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Under-18s: Walsall 1-0 Shrewsbury

14 January 2019


Under-18s: Walsall 1-0 Shrewsbury

14 January 2019

Sam Perry netted the only goal of the game as the young Saddlers put in a good performance to defeat Shrewsbury Town 1-0 at home.

The first half was packed full of chances but it was not until the second period when the deadlock got broken.

Shrewsbury’s defence struggled to deal with a cross into the penalty area which allowed Perry the chance to poke the ball over the line at the second attempt in the 59th minute.

Walsall did not struggle to create any openings in the early stages. The game was only two minutes old when Alfie Bates fired over from just outside the penalty area.

Jayden Campbell had a good chance to open the scoring after 14 minutes but his low drive was inches wide of the target.

Tyreece Ruddock sprinted down the right wing before cutting the ball back to Kian Flanagan who could not get enough power on his strike to really trouble Sam Agius in the Shrewsbury goal.

Agius made a superb save to deny Callum Nimmo just before the break. Nimmo diverted Bates’ cross goal-wards with a powerful header but Agius was equal to it and somehow managed to push the ball away.

Perry opened the scoring with what was the first proper chance of the second half. Campbell was fouled by Agius outside of the penalty area which resulted in the latter receiving a yellow card. From the resulting free-kick Perry prodded the ball into the goal after his first effort was blocked.

After going a goal up, Walsall continued to dominate the game and create chances. Flanagan had a free header from Joe Willis’ free-kick but he could not keep his effort on target.

Shrewsbury had a good opportunity to equalise when a loose ball in the penalty area dropped to Kian Taylor. Taylor did not manage to get a proper shot off, though, and the Saddlers’ defence dealt with it well. 

The young Saddlers professionally saw the game out in the final stages to complete a victory which they thoroughly deserved.

Manager Graham Biggs was delighted with his team’s performance. He said: “I thought we dominated from start to finish. We created many chances. Strangely enough it was from a set play that we scored. 

“We want to win every game and I keep telling the boys whether we are winning, losing or drawing that we must keep doing the same things. That installs the good habits into them. 

“We were good last week against a good Rotherham side but we lost which was disappointing. We worked on that game during the week after doing some analysis and I thought we were excellent today.”

The young Saddlers manager was impressed with how Bates performed after he had been with the first team.

He added: “It was great to have Alfie back after he has been training with the first team. I thought he was terrific today and everyone could see why he is in and around the first team”.

Biggs had a parting message for one of his members of staff. He continued: “I would also like to give a special mention to Jacob Eyres. He’s our physio and has been with us just under two years. He is a fabulous physio and he leaves today to go to British Judo so we wish him well”.

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