A young Walsall Under 18s side succumbed to a 2-1 defeat in a courageous effort against a more experienced Stockport County.
In a dominant opening 10 minutes, Stockport had the first chance of the game from a corner. The ball headed back over from the far post was met by the head of Lee Williams. His header was weak and straight at Jenson Kilroy in the Walsall net.
Another fright for the home side came as Kilroy's pass was picked out by Keane Barugh. The Walsall number one did well to rectify and closed the ball down and saving well.
Despite spending most the half in their own third, Walsall were able to take the lead with a swift counter attack.
Dylan Thomas picked up the ball on the half way line. Laying it off to Charlie Footes, the captain continued his run, picking the ball up from Footes' pinpoint ball.
Thomas' shot was saved well but Charlie Wragg arrived late to finish neatly into an open net.
After the goal, the Saddlers grew into the game and started to play more confidently. But towards the end of the half the away side started to take control of the game coming close on a few occasions to levelling the scores.
Halfway through the second half it had become a congested game with both teams trading possession in the middle third.
Walsall came close to creating a great chance to extend their lead on the counter attack with substitute Marley Roberts bursting forward and playing Jaiy Leydon through. The winger moved the ball forward to Wragg on the edge of the box but the away side got back in numbers to nullify the attack.
Looking for an equaliser, the County players started press high up the pitch and looked to crossing from wide areas in search of a goal but with no reward until the 79th minute.
The away side squared the ball across the box, after continuous pressure, for Che Gardner to tap the ball home.
Stockport came close to taking the lead in the dying embers of the game. The ball was headed down at the back post and looked destined for the back of the net but Louie Webb did well to clear the ball off the line for a corner.
It wasn’t the last chance of the game though as County secured the three points in added time through Josh Fowles.
Disappointment at the death saw an unfortunate defeat for a new Walsall side that lead for much of the game.
Kilroy; Bennett, Robbette, Mee, Webb, Pawlowski, Footes, Thomas, Wragg, Preece, Leydon
Subs: Etheridge, Barber, Davies, Roberts