Salford City U18s 0-1 Walsall U18s
Walsall Under 18s returned to winning ways with an impressive victory away at Salford City on Saturday.
The only goal of the game was a well worked one as Ronan Maher picked out Shay Willock who then set up a trialist to apply the finish.
The hosts applied pressure late on but the Saddlers held on to pick up three points.
Professional Development Phase Coach Ben King was pleased to see the players adapt their style of play and was delighted with the performance.
“I’m really happy with the result and the performance,” he said.
“We’ve had to change our style a little bit and go a bit more direct because of what tactically happened in the game.
“We knew Salford played a 4-4-2 so we knew we’d be able to get our central attacking midfielders and Ronan on the ball. What they ended up doing is putting one of the centre-backs forward to go and deal with him so we ended up going quite direct and playing in behind, Shay making lots of runs in behind, wingers making lots of runs in behind so it worked quite nicely.
“The goal came from the ball going through to Ronan, then feeding the ball through and Shay’s got onto it and flicked it over the centre-back’s head, laid it back and we got the goal.
“Overall, I’m really pleased that we’ve managed to deal with a different style of play to what we’ve tried to do in the past and it’s really nice to get the result.”
Last week, Rob Williams was appointed as Academy Manager and has already started to put his stamp on the Academy.
He was watching on at Salford and King is pleased to see him back at the Banks’s Stadium.
“I knew Rob from the previous time he was here as Head of Coaching so we’ve got quite a strong relationship already,” he said.
“It’s been fantastic having Rob in, there are things that he’s picked up and learnt over those couple of years away from the club so it’s nice to ask him questions and find out how he sees things, what he wants to do and try and express that in the last couple of months there has been a good environment and atmosphere with the Under 18s and trying to build on that.
“He’s been supporting me once in the week with the Under 18s to see how we’re doing things and has been pretty pleased, so it’s all really positive.
“He came on Saturday and it was a fantastic day.
“Speaking to Salford afterwards, they had 10 second year scholars and we had half a 16s team and half and 18s team so it was credit to the lads and Rob expressed that at the end.
“He was happy with the work rate and desire from them.”