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Under 18s stage remarkable comeback to beat Port Vale

31 October 2023


Under 18s stage remarkable comeback to beat Port Vale

31 October 2023

Port Vale U18s 2-3 Walsall U18s

Walsall Under 18s staged a remarkable comeback to beat Port Vale Under 18s at the weekend.

The Saddlers found themselves two goals down but a brace from Charlie Wragg either side of Jaiy Leydon’s strike completed the turnaround.

Professional Development Phase Coach Ryan Simmonds was delighted with the resilience and determination the team showed.

He was also pleased to see their hard work in training come to fruition and felt their improved fitness levels played a key part in coming away with three points.

“It’s the first time this season the boys have been down and they’ve come back to win the game and they showed a really good mentality,” Simmonds said.

“We got one back with Charlie and Jaiy scored the equaliser with five minutes to go. It’s about trying to turn that mentality. We’re not happy with a draw so try and get another one and fortunately Charlie scored with the last kick of the game to win it which is brilliant for the lads.

“They’ve shown they can score in important moments and they’re fitter than the opposition which is really pleasing.

“It’s something we’ve been heavily looking at in our training, for example, situation training of you’re a goal down, how do you solve the problem and how do you win the game?

“As I said from day one, we’re going to get them fit and I think that shows in the last 20 minutes where we’re a lot fitter than Port Vale and we can carry on for another 20 minutes whereas they were dead on their feet.

“Credit to Port Vale, they were brilliant for 60 minutes, they were the better team but our fitness and our conditioning stood us in good stead and we were able to win the game.”

Attention quickly turns to the FA Youth Cup for the Saddlers as they make the short trip to Darlaston to face Chasetown on Thursday evening.

It’s the first of three matches in just five days coming up and Simmonds is expecting a difficult challenge on Thursday.

“We look forward to Chasetown, it’s going to be a test,” he commented

“I said to them that it’s not going to be an easy game. They’re going to be hard working; they’re going to be very organised and it's a game that we’re going to have to get through.

“We then look forward to a league game against Oldham on Saturday which is in the back of our minds and then we have a game on Tuesday so it’s a busy period.”

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