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RESERVES END WITH A DRAW

28 April 2015

Second-string share spoils in stalemate...

THE SADDLERS' reserve team ended their Final Third Development League West Division campaign with a goalless draw against Tranmere Rovers.

Fielding a very youthful team, chances at either end were decidedly few and far between during the opening period. Ashley Grimes dragged an effort well wide, whilst at the other end, trailist goalkeeper, James Montgomery, was rarely tested.

The second half started with skipper, Jordan Sangha, seeing a strike deflected wide for The Saddlers before Montgomery was alert to clear outside his area ahead of Cole Stockton.

The visitors went on to rattle the crossbar with a header following a cross from the left.

There was a change on the hour as Grimes was replaced by Jake Heath as Walsall went close when Sangha's stinging strike was pushed out by the visiting 'keeper.

After Nathan Owen dipped an effort over, another powerful drive from Sangha was pushed over by Luke Pilling. The resulting corner saw a stooping header from Paul Downing but it failed to trouble the 'keeper.

With Walsall enjoying a good spell in the closing stages, Brendan Pooni was denied by the 'keeper as Sangha had another low strike saved. Then late on, Brendan Pooni saw his effort deflected wide before a Heath free-kick was saved.

The last action saw Amadou Bakayoko replacing Pooni as honours ended even.

"I was delighted with our young lads and for them," said Neil Woods. "There were five or six of them out there who have been in and out of the Under-18s team this season, so it was a chance to take a look at them.

"We want it to be a proper game and it was certainly that. The young boys were terrific with Paul Downing showing a first-class attitude. He inspired and motivated the young lads around him.

"We can look forward to the future with optimism." 

WALSALL: Montgomery, K. Roberts, Lewis, Sangha, Downing, R. Smith, Oliver, Ower, Pooni (Bakayoko 89), Grimes (Heath 59), Kouyhar. Subs not used: K. Rowley, Jezeph

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