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Under 18s: Walsall 1-4 Carlisle United

14 August 2023


Under 18s: Walsall 1-4 Carlisle United

14 August 2023

Walsall Under 18s rued missing big chances as they suffered a defeat against Carlisle United Under 18s on Friday (August 11th).

A shaky start for Walsall led to an early goal for the travelling Carlisle after a mix up at the back from a goal kick ended in an easy tap in for the away side.

The early goal lifted the away side's confidence and momentum swung their way in the early stages. 

Walsall were able to ride the high pressure and start to move the ball around themselves.

The Saddlers had their first chance of the game 15 minutes in as Jackson Preece and Marley Roberts linked up well down the left. The latter played a good cross to an arriving Cailen Beckford who could only direct his header over the bar.

The Cumbrians doubled their lead from a free-kick that was spilled by George Barrett who came to claim the ball, once again leading to a tap in. 

The hosts responded well and created a chance if their own after a strong headed clearance by Malik Olumegbon led to Charlie Wragg playing through Piers Juliff.

Juliff struck the ball well but his effort hit the woodwork. 

Maintaining the pressure the home side won themselves a free-kick in a dangerous area.

Despite the shaky start and two soft goals, the home side grew into the half and started to apply pressure on the away side's penalty area during their best spell of the half.

Another chance went begging for The Saddlers, as Juliff ran on to his own flick on to cut the ball back to Dylan Thomas. 

Thomas was unable to connect with the ball and sent it spinning into the away keeper, Jacob Barry's, hands.

On the stroke of half time, a penalty was awarded to the away side after a collision in box from a corner.

The away side took a 3-0 advantage when Robbie Shinburn converted from the spot.

Walsall started the second half brightly and almost saw themselves grab a goal after good work on the wing from Juliff set up Wragg who cannoned the ball off the crossbar.

The Saddlers started the second half a lot brighter and started to control the game more.

Juliff and Wragg kept linking up well, creating chances for the latter. 

Walsall were finding a lot of joy through Juliff who once again was able to feed through Jaiy Leydon for a great chance to score, but Barry was able to claim the ball ahead of Leydon.

The chances were starting to add up as a wonderful cross field ball from Tom Cox found Leydon on the left. 

Leydon was able to find Will Uchenna whose shot was blocked well.

One of Walsall's stand out players in the second half, Juliff, came even closer to pegging back Carlisle as a ball over the top beat the Cumbrians defence.

Juliff found himself one-on-one with Barry but sent the ball over the bar with a lofted effort.

Walsall were able to make their pressure count with Zak Poskitt coming off the bench and instantly making an impact with a calm shot past the keeper.

However, the travellers were not deterred by the goal and pushed their advantage back to three goals with a fourth of their own.

In the closing minutes of the game Walsall found themselves a man down with Olumegbon receiving his second caution of the game resulting in a red card.

Despite a host of second half chances, Walsall succumbed to a heavy 4-1 defeat.

Professional Development Phase Coach Ryan Simmonds said:"I think it's key moments in the game, on the basis of this game, we had as many chances to score and we make a lot of chances through good play but we don't score. 

"We give them four goals, and if you give a team four goals you aren't going to win a game. 

"So, it's tidying up these moments, everyone being joined up in the approach and it's just believing. 

"For the first goal, Cayden really wants to play but the next player didn't and you have to be joined up in your approach.

"We work all week on our game plan and how we can achieve this all together."

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