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Development Squad

Report: Young Saddlers reserve side earn creditable draw against Bolton Wanderers

19 April 2022

Walsall 1-1 Bolton Wanderers

A young Walsall reserve side earned a creditable draw against Bolton Wanderers in the Central League. 

The Saddlers opened the scoring after 20 minutes when Trialist 1 picked up a loose ball before he fired in a cracker from 30 yards out. 

Finlay Lockett equalised for Bolton with a fine effort five minutes before half-time. 

Walsall made a good start and looked lively in the opening stages. Ronan Maher had a couple of good early chances as he forced Luke Hutchinson into a good save with his legs before he struck the post moments later. 

The Saddlers got the goal their early pressure deserved when Trialist 1 gathered on the loose ball, drove forwards and powered a lovely strike into the bottom corner. 

Bolton responded and Connor Stanley tested Zach Hedge with a long range strike but the Saddlers stopper was equal to it. 

Hedge did well to keep the Trotters at bay after further first half chances but he was unable to keep out Lockett's superb strike from the edge of the area that flew into the top corner. 

The Saddlers started the second half well and thought they should have had a penalty but the referee deemed the challenge to have taken place outside the box. 

Both sides had decent opportunities in the second half but both goalkeepers and defences held strong. 

Walsall's best chance of the second half came when Maher capitalised on a loose ball and got a shot away but Hutchinson did well to thwart him. 

The Saddlers ended the game with five Under 15s on the pitch as the young side held their own. 

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