Walsall began pre-season with a defeat against League One side Crewe Alexandra.
Callum Ainley gave the hosts an early lead before Daniel Powell doubled Crewe’s advantage on the stroke of half time, which proved to be enough for Dave Artell’s side.
The Saddlers featured two separate XI's for each half as Darrell Clarke looked to give minutes to all of his squad members. The first half XI included new boys George Nurse and Rory Holden.
Danny Guthrie, fresh from signing a new deal, started alongside Stuart Sinclair while Elijah Adebayo started up top.
The Saddlers made a slow start to the game and fell behind after two minutes after a well worked attack from the hosts saw the ball squared to Ainley who slotted it the ball into the bottom corner.
Clarke’s side responded well to going a goal behind and had their first effort of the match two minutes later when Rory Holden got a shot away that was well held by Will Jaaskelainen.
Walsall improved as the half went on and their best chance of the half came after 26 minutes when Zak Jules struck the post with a close-range volley after getting on the end of a corner.
The Saddlers were on top by this point and had further chances through Jack Nolan and a Jules header but it was the hosts who got the second goal when Charlie Kirk’s cross was left by Ainley for Powell at the back post who dinked the ball over Liam Roberts a minute before half-time.
Clarke made XI changes at half-time and the second half XI had a young feel to it with the likes of Alfie Bates, Joe Willis, Callum Cockerill-Mollett, Tom Leak, Jayden Campbell and Joe Foulkes were introduced.
The second half saw little goal-mouth action with both sides struggling to test the respective goalkeepers.
Walsall’s best chance of the second half came in the dying minutes as Josh Gordon found Caolan Lavery with a cross but the Northern Irishman’s header flew off target as the Saddlers fell to defeat.
First half XI: Roberts, Norman, Scarr, Jules, Nurse, Guthrie, Sinclair, Nolan, Holden, McDonald, Adebayo
Second half XI: Trialist A, J. Foulkes, Leak, Sadler, Cockerill-Mollett, Willis, Bates, Kinsella, J. Campbell, Gordon, Lavery