Youth team reach top gear to brush Morecambe aside...IT WAS six of the best for the Saddlers’ youth team as they dominated basement side Morecambe 6-0 at Ray Hall Lane on Saturday afternoon.
Cameron Peters, Dan Vann, Maziar Kouhyar (pen), Will Shorrock, Kyle King and a spectacular Jordon Sangha strike gave Walsall their first victory in four matches and their fourth home league victory of the season.
The win keeps the youngsters in third position in the Football League Youth Alliance North-West Division standings, closing the gap on leaders Tranmere Rovers to just four points.
Peters, Vann and Kouhyar put the Saddlers 3-0 up at the interval, leaving Academy manager Neil Woods delighted with the blistering start his side made to the game: “We started brilliantly and could have scored within two minutes so I think the score was a fair reflection of the game today.
“The stats show that in the first-half of matches this season we haven’t started well and we haven’t been scoring many goals. So we’ve been putting a lot of emphasis on it throughout the week and improving the pace and tempo that we play at.”
Kouhyar and Shorrock found lots of space throughout and were able to instigate a high percentage of the Saddlers’ attacking play. Woods puts this down to a change in system which presented the aforementioned duo with licence to roam and cause havoc for the visiting defence.
“We played a slightly different system today which freed up a few people, and by freeing them up they got into areas to score goals,” said Woods. “It’s always good for each individual player’s confidence when they score goals.”
Woods had previously been frustrated for not getting the rewards that he felt his players’ performances have deserved, something which wasn’t evident in their victory over the Shrimps.
“Undoubtedly one of our Achilles heels this season has been not finishing off good build-up play,” he added. “Our possession and our control of the game has been excellent in most of the games we’ve played but we have lacked the goals at the end of it.
“It’s great for the lads to get some reward for the quality of football that they have been playing.”
The Saddlers travel to Fleetwood next week before returning for a crucial double-header at the beginning of November.
They take on Coventry City in the FA Youth Cup at the Banks’s Stadium on Wednesday 4th November (7pm kick-off), before returning to league action the following Saturday to take on table-topping Tranmere (11am kick-off).