Walsall Under-18s suffered a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Bury, despite a spirited second-half performance.
Two quick-fire goals from the visitors, midway through the second half, were enough to give Bury the three points.
Bury were on top in the opening stages but the young Saddlers were solid at the back to deny any real scoring opportunities.
The first real chance of the game took over 20 minutes to come and it fell to the visitors. The ball sat up for a first-time volley for Ben Thompson but his effort hit the post and went behind.
The first goal of the game did go to the visitors - a corner whipped in from the right by Thompson and it was flicked in by Bobby Copping.
Chances were at a real premium for both sides for the rest of the half, but the young Saddlers came out for the second half reinvigorated and looked determined to get the equaliser.
Walsall had a strong shout for a penalty turned down in the 55th minute, after the ball seemed to strike a defender’s arm from Sam Perry’s acrobatic effort.
All the Saddlers pressure did pay off, as on the hour mark, the ball bounced out to Perry Moss just outside the box and he hit a volley which flew past James Holden, in the Bury goal, to level the scores.
Bury did retake the lead six minutes later. Luke Little’s pass to Lewis Walker was a little short and Joe Collins pounced on the ball to chip the keeper. Tom Leak cleared off the line but the ball fell to Cedric Ondoa who tapped it home.
The visitors extended their lead in the 70th minute. The ball bounced around the Saddlers box from a ball in from the right. The ball eventually fell to Saul Shotton who put it into the net.
The young Saddlers threw everything forward in the last 20 minutes in search of a way back into the game but Bury were able to see the match out, with no change to the scoreline.
Kyle Kirby took some positives despite the result: “The lads left everything out there. I couldn’t really ask for anything more from the lads.
"I was disappointed in the manner of the goals, and I didn’t feel it was a 3-1 game.
"The lads were a little disappointed in the goal they conceded. We gave clear messages at half-time and just reemphasized what we have been doing in training.
”We needed to do the basics better, in terms of defensive roles and responsibilities.
“We will work on set-pieces in training in preparation for next week. The lads are good enough and mature enough to be able to bounce back from this result."