Walsall 0-2 Coventry
Walsall fell to a 2-0 defeat against Coventry City
The Saddler's were unlucky not to score in the tie, as they enjoyed the majority of the possession.
A 4-3-3 formation was adopted with Stokes, Lancashire, Lescott and Smith making the back four, Marshall, Richards and Taundry in midfield and Deeney, Byfield and Nicholls up front.
The Saddlers started brightly with Taundry and Lancashire making an early good impression, Taundry came close on 14 minutes to scoring but his shot was sent wide.
Captain for the day Aaron Lescott sprang into his role on 9 minutes as Lancashire was treated for a facial injury. He was seen encouraging and giving advice to his fellow teammates.
The remainder of the first half saw the Saddlers enjoy much of the possession, but failed to find the va va voom to get the goal they arguably deserved.
Paul Marshall fired the ball from the middle left of the box on minute 31, but the ball went disappointingly right of the post.
As the first 45 came to a close, there were several goalmouth scrambles in the Walsall goal. Bevan lucky on the stroke of half time as he spilled the ball, but the score stayed safely at 0-0
The second half saw many changes for the Saddlers, as well as the two goals.
On 60 minutes, Freddy Eastwood sent a well assured strike through the Walsall defence and into the back of the net. Hopefully the Walsall strikers will take hint and take a few chances at goal!
Shortly after Jones came on for Matthew Richards and Julian Gray came on for Alex Nicholls, changing to a 4-4-2 formation.
The Saddlers were passing the ball well, keeping the sky blues at bay. However, the definite cohesion of the team was somewhat lacking.
Boss Chris Hutchings gave youngsters Bowerman, Paterson and Hickman a chance in place of Lancashire,Byfield and Nicholls as the game wound down.
Jones had an excellent chance on min 86, but the shot went disappointingly wide.
Westlake then came on for Aaron Lescott and Geddes came on for Taundry, who arguably put in a Man of the Match performance.
Coventry then sealed their victory as Shaun Jeffers made it look easy as the Saddler's switched off.
It was a disappointing day, but the Saddlers showed spirit for the season ahead. Lancashire stood out at the back, where his height and enthusiasm shined through. Taundry as ever was working hard as he, Richards and Marshall threaded the balls through to the strikers. As we welcome Aston Villa to the Banks's on Tuesday, Hutchings will be looking for the same attitude and development as today and maybe Saddler's may even score a goal! Watch this space and have your say in the forum.
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