Walsall Reserves began their 2020-21 Central League campaign with a narrow defeat to Huddersfield Town.
The visitors found themselves in front at half-time before Jack Nolan equalised for the Saddlers early in the second half.
Despite a closely contested second half, the visitors pulled away and scored two further goals which looked to have put the Mat Sadler’s side to bed but substitute Jayden John scored in stoppage time to give the Terriers a late scare.
A number of first team players were involved. Recent signings Jack Rose and Hayden White started while Tom Leak, Jack Nolan, Sam Perry and Joe Willis were also called upon.
Both sides had early opportunities as Kian Harratt forced a save out of Rose before Willis had a well struck free-kick saved.
Willis imposed himself well in the first half and had another opportunity on 26 minutes when he wriggled his way into the area near the by-line and got a shot away but the Nicholas Bilokapic was equal to it.
It was Huddersfield who opened the scoring though when Will McCamley hooked the ball into the back of the net on 35 minutes and that’s how the first half ended.
The Saddlers made the perfect start to the second and equalise just a minute into it when Nolan cut inside on his left foot and arrowed in a powerful shot that flew straight into the back of the net.
Huddersfield reacted well to the equaliser and re-took the lead on 65 minutes when Sam Sherrock-Peplow’s low cross was met by Mustapha Olagunju who prodded it home from close range.
It was a pretty even affair for the rest of the second half but Huddersfield put the game beyond doubt two minutes from time when they were awarded a penalty after Sharrock-Peplow was tripped in the box. Despite Sharrock-Peplow having his spot kick saved, McCamley was on hand to convert the rebound.
Walsall applied late pressure and were rewarded in stoppage time when Jayden John capitalised on a defensive mistake to win the ball and slot it past the keeper but it proved too little too late and the Saddlers were beaten.