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16 July 2016

Goals for Bakayoko (2), Oztumer (2) and Cuvelier...

Five-star Walsall continued their preparations for the new season with a straightforward friendly win at National League side Solihull Moors. 

Amadou Bakayoko and Erhun Oztumer each scored braces, while Florent Cuvelier was also on target in a one-sided contest at Damson Park. 

The Saddlers made a blistering start and took the lead inside five minutes, Oztumer coolly slotting home left-footed after being played in by Cuvelier. 

The visitors were far superior and they doubled their advantage three minutes later. 

Bakayoko broke into the box and was brought down by Moors keeper Nathan Vaughan, with the young striker then picking himself up to convert the resulting penalty. 

Jon Whitney’s side were creating chances almost at will. Cuvelier’s scuffed effort was held by Vaughan, Oztumer fired a 20-yard shot narrowly wide and Bakayoko’s drive was blocked. 

Their third goal duly arrived midway through the first half, when the impressive Oztumer side-footed in Bakayoko’s pull-back on the volley after a flowing team move. 

Rampant Walsall continued to fashion opportunites, with Bakayoko having a powerful near-post strike parried by Vaughan. 

On 37 minutes, it was 4-0. Cuvelier latched onto Oztumer’s incisive pass, burst away from the last defender and confidently placed a right-footed shot past Vaughan at his near post. 

Bakayoko went close to making it five before half time, as his spectacular dipping volley flashed just off target. 

A much-changed Saddlers XI emerged for the second half, which proved a more evenly-matched affair. 

Will Shorrock, a second-year scholar, cut in from the left before firing wide, while Kieron Morris tested Solihull’s substitute stopper with a rasping long-range strike. 

The home side showed some attacking promise, with Akwasi Asante seeing an attempt deflected wide and a trailist shooting off target from range. 

But Walsall had the final word, as Bakayoko coolly dispatched an 83rd-minute penalty after Jordon Sangha’s drive was handled.

WALSALL 1ST HALF: Etheridge, Edwards, McCarthy, Roberts, Henry, Chambers, Dobson, Kouhyar, Oztumer, Cuvelier, Bakayoko. 

WALSALL 2ND HALF: MacGillivray, Kinsella, Preston, O’Connor, Cockerill-Mollett, Osbourne, Dobson (Peters 63'), Morris, Sangha, Shorrock, Bakayoko.

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