Young Development Squad record impressive 2-0 win...John Ward hailed his side’s 2-0 victory over Wrexham as one of the best performances in his time at the club.
Goals either side of half time from Tobias Hayles-Docherty and Callum Cockerill-Mollett was enough to see seal the victory over what was an experienced welsh outfit on Tuesday afternoon.
The result continues the Development Squad’s fine start to the campaign and after enjoying 18 months at the club, Ward was left purring at what he’s seen on Tuesday afternoon.
“I thought it was first class,” Ward beamed. “That’s the best performance I’ve had from the Development Squad.
“We’ve fielded a side who are all 19 or younger remember and they’ve chosen to go more senior because they’ve had a change of management.
“They had some strong boys in there and our lads have stood up to the task extremely well. Not only that, we’ve gone on to win the game and deservedly so.
“I thought we were well organised, had a fantastic work rate about us but above all we seemed to possess a knowledge of the task at hand and what needed to be done. It was really very pleasing.
“They started fast and strong and I think they had the bit between their teeth. So it was about staying with the game and you’re going to get that in football.
“They were very good on set plays and we had a lot of defending to do from corners but to have the ability and quality to go and win it was fantastic.
“We didn’t get silly on the ball, we remained organised but we had a confidence in each other that we’d go on and get our goals and it’s great to see from a young group of players.”
Ward included seven second year apprentices in his starting line-up, alongside first year professionals, Jordon Sangha, Rory Oliver, Milan Butterfield and Captain Kory Roberts.
After a competitive opening 30 minutes, the Saddlers found the breakthrough following a sweeping move involving Butterfield and Hayles-Docherty.
“The pass was slightly delayed and that’s the beauty of it,” explains Ward. “Milan has waited for Tobias’s run and it’s a great run too, the timing was great and the finish is low and out the keepers reach.
“Those little moves come from having an understanding and we’re getting together as a group more often now which help.
“The second was important.” And well taken too.
Hayles Docherty was again involved, this time the flying winger turned provider with a dummy which left his marker for dead before crossing into the box.
Wrexham failed to clear their lines and Cockerill-Mollett composed himself to fire into the roof of the net from a tight angle.
“We knew they’d come out the dressing room and their players will have experienced first team football so we had to react to that.
“We’ve dealt with their attacking threat and have been able to show that we can break and play ourselves.
“The second put the game further away from a good Wrexham team and probably disheartened them a little.
“When you consider the opposition and the way we executed the performance, the learning curves you see the lads go through, that was right up there.
“So it gives me great satisfaction as a coach to see them improve but enjoying improving as well.
“Some of these guys are getting a sniff of first team football now so it’s all very encouraging.”