Three first half goals saw a young Walsall XI made up of Under 18s and a handful of Under 16s players fall to defeat against Rushall Olympic’s first team.
Reece Mitchell, Will Shorrock and Sam Moore all got on the scoresheet as the hosts netted three times in the space of 17 minutes to take the game away from the Saddlers who did improve in the second half but couldn’t find a way back into the game.
Rushall got off to a good start and had the better of the early chances. Sam Moore had a goal ruled out for offside before he came close with an acrobatic overhead kick.
The hosts opened the scoring after eight minutes when Mitchell’s floated in a free-kick that crept into the far corner.
Rushall doubled their lead seven minutes later when the ball was played across goal and Shorrock prodded home.
The Pics added a third on 25 minutes when Sam Mantom’s audacious effort from just inside the Walsall half cannoned off the crossbar and fell to Moore who nodded in from close range.
Walsall’s best chance of the first half fell to Antonio Cristofaro who arrowed in a low shot but it was parried away.
The Saddlers improved in the second half and enjoyed more promising spells of possession albeit without creating many clear cut opportunities.
Rushall continued to carry a threat but the Saddlers improved defensively and put their bodies on the line for the cause with the likes of Rio Sawyers and Charlie Ward getting some crucial last ditch blocks in to deny the hosts.
The Saddlers restricted their more experienced hosts in the second half and can take encouragement from their display in the second period but Rushall saw out the victory.
Hedge; Beckford, Baldwin, Sawyers, Ward (Morgan); Onabirekhanlen (Poskitt), Chakki, Shaw, Sarvari (Toor), Cristofaro (Juliff); Willock
Subs: Barrett, Wilkes, Cox