Added time own-goal gives Woods' side deserved win…
AN OWN GOAL in added time gave Neil Woods’ men a deserved 1-0 victory over Carlisle on Thursday afternoon following a second half-onslaught.
The Youth Team Manager’s team talk sparked the youngsters in to life, dominating both possession and chances after an even first 45-minutes.
But it took until the 91st minute to find the breakthrough when Maziar Kouhyar’s effort was deflected in.
The win keeps the young Saddlers hot on the heels of the top two in the Youth Alliance League who they still have to play in their remaining fixtures.
After a nip-and-tuck opening to the game it was the visitors who registered the first real chance.
A right wind corner was whipped in to the front post for Joe Robson to see his glancing header flash narrowly wide.
With a quarter of an hour on the clock it was again Carlisle who looked most threatening and should have been ahead through Bradbury.
A floated ball to the back post deceived Sam Tonks and dropped on to the foot of the Cumbrian who could only side foot volley his effort wide.
The young Saddlers were struggling to find any rhythm, Peters dragging a shot wide following an intelligent run down the left.
Carlisle added to their shot count on the half-hour mark when Quigley’s goal bound effort struck team mate Hall on it’s way through.
Nathan Owen jinked his way forwards moment later, teeing up Will Shorrock who will be disappointed to have snatched at his left-footed drive.
The diminutive Kyle King, never short of enthusiasm, was a constant nuisance and with half time approaching couldn’t keep down a back-post header.
As the interval edged nearer Kory Roberts found space inside the Carlisle area and after a fine delivery from the left, headed tamely into the arms of Bacon in goal.
HALF TIME: Walsall 0-0 Carlisle United
Neil Woods’ half-time team talk seemed to spark the young Saddlers in to life with the home side dominating from the whistle.
The creative Maziar Kouhyar, a calming influence alongside Jordan Sangha, showed great poise to weave his way forward before firing over form the edge of the box.
It was the beginning of a 45-minute onslaught for the home side who penned back their opponents and took a stranglehold on the game.
Enterprising full-back Cockerill-Mollett needed no invite to get forward and after cutting inside on to his unflavoured fight foot, could only curl an effort over the bar.
Hayles-Docherty replaced King on the hour mark and was instantly in on the action. Will Shorrock first saw his effort blocked before the substitute followed up with another rasping shot, which cannoned into the Carlisle defence.
Woods’ men were really turning the heat on the visitors and it was one-way traffic with Jezeph’s duties limited to clearing the ball down field.
Again the shots were raining down on the Carlisle goal with Bacon producing a smart save down to his right following a powerful Hayles-Docherty strike.
It was the young substitute who was finding space on the left hand side and when controlling neatly from a Peters pass should have tested the goalkeeper with his weaker foot.
With the minutes ticking down Carlisle couldn’t get to grips with the waves of Walsall attack but very nearly snatched all three points themselves late on.
Pearson’s cross from the right was flicked on to Hold who’s downward header drifted just wide of the far post.
It was a rare venture forwards for the visitors but moments later they were again on the back food as the game drifted into added time.
Kouhyar shifted the ball on to his right foot and after seeing his initial effort blocked, hit a low drive across goal. The out-stretched leg of Pearson deflected the ball past Bacon in goal and finally Woods’ men had found the break through with the last piece of action in the game.
Kouhyar tried to claim the goal after the full time whistle. Not happening.
FULL TIME: Walsall 1-0 Carlisle
STARTING XI: Jezeph, Tonks, Vann, Roberts, Cockerill-Mollett, Owen, Kouhyar, Sangha, Shorrock, King, Peters
SUBS: Maddocks, Caswell, Cela (71 Shorrock), Pooni (Peters 81), Hayles-Docherty (King 60)