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Development Squad

Reserves: Walsall 2-1 Rotherham

18 February 2020

Walsall earned their first win of the season in the Central League as they came from behind to beat Rotherham United.

Ciaran McGuckin gave the visitors the lead after nine minutes but a sharp finish from Luke Pearce and a Jake Hull own goal saw the Saddlers turn the game on its head.

The Saddlers made a positive start and had the first attempt of the game after six minutes when the ball was cleared out to James Hardy who blazed over from just outside the box.

The visitors opened the scoring three minutes later when McGuckin was played through and finished coolly past Jack Rose.

Brian Dutton’s men responded well and drew level on 22 minutes when Pearce picked up the ball just inside the area and arrowed the ball into the bottom corner.

Walsall could have taken the lead 10 minutes before the break when Alex McSekane headed just wide from Mitch Candlin’s cross.

The Saddlers started the second half well. Pearce could have scored his second but headed McSkeane’s cross over the bar.

There was a pause in play on the hour mark when Rotherham striker Jerome Greaves went down injured and was eventually stretchered off.

Play got back underway nine minutes later and the Saddlers were soon back in their stride. They scored their second on 76 minutes when Coogan’s teasing ball was turned into his own net by Jake Hull.

The Millers responded to falling behind and Walsall had Rose to thank for keeping their lead intact after he thwarted both Luke Hodgkinson and Ethan Kenny.

The Saddlers had further chances to put the game to bed through Hardy and substitute Jayden Campbell but settled for a 2-1 victory.

Line-up: Rose; Coogan, Roberts, Zona; Lynch; Nolan, Hardy, Bates, McSkeane (Campbell); Pearce (Francis), Candlin
Subs not used: L. Walker, J. Perry, K. Sharpe

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