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5 November 2014

Shelton goals enough to beat Walsall

A Mark Shelton brace gave Burton Albion a 2-1 victory over Walsall at the Banks’s Stadium on Tuesday evening to book their place in the second round of the FA Youth Cup.

Shelton struck either side of Walsall’s Levi Rowley’s header to set up a second round home tie against either Stratford Town or Kidderminster Harriers.

The Brewers started the game well and deservedly took the lead inside four minutes. A pacey run down the left from Marcus Dinanga resulted in him pulling the ball back for the Shelton to stab home.

Not long after taking the lead, Albion almost doubled their advantage. The lively Sam Austin showed neat footwork on the edge of the area before unleashing a rasping drive, Walsall ‘keeper Dan Jezeph was

relieved to see it rise marginally over the bar.

After enjoying a fairly comfortable start to the game, the Brewers had to stand up to some pressure from the home side as we approached the half-hour mark.

The Saddlers’ Rico Henry burst through the centre and cut back for Tevin Shakespeare, his goal-bound effort was magnificently blocked by the impressive Charlie Gatter.

However, Albion could not keep the Saddlers at bay. Shakespeare’s delivery from the right was met by Rowley at the back post to draw Walsall level with 32 minutes played.

The Brewers looked to regain control of the game and within five minutes of conceding, they were back in front. Shelton received the ball 25 yards from goal before turning and curling a sumptuous effort into the top corner.

Albion deservedly led at the break.

The hosts started the second half well and more heroic defending from Gatter prevented Walsall substitute Romario Reid from latching onto a Shakespeare delivery.

Albion were forced to replace midfielder Shay Allen after 54 minutes due to injury, Jack Callaghan was his replacement.

Good link up play between Austin and Michael Pearson resulted in Callaghan almost increasing The Brewers’ lead, luckily for Walsall, Jezeph was equal to the test.

This was Pearson’s last involvement as he was replaced by Lewis Troke with around half-an-hour to play.

Despite Walsall having the majority of the possession in the second period, Albion always looked threatening on the counter attack.

The Saddlers’ Rico Henry broke down the left before pulling the ball back to find Luke Delaney on the penalty spot, his shot was blocked, Gatter once again putting his body on the line. 

Substitute Troke had to hobble off in injury time, he was replaced by Mirsa Sejdick.

Despite Walsall having the lion’s share of possession in the second-half, Albion’s defence stood up to the challenge and limited them to very few chances allowing the Brewers to see out the game in a fairly comfortable manner.

Neill Hornby’s side will look to continue their fine form when they play host to Mansfield Town in The Football League Youth Alliance North-East League at Welbeck DSFC this Saturday (11am).

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