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Development Squad

Development Squad: Doncaster Rovers 0-0 Walsall

28 March 2018

John Ward's Development Squad were held to a 0-0 draw in the Central Reserve League at Cantley Park on Tuesday afternoon.

The Saddlers started with Mitch Candlin and Tobias Hayles-Docherty, who were both named on the bench for the senior side's 3-0 defeat at home to Wigan Athletic a week prior.

Milan Butterfield and Jordon Sangha, both out on loan, were also in action and Sangha - wearing the captain's armband on the afternoon - forced Louis Jones into a smart save just two minutes in.

The young midfielder latched onto a through ball from Stefan Mason but could not beat Jones from just inside the box.

Sangha would then test Jones again at the start of the second half, testing the keeper with a half-volley but Jones proved equal to it.

And a save from Jones denied Cameron Peters on 70 minutes, the keeper diving down at the forward's feet to claim the ball.

Rovers twice went close through James Morris and Omar Sanyang firing wide after good play late on.

“It was a good game in a sense that it was a testing one for us,” said Ward. “After a long journey in the mini bus, we stood up to the contest pretty well. They were two young teams and it was pretty even.

“We felt we could have won it, but I don’t think it was going to be a two or three nil – it was likely to be a 1-0 either way. It probably wasn’t the best game to watch but I think a draw was a fair result.

“There weren’t a lot of chances and neither keeper had to keep their team in the game with a fantastic save.

“We probably had the most chances – but not enough. I imagine the Doncaster coach will have said the same thing – ‘we’ve done pretty well but haven’t had enough chances to score’.

“I was pleased with the boys. We could have played better but the bottom line is we dug out a good result. If they are to go into first-team football, travelling away on a Tuesday and getting a 0-0 draw against Doncaster is not the worst result you can have.

“The main positive was that 15 of the 16 boys were homegrown. That’s what we’ve been pushing to do and the boys are representing the club they’ve come through, which reflects really well on the youth department and Graham Biggs.

“We’re pushing and promoting the group as best we can. We’ve got a new manager and he’s got to find out about these young guys. We’re on big learning curves with these young boys of how to deal with certain situations, and they’re coming through pretty well.

“We’ve got three or four games to play now and we will look to give a good account of ourselves in those matches.”

Picture: Heather King


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