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DEVELOPMENT SQUAD: WALSALL 3-0 MORECAMBE

29 March 2016

A comfortable win for the Saddlers...

First-half goals from Levi Rowley, Kory Roberts and Will Shorrock earned Walsall’s Development Squad a comfortable win over Morecambe in the Final Third Development League.

Rowley’s smartly-taken lob put the Saddlers ahead on eight minutes and Kory Roberts doubled our advantage with a towering 25th-minute header.

The impressive Rowley then hit the bar with an excellent first-time strike before Shorrock’s looping header extended our advantage seven minutes before the break.

Walsall continued to dominate in the second half, with Rowley and substitute Nathan Owen each rattling the woodwork, but 3-0 was how it finished.

John Ward’s men displayed their attacking intent from the outset with Jordon Sangha advancing forward before firing over inside the opening minute.

The Saddlers had started brightly and opened the scoring after just eight minutes, as Rowley produced an exquisite right-footed lob over Morecambe keeper Niall Maher.

Tom Cowley had the visitors’ first attempt on 18 minutes, when he fired a long-range drive harmlessly over.

Walsall threatened to increase their lead, with Tonks dispossessing Oliver Box and carrying the ball almost the full length of the pitch before slicing well wide.

Josh Wakefield then almost made it 2-0 as he latched onto Shorrock’s clever flick before seeing a placed effort kept out by the legs of Maher.

The Saddlers, though, weren’t to be denied just seconds later, as Kory Roberts rose highest to head home via a post from Shorrock’s right-wing corner.

Walsall continued to look dangerous, with Rowley’s fizzing free-kick flying just over and Shorrock’s acrobatic bicycle kick testing Maher.

Moments later, the lively Shorrock regained possession on the edge of the area and set up Rowley to rattle the bar with a fantastic first-time strike.

The Saddlers’ third goal arrived on 37 minutes, Shorrock with a looping header into the net after Maher had thwarted Rowley at his near post.

Stafford-born Rowley, who played on loan for his hometown club earlier this season, twice went close to increasing Walsall’s tally after the interval.

First, he lifted an effort narrowly over after being found by Jordan Murphy on 51 minutes.

And moments later, Rowley span smartly away from his marker before lashing a rasping right-footed drive against the underside of the bar.

Walsall were rarely troubled defensively, although Morecambe could have reduced the arrears on 64 minutes.

Morgan Homson-Smith managed to wriggle away from two defenders but Saddlers stopper Liam Roberts blocked his poked attempt.

The home side pressed for more goals, with Jamie Smith volleying over from Shorrock’s corner and Maher then foiling Callum Cockerill-Mollett.

It was very nearly 4-0 with 12 minutes remaining, as substitute Owen’s curling right-footed free-kick from 25 yards clipped the top of the bar.

The final chance of the afternoon fell to Cameron Peters as he took Shorrock’s pass in his stride before steering a low drive just wide.

Team: L Roberts, Tonks (Vann 83’), Cockerill-Mollett, Sangha, Smith, K Roberts, Wakefield, Shorrock, Murphy, Rowley (Peters 70’), Kouhyar (Owen 45’).

Subs not used: Jezeph, Pooni.

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