Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Match Reports

Walsall 3-1 Middlesbrough U21s

9 October 2018

The Saddlers made it two wins from two in Checkatrade Trophy Northern Group E with a comfortable victory over Middlesbrough Under-21s.

First-half goals from Jack Fitzwater and Maz Kouhyar put Walsall in charge, and although Dan Ward pulled one back after the break, an Andy Cook rocket secured the win.

The Saddlers dominated from the outset, with Kieron Morris’ 20-yard snap-shot drawing a smart one-handed save from keeper Andy Lonergan.

In a bright start from the hosts, 17-year-old debutant Alfie Bates saw a shot blocked and Luke Leahy fizzed an ambitious long-range strike wide.

Walsall had the ball in the net with 14 minutes on the clock but Connor Johnson’s close-range finish was disallowed for offside.

The deadlock was broken after 26 minutes, Jack Fitzwater flicking the ball into the air before swivelling and sending an unerring right-foot volley into the far corner.

Middlesbrough’s first, and only, meaningful attempt of the first half came immediately after, when Lewis Wing fired wide from 25 yards.

The Saddlers’ lead was swiftly doubled as Maz Kouhyar glanced home a fine near-post header from Luke Leahy’s inviting free-kick.

It could have been 3-0 on the stroke of half-time but Lonergan produced a fine stop from point-blank range to claw out Morris’ scrambled effort from Kouhyar’s low cross.

The second half started in a similar vein, with Walsall looking comfortable and occasionally threatening to increase their advantage.

Kouhyar almost grabbed his second of the evening with a lovely right-footed drive which grazed the outside of the post.

Andy Cook’s fierce near-post drive from a narrow angle was well held by Lonergan and Connor Ronan curled a 25-yard free-kick inches over.

But, out of nowhere, Boro pulled a goal back on 68 minutes when Johnson’s deflected clearance fell to Dan Ward, who took a touch before lifting the ball over Chris Dunn.

Ward wasn’t far away from drawing Middlesbrough level seven minutes later, collecting Wing’s pass on the edge of the box before firing narrowly wide.

But the Saddlers restored their two-goal cushion in the closing stages, Cook arrowing a 25-yard thunderbolt past a helpless Lonergan and into the far corner

 

Saddlers team (4-4-2): Dunn; Wilson, Johnson, Fitzwater, Leahy; Morris, Ronan, Bates, Kouhyar; Cook, Gordon (Ismail 78’).

Subs not used: L Roberts, Guthrie, Devlin, Vann, McSkeane, Parker.

 

Attendance: 702 (9 Middlesbrough fans)


Advertisement block