Walsall Wood FC fought bravely on Thursday night, but just couldn’t quite get the better of visitors Tividale FC in a great match that saw the local lads knocked out of the Walsall Senior Cup for this season.
Sorry, this report was delayed as Is it came in while I was at work earlier.
Bill Shaw submitted the following match report:
sorry it’s late but I didn’t get to bed until 3.00am!
Another night of high drama at Oak Park, a fantastic advert for for the Midland Alliance and football in general. Football was the real winner at the end of a night of heartbreak for the Wood.
Walsall Senior Cup Quarter final:
Walsall Wood 2 v 3 Tividale – After extra time.
On a pitch made very heavy by a torrential downpour a couple hours before kick off , two of the best footballing sides ever to grace the Midland Alliance served up an absolute cracking evening of football.
Somehow the first half ended goalless, mainly due to man of the match Tividale keeper Jack Hayfield who was equal to anything Wood fired at him. The second half was again played at a relentless pace but just as entertaining, the deadlock broken on 68 minutes, Luke Male firing home from close range after a run and cross from wide right by Sam Williams.
Wood’s goal 7 minutes later was similarly crafted, Lewis Taylor Boyce tricked his way along the byeline from wide on the right before calmly laying the ball back to Joey Butlin to score the equaliser with a crisp low drive. Parity only lasted 2 minutes, the ever alert Ashley Jackson threaded a ball through the Wood rearguard to put Garfield Robinson racing clear into the centre of the box, as Wood keeper Raajan Gill raced to meet him he hit a precision low drive past his right hand side.
It took Wood just 2 minutes to get back on terms, Corey Currithers was fouled 25 yards out,on the right edge of the box, Butlin hitting a thunderous rising drive that took a deflection off the defensive wall and rocketted past a stranded Hayfield.
Tividale had a chance on 86 minutes to win the game but Gill raced from his area to kick clear from Matt Jukes – just, then 2 minutes later a lucky bounce took Jackson clear to race for goal, Gill making an absolutely superb full length save.
Wood had the better of the early exchanges in the first half of extra time with Taylor Boyce creating panic in the visitors defence every time he had the ball and Butlin a constant threat, but somehow it was still all square at half time. The winner came on 109 minutes, Jackson again collecting the ball in the centre circle before an inch perfect ball through the Wood defence gave Matt Morgan a chance to power into the right of the box. As Gill came out to meet him he cleverly laid the ball to his left for Matt Martin to calmly slot home.
Wood were a coat of paint away from the a 3rd equaliser when 2 minutes later Butlin fired a free kick into the top right hand corner, Hayfield just making fingertip contact to push the shot onto the underside of the bar, only for the ball to bounce to safety It was a case of what we have we hold as Champions elect Tividale ran down the clock and held out to frustrate Wood until the final whistle.
For both teams this was their 3rd game in 6 days but they served up a feast of football on a heavy pitch – so please note Mr. Wenger and the rest of the pampered, overpaid prima donnas playing on their bowling green pitches of the Premier League most of these lads work full time as well!
Congratulations to everyone involved in last night’s game you were a credit to football everywhere, just a pity there had to be a loser on the night, Walsall Wood suffering extra time heartbreak for the second time this season.
It’s Alvechurch away today as the Woodmen look to consolidate their ninth spot in the table, then on Tuesday night Stourport Swifts are the visitors to Oak Park, another club in their sights as they look to finish as high as possible in the first ever season at this elevated level five.
As ever, thanks to Bill for the report – always appreciated – for The Good of the Wood!