Academy Manager Graham Biggs was left to rue his side’s misfortune in front of goal after Walsall Under-18s slipped to a 1-0 defeat at Accrington.
The young Saddlers started the game well, with Dylan Parker forcing Stanley’s keeper into a wonderful save inside the first minute and Ben Kendrick going close from the resulting corner.
Parker threatened again at the start of the second half as the visitors continued to have the better of proceedings.
But it was Accrington who broke the deadlock when a 60-yard ball split the two centre-halves and was slotted home – the hosts’ first and only shot on target.
Alfie Bates was forced off due to a hip flexor injury, with Joe Willis, an Under-16, taking his place.
Walsall found the back of the net when Kendrick headed in a corner, but the goal was disallowed for a foul in the box.
The Saddlers kept pressing for a leveller but were unable to find a way past Accrington’s keeper, who made a string of fine saves to deny Mitch Candlin and Joe Cairns.
"Although the result was disappointing, our performance was excellent,” said Biggs. “The boys kept trying to do what we have been practicing in training and were encouraged to play to the Walsall philosophy.
“The boys couldn’t have done a lot more. Their keeper was man of the match and pulled off two or three terrific saves. We had a goal disallowed – I haven’t seen it back on the video yet – and had another attempt cleared off the line.
“It was really disappointing to lose the game but we won’t lose many games if we continue to play like we did.”