Tobias Hayles-Docherty’s powerful low drive ensured the spoils were shared at Vale Park as Walsall’s Developmental Squad drew 1-1 with Port Vale.
On a cold afternoon in Burslem, The Saddlers stood up well against an experienced Vale side.
The Saddlers started brightly, with wingers Maz Kouhyar and Hayles-Docherty getting on the ball behind the front two of Cameron Peters and Mitch Candlin.
Peters and Candlin engineered a good counter after just nine minutes, working the ball forward well with some neat interplay. It was worked out to Hayles-Docherty on the right and the young winger’s cross was just deflected away from Peters by a Vale boot.
Tyrone Barnett’s long forward ball was picked up by Anton Forrester on the edge of the box in the 15th minute and the striker did well to turn on the spot and fire at goal, but could only hit it off-target.
Forrester forced a fine save from Brandon Ganley just past the half-hour mark - stinging the young goalkeeper’s palms before Ganley got down to smother the ball at the second attempt.
Vale started the second half brightly with Mike Calveley coming close 10 minutes after the restart, getting onto a cross at the back post only for Ganley to make himself big and pull off a good save.
Dior Angus then came close on 58 minutes - curling one over the bar - before BARNETT smashed home from a corner after Ganley parried Forrester’s header from a corner.
Though John Ward’s side went a goal behind they did not lose heart - Sangha’s powerful low drive was twice blocked by Vale defenders on its way to goal moments before the equaliser.
It came through a swift counter in the 81st minute, Kouhyar released down the right and into the box, and finding just enough space to squeeze the ball to a free man to his left. That man was HAYLES-DOCHERTY, who steadied himself before rifling a powerful low shot underneath the unsighted Lainton.
Forrester’s late half-volley was off-target as The Saddlers took a point at Vale Park.
Young left-back Callum Cockerill-Mollett played 85 minutes on his return from injury.
SADDLERS: Ganley, Mason, Vann, Kendrick, Cockerill-Mollett (Fisher 85), Hayles-Docherty, Sangha, Shorrock, Kouhyar, Candlin (Cairns 75), Peters. Subs: Bates, Leivesley, Parker.