A young Walsall side made up entirely of academy players fell to a comprehensive defeat against a strong Salford City in the Central League.
Despite a competitive first half that saw the Saddlers go in just a goal behind, the visitors dominated the second half and proved too strong for Miguel Llera’s team.
Salford took an early lead through Gabriel Osho after 13 minutes.
The visitors gained control after that and continued to apply pressure on the Saddlers.
They came close on 21 minutes when Dan Hawkins got in behind and tried to squeeze the ball in from close range but Lewis Walker closed the angle down well to deny him.
Walker was again on hand 20 minutes later to push away Louie Walsh’s effort as the Saddlers were under the cosh.
The Saddlers struggled to get on the front foot and it was more of the same in the second half.
Salford doubled their lead six minutes into the second half after a well worked move culminated in Dan Hawkins applying a smart finish.
Six minutes later, Hawkins nodded in his third as the visitors stamped their authority on the game.
The Saddlers started to see more of the ball as they tried to get a foothold in the game but Salford proved to be a tough nut to crack and went on to score their fourth when Lewis McKinley found the net on 79 minutes.
Despite having a good amount of possession late on, Walsall didn’t create any clear cut opportunities on what proved to be a difficult afternoon for the young side who were playing their second game in three days.
Saddlers team: Walker; Sharp, Foulkes, Zona, J. Perry, Dallaywaters (Simcox), Campbell, Perez-Duah (Brad), Francis (Derry), Stephens, Mukadam