The Saddlers first team began their 2021/22 pre-season with a narrow defeat against Premier League side Crystal Palace thanks to a single goal from Wilfred Zaha.
In a game that saw seven debutants names in the starting line-up, it proved to be an extremely worthwhile work out for Matt Taylor’s side against opposition three divisions higher.
The visitors started the game strongly as Zaha cut inside but his effort was well saved by first half goalkeeper Carl Rushworth.
Just after the 20 minute mark and the visitors tried their luck again, this time from just outside the 18-yard box. Jordan Ayew found himself a yard of space and turned to shoot but his effort was well over the bar.
Six minutes before the half time break, Zaha again showed some trickery just outside the area, this time forcing Rushworth into an even better save down to the keepers righthand side.
Moments later and Zaha did eventually find the net at the third time of asking. Rob Street fed the wide man and he slotted the ball into the far corner.
Into the second half and the game died down with a host of substitutes for both sides. Just after the hour mark and the visitors went in search of a second.
Substitute Jesurun Rak-Sakyi cut inside his man before firing slow down the middle of the goal but Jack Rose made a good save with his legs.
With five minutes left to play, the Saddlers came close to a deserved equaliser. Substitute Ronan Maher played a delightful pall over the top to Kieran Phillips and the on-loan striker took it round his defender with ease and elegance before smashing a half-volley off the crossbar.
In the end, Matt Taylor's side fell to defeat but it was a positive run out for the hosts.