Match Reports

Walsall unsaddled as Moran brace secures win in EFL Trophy

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Victory marked first in the competition for Albion since 2021.

By Charlie Hanson • 22 August 2023

By Walsall FC
Andrew Moran has a big smile on his face after putting Albion back in the lead at Walsall.

Andrew Moran's double ensured our men's under-21s got their EFL Trophy campaign off to the perfect start with a 3-2 win at Walsall.

Moran put Albion into an early lead when Casper Nilsson’s cross was met by Walsall defender Joe Folkes who could only smash his clearance into Moran, but the Albion forward took that in his stride as he rifled the ball into the top left corner from 12 yards.

Ross Tierney struck a post with a smart free-kick from a tight angle before Walsall skipper Oisin McEntee nodded in at the back post from Ronan Maher’s corner to level with the half hour mark approaching.

By Walsall FC
Mark O'Mahony runs over to his teammate after setting up the second goal.

While a rub of the green may have proved a factor in the opening goal, Moran’s second of the evening came on the back of a lovely move by Shannon Ruth’s team. Nilsson got down the right and picked out the head of Mark O’Mahony in the middle, who nodded it down for his countryman to fire into the top corner for a near carbon copy of the first goal.

Moran played his role in the third midway through the second half after he completed his jinking run with a lovely ball down the right for Peupion. The Aussie pulled it back for O'Mahony in the middle only for Saddlers defender Liam Gordon to beat him to it, although not in the way he'd have liked as he slid the ball past his own keeper at the near post.

By Walsall FC
Cam Peupion looks to get past Ronan Maher.

McEntee headed into the side netting from another corner, before Tom Knowles's tidy finish from an acute angle with five minutes to play setup what could have been an interesting finale.

That would prove to only be a hope for the hosts who failed to test McGill in the remaining minutes, as we secured our first win in the EFL Trophy since a win over Northampton Town in 2021.

Next up, Everton on Friday in Premier League 2.

The Albion team: McGill, Nilsson, McConville, Kavanagh, Samuels, Peupion (Duffus 78), Hinchy (Chouchane 90+2), Hinshelwood, Barrington (Mullins 78), Moran (Baker-Boaitey 90+2), O’Mahony.

Unused subs: Cahill, Jackson, Slater.