Match report from last night's match...Four goals from Bassala Sambou ensured Walsall youth team were beaten 4-1 by Coventry City in the FA Youth Cup first round at the Banks’s Stadium.
Sambou put the visitors in firm control with a first-half hat-trick before Tobias Hayles-Docherty reduced the deficit in the second period.
But the striker grabbed a fourth late on to kill hopes of a Saddlers comeback.
Walsall enjoyed a positive start to the game; Rory Oliver and Cameron Peters both forced Sky Blues’ goalkeeper Corey Addai into smart saves inside the first 10 minutes.
Coventry weathered the early Walsall storm and took the lead after 20 minutes.
Reece Ford outwitted Sam Tonks down the left-hand side before the Saddlers defender hacked him down, leaving the referee no choice but to point to the penalty spot.
Sambou duly converted for his first of the night. The Saddlers looked for an immediate response; Oliver fed Peters who swivelled in the box, but his shot was blocked by the impressive Ford.
The goal of the night came on the half-hour mark as Jordan Shipley teased the Walsall defence before playing a perfectly weighted through ball for Sambou, the striker produced an unerring finish to find the top corner.
Sambou and Shipley combined again seven minutes later to increase the Sky Blues’ lead.
Shipley’s powerful drive was blocked by Kory Roberts, but it fell to Sambou who rolled the ball into an unguarded net to complete his treble.
The pacey forward could have had another just afterwards but his looping header cannoned back off the crossbar.
Jay Albini tapped home the rebound but he was adjudged to be in an offside position.
The hosts almost grabbed one back on the stroke of half-time; captain Jordon Sangha was brought down on the edge of the visitors’ box, but Nathan Owen’s free-kick sailed agonisingly wide of the upright with Addai beaten.
Half-time: Walsall 0-3 Coventry City
The visitors almost grabbed a fourth just after the interval when Shipley evaded a couple of challenges before unleashing a goal bound thunderbolt, fortunately for the Saddlers, Jezeph was on hand to prevent Coventry from moving out of sight.
The Saddlers began to rally and deservedly gave themselves a lifeline after Tobias-Hayles Docherty combined with Peters before the former lashed home for his first goal of the season.
Maziar Kouhyar danced past visiting skipper Darragh Leahy before unleashing a fierce left-footed drive, unfortunately it was straight at Addai who was able to beat the ball away from danger.
The Sky Blues were still a threat on the counter; Dan Jezeph did well to deny Dan Smith a goal after good work from the ever-impressive Shipley.
Substitute Kyle King was presented with a big chance to bring the Saddlers to within one goal of the visitors but he couldn’t find a way past the on-rushing Addai after he was played through on goal by Kouhyar.
Sambou added his fourth late on to seal a memorable night for the visitors; Jacob Whitmore crossed for substitute Kyle Finn, his effort was palmed away by Jezeph but the forward was first to react and add a bit of gloss to the score line.
Despite Neil Woods’ men producing a valiant second-half display, Coventry ran out worthy winners and move into the second round.
The Saddlers are back in Football League Youth Alliance North-West division action on Saturday as they play hosts to league-leaders Tranmere Rovers (11am kick-off).
Walsall XI: Jezeph; Tonks, Vann, Roberts, Cockerill-Mollet; Sangha ©, Owen; Oliver, Kouhyar, Hayles-Docherty (Cela 74); Peters (King 63)
Coventry XI: Addai; Whitmore, Ford, Leahy ©, Hickman; Maycock, Bayliss (Mantsounga 58); Albini (Finn 45), Shipley, Smith (Camwell 76); Sambou