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FA Youth Cup: Walsall 0-3 Fleetwood

5 November 2019

Club News

FA Youth Cup: Walsall 0-3 Fleetwood

5 November 2019

Walsall Under-18s could not recreate the FA Youth Cup heroics of last week as they fell to a 3-0 defeat in the second round to Fleetwood Town.

Carl Johnston’s wonderful set piece goal and James Hill’s thumping header set Miguel Llera’s side back before substitute Ben Thompson cruelly added a third in injury time.

Young Saddlers’ best chance came through Luke Pearce in the second period but his shot just squirmed wide.

Coming into the tie after beating Coventry City Under-18s 2-1 in the last round, Walsall were in high spirits and impeccable form.

Players walked out under the lights to their very own smoke machine as firework displays billowed into the Banks’s, but it was Young Saddlers who found themselves scorched early on bonfire night after Fleetwood fired into the lead with a rocket.

Baggley rolled a left-sided free-kick to Carl Johnston who curled his stunning strike into Dom Rogerson’s top corner.

The Lancashire outfit offered another fierce warning as Baggley whipped a second free-kick just past the post.

For Walsall, captain Joe Willis was the first to sting the hands of Scott Pengelly after some neat work switching wings from Jayden Campbell.

Warming into the fixture after a nervy opening quarter, Llera’s side pressed higher and showed more attacking intent in search of a leveller.

However, the visitors reasserted themselves and ended the first half in the ascendancy.

Young Saddlers’ frustration was epitomised by Alex McSkeane’s challenge and subsequent yellow card just before half time.

Walsall needed some emergency defending at the beginning of the second half to keep them in the tie. Jack Lynch was on hand to clear Cian Hayes’ chip off the line when Rogerson was beaten.

A sign of things to come for Walsall, and minutes later, Fleetwood doubled their advantage.

Baggley was again the provider from a free-kick, and centre back James Hill the grateful receiver, thumping his header past Rogerson and celebrating acrobatically.

Walsall made the first substitute of the game as Jayden Allamby-John was introduced for the cautioned McSkeane.

Moments later, Young Saddlers had their best chance of the game.

Pearce met Willis’ precision cross and had the keeper to beat from seven-yards but the ball stuck in the turf and the shot slid wide.

Pearce was then forced off the pitch by a large wound on his back and was replaced by Ade Francis as Llera added another attacking option with 25 minutes to go.

Desperately chasing the game with quarter of an hour remaining, Young Saddlers had another good chance. Jayden Allamby-John drifted inside with the ball before his shot was blocked to Perry Moss. The attacking midfielder’s effort was powerful, and Pengelly spilled before collecting the rebound from Francis’ feet.

Young Saddlers struggled to carve out the killer chance as Fleetwood showed why they have conceded just one league goal this season.

In added time Fleetwood rounded off their performance with a goal from substitute Ben Thompson. Advancing down the middle, his strike was deflected and Rogerson who had already dived could do little, sealing Walsall’s exit from this year’s FA Youth Cup.

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