Leasing.com Trophy

Walsall 6

Forest Green Rovers 0

A FOREST GREEN team featuring a raft of academy starlets failed to contain a Walsall side who progressed through the final group game of the Leasing.com Trophy at Rovers' expense.

Darrell Clarke's Walsall hit Rovers for six on a chastening night for Mark Cooper's fledglings.

Turning to youth, head coach Cooper named only Aaron Collins from the side that beat Billericay Town in the FA Cup on Saturday. 

Forest Green opened the game with two 16-year-olds. Vaughn Covil started his second match in the competition. Meanwhile, Harvey Bunker made his debut and  Isaiah Jones,17,  completed the fresh-faced line-up.

Walsall were too hot to handle as Josh Gordon helped himself to hat-trick. Gordon opened his account on 23 minutes as he stabbed beyond Adam Smith, making his first start of the season, from a Caolan Lavery delivery.

Gordon bagged his second 10 minutes later from another Lavery assist. Rovers' baby-faced side were 3-0 down whens Gordon grabbed his hat-trick after the break. Matt Mills was judged to have handled in the box to leave Gordon to spank home a 50th-minute penalty. Seconds later striker Aaron Collins was sent off  following a lengthy conversation with match official Tom Nield.

The Saddlers goal avalanche continued - Wes McDonald grabbing the fifth with a sweet curler from Rory Holden's 72nd-minute cross. Two minutes later and Liam Kinsella made it five and Cameron Norman made it six on 90 minutes.

Forest Green: Smith, Godwin-Malife, M. Mills, McGinley, Mondal, Bunker, I. Jones, Morton, Taylor, Covil, Collins

Subs: Thomas, Dawson, Saunders, Hill, Ogunleye, Artwell, D Jones

Attendance: 621