Kieron Morris arrowed a strike home to make it 4-0.

Rovers were able to pull a goal back before the break and then followed it up with another early in the second period.

However, The Saddlers got back into our stride and after a neat move had ended with Morris dipping an effort over, some good work by substitute, Danny Griffiths, saw him feed Hewitt who was fouled inside the area for a penalty which McQuilkin smashed home to complete his hat-trick.

Soon afterwards, Ben George, who came on at half-time, found the net with a low strike that went in off the post before youth teamer, Romario Reid completed the scoring with a header from a right wing cross just five minutes after entering the action.

"We carried on from where the first-team left off last night," said reserve team boss, Richard O'Kelly. "The lads played with good intensity both with and without the ball.

"Our organisation was excellent, as was our behaviour and work ethic.

"We were up against experienced opposition but we went about our work in the right way and scored some cracking goals.

"It was nice to see James McQuilkin get a hat-trick; he conducts himself extremely well and we know that when his chance comes he will be ready to take it such is his attitude.

"The lads work hard day in, day out and support each other well. They strive to make each other better and they can be pleased with their efforts here."

WALSALL: Lewis, Purkiss, Benning, Preston, Holden, McQuilkin, Hemmings (Griffiths), Morris, Featherstone (R. Reid), Hewitt, Gray (George). Sub not used: Jones.

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