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Academy Report: Walsall U18s 1-3 Oldham Athletic U18s

8 November 2023


Academy Report: Walsall U18s 1-3 Oldham Athletic U18s

8 November 2023

Walsall fell to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Oldham Athletic in a below par performance by the Saddlers.

A good start for Walsall on a rain-soaked pitch, led to them taking the first chance of the game. A move started by right back Harrison Vaughan ended with Jaiy Leydon forcing a good near post save by Alfie Brindley in the Oldham net.

A good start soon fell away as The Saddlers failed to clear a floated cross to the back stick allowing The Latics striker, Samtee Chukwugbo, to send the ball past a stranded Jenson Kilroy.

The home side came close to levelling five minutes before the break, but the final piece of quality was missing as Leydon blasted his shot across the box.

Things didn't get much better for Walsall who gave the ball away cheaply before a ball cut through their back line.

This resulted in Collins Kagame slotting the ball calmly under Kilroy to double Oldham’s lead.

Oldham all looked set for their first win of the season as they went three goals ahead. Samtee Chukwugbo secured his brace as he pick-pocketed Kilroy in the six-yard box and sent the ball to the back of the net past a scrambling Kilroy.

Walsall found a way back into the game on the 60-minute mark. Charlie Wragg slotted through Leydon with a wonderful ball.

The number 11 scored to cut the deficit to two for the home side.

Celebrations were cut short as second half substitute Will Uchenna was sent off during celebrations for an altercation with Oldham left back Lewis Rhodes.

Walsall almost saw themselves reach within one goal of the travellers as Leydon’s powerful shot was saved by Brindley onto the crossbar.

Walsall had a new lease of life despite being a man down and pressed for a way back into the game, coming close five minutes from time when Dylan Thomas orchestrated a move ending in his own shot taking a double deflection and going wide of the post.

A disappointing first half for Walsall would make the second half challenge too steep to gain anything from the game and handing Oldham their first league victory of the season.

Professional Development Phase Coach Ryan Simmonds said: "I think it could be our worst performance of the season.

“We tried something different with the formation to try and have control of the ball, but the players didn't quite grasp the idea of having to pass the ball multiple times before progressing rather than just kicking the ball long, which was disappointing.

“Especially after working on the game plan all week.

"But after we went down to 10 men we actually started to play and control the game better, which is crazy to say but as I'm starting to learn with this group, this is what happens they go against the norm."

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