Boss pleased with Grimsby win...Jon Whitney says his young Walsall side can take lots of positives from last night’s 5-2 victory over Grimsby in the Checkatrade Trophy.
Andrew Boyce gave the Mariners an early lead, but a 26-minute Amadou Bakayoko hat-trick put Whitney’s side in control at the break.
Kieron Morris netted his third goal in as many matches to make it 4-1, before Luke Summerfield pulled one back.
But the Saddlers had the final say, with youngster Maz Kouhyar’s first career goal - on his full debut - putting the gloss on a comprehensive win.
“There were lots of positives,” said Whitney. “Firstly Ama with his hat-trick – it was his first one so it was great for him – and there were full debuts as well for Maz and Callum (Cockerill-Mollett).
“The number of appearances combined in our starting XI was about 400, while for them it was 3,000.
“Grimsby are a good, solid League Two team and we needed to pit our wits against them, match them and then let our quality shine through – which we did.
“It was interesting at 3-1 in the second half after Saturday because we tried to teach them how to cope with what to do when the momentum turns.
“You could see for five minutes they had a few chances so it’s a great learning curve about how you turn that around by not being defensive. You go and step forward again on the front foot and I thought some of the goals were excellent.
“Erhun Oztumer ran the show, Ama was clinical, Maz took his goal really well and everyone, to a man, put a shift in.”