Walsall progressed to the second round of the Staffordshire Senior Cup on Tuesday night following a comfortable 2-0 victory over Rushall Olympic.
First half goals from Tobias Hayles-Docherty and Zeli Ismail were enough to see out the game as Rushall saw defender Will Hancox dismissed early in the second half.
With half an hour gone, Hayles-Docherty produced the first real piece of quality. Having received the ball on the left-hand side, the winger cut inside and produced a wonderful curling effort from 25-yards out which looped over Jonathan Brown in the Pics' net to open the scoring.
And just five minutes later the Saddlers doubled their lead when Ismail capitalised on some poor defending from the home side. Following a clearance, the ball fell to Ismail on the half-way line and the winger danced his way between two defenders before slotting home into the bottom-left corner.
Three minutes after the restart the home side were reduced to 10 men when Hancox was adjudged to have brought down Maz Kouhyar just outside the penalty area.
Despite their one-man advantage, which then went to two with 10 minutes left when Dominic Dell limped off injured, Walsall were unable to add to their lead, something which Professional Development Coach John Ward was left somewhat frustrated with.
"I think we missed a chance here tonight," said Ward. "We have won the game and that is fine because we advance into the next round of the cup but we needed to be a bit more accomplished in our overall performance.
"At this moment in time, right after the game, I feel a little bit frustrated with our performance. These young players have got to get in the manager's eyeline by playing these games.
"Our passing and our overall playing style was a little bit sloppy and a bit untidy at times even though we managed to win the football match."
Ward was very happy with the performances of both goal scorers, highlighting that he knows Hayles-Docherty and Ismail both have plenty of goals in their lockers and he hopes to see more of them as the season unfolds.
“At half-time I said to the pair of them, let’s go and see if you can do that again in the second half," added Ward.
"They have both got that in their locker and they are both capable of beating men in a one-on-one situation, and we talked about that again before the game and I thought they executed that superbly.
"Because the quality of our play dropped a little bit in the second half we weren’t able to get them into the game as much which was disappointing but they are both good players and we need to keep demanding more from them and from their team-mates also."
SADDLERS: L Roberts, Tonks, Oliver (Leivesley 46), Shorrock, Vann (Leak 46), K Roberts, Ismail, Flanagan, Peters, Kouhyar, Hayles-Docherty. Subs: Rogerson, Massamba, Mellon.