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SADDLERS SHOW BATTLING QUALITIES TO SEE OFF SHREWS

19 September 2016

Neil Wood's side made to earn a 1-0 victory over near neighbours...

Walsall youth team got back to winning ways after a hard fought out 1-0 win over rivals Shrewsbury Town on Saturday morning.

It was a different kind of performance that the young Saddlers are used to as they demonstrated their battling qualities rather than dictating the play. Several injuries to the squad meant Neil Woods had to reshuffle the pack a little but a second half Cameron Peters goal was enough to take all three points.

Walsall came straight out of the blocks and put immediate pressure on the home side. After beginning the game on the front foot, they saw a lot of the ball but failed to create a clear chance on goal.

Shrewsbury then started to find their rhythm and tried to find pockets of space to create opportunities.

The home side had a couple of chances from distance that come to nothing but it was an emphatic long range effort from Rammell midway through the half that nearly gave them the lead. The midfielder picked up the ball around 25 yards out and laced a thunderous shot which smashed the bar and hit the back of goalkeeper Ganley, which fortunately didn't cross the line.

Ten minutes later and Shrewsbury were whiskers away again. Ofori is found by an in-swinging corner but his glancing header towards the back post goes wide of the mark.

McAtee of Shrewsbury chipped in with a chance too after bursting through the Walsall defence but his one on one effort is well saved by Ganley.

Three decent chances for Shrewsbury but Walsall held them off to go into the break with the score lines level.

Half-time: Shrewsbury 0-0 Walsall

The start of the second half was similar to the first with Walsall coming straight out to Shrewsbury from the whistle.

Candlin has an opportunity a minute in as a chipped ball finds him in the box but his volley is wide of the near post. Midway through the second period and Shrewsbury didn't have as many clear cut chances as they did in the first half and it became a real midfield battle - with Maddocks and Shorrock in particular getting stuck in.

Walsall were rewarded for their fight and endeavour as Peters put the Saddlers ahead in the 69th minute. Right back Tonks hit a lovely ball over the top to get Peters in behind and the frontman showed great technique as he side footed the bouncing ball over the on rushing keeper into the back of the net.

With 20 minutes left Walsall kept fighting and battling in hope of holding onto the victory.

Shrewsbury threw everyone forward trying to rescue a point and went close when they hit the woodwork. Substitute Mwandwe was found in a crowded penalty area but his header hit the post to the relief of the Walsall boys.

Kendrick then pulled off a game saving slide tackle as a minute later Mwandwe nearly burst through but the well timed challenge prevented any hope of a Shrewsbury equaliser.

Full-time: Shrewsbury 0-1 Walsall

Walsall team: Ganley, Tonks, Fisher (Perry 49'), Maddocks, Kendrick, Cockerill-Mollet, Mason (Cairns 66'), Cela, Peters, Shorrock, Candlin (O'Sullivan 83').

Unused subs: Friel, Nolan.

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