F.A. Youth Cup - Round One (Proper)
Walsall 5 3 Hednesford Town
Played at Bescot Stadium
Attendance:- 299 (allegedly! - there seemed more than that)
Rory Wood (George Bowerman, 56 mins.)
Tom Overfield (Tom Faulkner, 90 mins.)
Josh Craddock (Capt.)
Will Grigg (James Travis, 93 mins.)
Tom Cox (gk)
Manager:- Mick Halsall (assisted by Bill Jones)
21st min. - 0-1 - Geddes tried to take a quick free-kick on the edge of his own penalty-area but only succeeded in giving the ball away to allow Dean Rathbone to put the young Pitmen ahead.
22nd min. - 1-1 - Walsall swept down the field from the restart and Craddock scored from Overfield's right-wing cross.
38th min. - 2-1 - Hednesford skipper, Ben Harbutt, turned a left-wing cross into his own net.
39th min. - 2-2 - Ryan Lester levelled for the visitors, immediately, with a shot from the edge of the penalty-area.
46th min. - 2-3 - Within 24 seconds of the restart, Hednesford regained the lead through left-winger, Jamey Osborne.
61st min. - 3-3 - Overfield levelled the scores with a superbly struck 25-yard free-kick.
72nd min. - 4-3 - Adkins edged the young Saddlers ahead from just inside the penalty-area.
93rd min. - 5-3 - a stoppage time goal from Lowe, after the ball had rebounded around the Hednesford penalty-area, put "the icing on the cake" for Walsall.
How this match didn't finish about 16-6 to Walsall, I will never know! To say that both teams looked a lot happier going forward than defending would be an understatement. For a long time, it seemed as if Walsall's profligacy in front of goal (Craddock was the main, but not the only, culprit) would cost them dear but they eventually got the win that they just about deserved.
Walsall will now face Rochdale in Round Two, next Monday, 17th November, at Bescot Stadium, k.o. 7-00 p.m.