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Development Squad

Walsall Senior Cup final: Walsall 3-1 Stafford Rangers

2 May 2017

Development Squad

Walsall Senior Cup final: Walsall 3-1 Stafford Rangers

2 May 2017

Goals from Butterfield, Hayles-Docherty and Bakayoko...

The Saddlers lifted the Walsall Senior Cup for the second time after beating Stafford Rangers. 

Milan Butterfield calmly slotted the hosts ahead on 35 minutes before Tobias Hayles-Docherty made it 2-0 shortly after half-time. 

Amadou Bakayoko added a third, and although Kyle Perry pulled one back for Rangers, Walsall held on. 

The Saddlers made the brighter start, with towering midfielder Butterfield twice going close inside the opening ten minutes. 

The Bermudan international first curled wide from 25 yards before seeing a downward header from a Jordon Sangha corner tipped behind by Rangers keeper Adam Whitehouse. 

The visiting custodian was then on hand to claim Amadou Bakayoko’s attempted lob as the Saddlers continued to do most of the early running. 

Rangers soon grew into the contest, with Benjamin Haseley missing his kick when well-placed and Jake Heath heading an Izak Reid cross tamely into the arms of Brandon Ganley. 

The visitors had a golden chance to go ahead on 22 minutes as Reid raced through on goal but Ganley stood up well to block his attempt. 

Ganley thwarted the Northern Premier League club again moments later, the keeper diving to his right to paw away a Matthew Bailey header. 

Back came the hosts, with Tobias Hayles-Docherty jinking into the box before testing Whitehouse with a firm near-post drive. 

And Walsall made the breakthrough ten minutes before the break, Butterfield coolly slotting the ball beyond Whitehouse after being cleverly slipped in by Bakayoko. 

Stafford almost levelled eight minutes later, but Perry’s sweetly-struck 20-yard half-volley whistled a fraction wide. 

Instead, the Saddlers doubled their lead six minutes into the second half, Hayles-Docherty sweeping Bakayoko’s low cross past Whitehouse at his near post. 

And the home side added a third just before the hour when Bakayoko – who was yesterday named the Saddlers’ Young Player of the Season – flicked home Sangha’s free-kick. 

With the game running away from them, Rangers almost grabbed a lifeline as Perry headed a long ball over Ganley but Kory Roberts got back to produce an excellent goalline clearance. 

Hayles-Docherty threatened to extend the hosts’ advantage with a deflected cross-shot which Whitehouse did well to tip over. 

Stafford refused to let their heads drop as they looked for a route back into the match. 

Butterfield was in the right place to block ex-Saddler Kris Taylor’s venomous first-time drive from Reid’s cut-back, while Perry powered a far-post header wide from a corner. 

And Rangers did find the scoresheet with 17 minutes to play, Perry looping a header over Ganley from James Bowen’s excellent left-wing cross. 

The visitors threw everything at Walsall in the closing stages, with Perry volleying over before heading wide, Taylor firing off target on the half-volley and Roberts making another vital block. 

Team: Ganley, Tonks (Kendrick 25’), Cockerill-Mollett (Fisher 45’), Vann, Roberts, Butterfield, Sangha, Kouhyar, Bakayoko, Kinsella, Hayles-Docherty (Shorrock 77’). 
Subs not used: Dawe, Candlin. 

Attendance: 749.

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