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Development Squad

WALSALL SENIOR CUP: WOLVERHAMPTON CASUALS 3-4 WALSALL

28 March 2017

Candlin (2), Kinsella and Sangha with the goals...

The Saddlers reached the final of the Walsall Senior Cup with a thrilling victory at Wolverhampton Casuals. 

Maz Kouhyar had the game’s first chance on six minutes when his rasping left-footed drive deflected just over the bar. 

Walsall should have taken the lead ten minutes later but the unmarked Mitch Candlin side-footed straight at home keeper Vitor Pinheiro from Kouhyar’s low cross. 

Candlin, stretching, then headed a whipped Will Shorrock centre wide before Kevin Nickle lashed a half-volley over at the other end. 

The Casuals opened the scoring nine minutes before the break when Shaquille Lee headed a right-wing cross onto his own foot, with the ball bouncing fortuitously beyond Brandon Ganley. 

But the Saddlers equalised in first-half injury time, Liam Kinsella with a well-struck 20-yard effort which was too powerful for Pinheiro to keep out. 

And Walsall - targeting a league and cup double – edged in front nine minutes after the break, Candlin reacting quickest to tap home after Kouhyar’s low drive was parried by Pinheiro. 

Shorrock then curled over and Milan Butterfield dragged wide as the visitors looked to increase their advantage, with Candlin also having a goal disallowed for offside. 

But the hosts were gifted an equaliser on 72 minutes when Nickle profited on a defensive mix-up between Kory Roberts and Ganley to fire into an empty net. 

Undeterred, the Saddlers quickly restored their lead, Jordon Sangha drilling an unerring low shot into the bottom corner after substitute Tobias Hayles-Docherty’s fierce drive had rattled the post. 

And Walsall gave themselves breathing space 12 minutes from time as Hayles-Docherty’s cross-shot was turned in by poacher Candlin from virtually on the line. 

Pinheiro then made a smart stop to push away Sangha’s crisp right-footer and Roberts glanced a towering header wide from Kinsella’s corner. 

The Casuals pulled one back in added time, when a header from a corner bounced in off the underside of the bar – but the Saddlers held on.

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