There was a real treat for the Walsall Wood fans on Tuesday Evening last (21st October 2014) as a patchy home team were proven unexpectedly superior to their visitors, and the Woodmen fought to a very respectable victory over Hednesford.
Bill Shaw was there, as he always is, to witness a remarkable match. He sent the following report:
Well I never expected that, when I received the team sheet there were seven absentees from Saturday’s winning line up. Five of them occupied the bench but wonder goalscorer Scott Cooper and keeper Mario Kisiel had a night off. With the exception of Tom Evans who had started 14 games this season the other 6 newcomers to the side could muster just 7 starts between them all.
Walsall Wood 2 v 1 Hednesford Town
There was no hint of the shock to come as the Pitmen put Wood under pressure from the start. After 11 minutes Jamey Osborne had the first clear chance racing onto a ball left of the box, keeper Dale Faultless out quickly and bravely to make a superb full length block.
The sides swapped chances but the visitors should have gone ahead on 31 minutes, Steve Diggin stepped inside Lee Stretton who slipped, the striker raced for goal, his low drive bringing a brilliant fingertip save from Faultless, (Coach Ray Monaghan take a bow for all the hard work).
Two minutes into the second half skipper Darren Campion made space left of the box before curling a shot inches wide of the far post. A minute later Stretton bravely threw himself in front of a vicious effort from Alex Melbourne.
The breakthrough came on 53 minutes, a long ball forward found Leon Taylor right of centre, he out-muscled one defender and just powered away from another leaving him labouring in his wake, before firing the ball past the advancing Ryan Price.
On 63 minutes Osbourne had a shot charged down, four minutes later Jamie Crowther ran at the Wood defence before releasing Diggin into the right of the box, Stretton saving Wood with a superbly timed last ditch tackle. The Pitmen were now really ratcheting up the pressure, but couldn’t break down a resolute Wood defence, when they did on 80 minutes Faultless made a full length save from substitute Tom Thorley and again 3 minutes later diving full length to deny the ever dangerous Osbourne.
Wood sewed it up on 85 minutes, Craig Deakin fed Tom Evans down the right touchline, his neat little ball inside found Max Black on the right edge of the box, he cleverly drew players towards him before playing the ball unselfishly across the face of the box to drew Aiton who scored into the bottom left hand corner to put Wood in Wonderland, (No Alice to be seen, but visibility wasn’t too good).
With the clock showing 90 minutes, a long ball forward seemed to hold up in the wind, Tom Peers first to react, firing the ball home from close range to pull a goal back, but it was too little too late and Wood played out the last 5 long minutes of added time to record a brilliant, albeit unexpected victory that was greeted with euphoria by the rain lashed Wood faithful, deservedly so, this is what being a loyal supporter is all about.
So it’s Wood into the last 8, now wouldn’t a home tie against Chasetown be good?
It’s away at Lye on Saturday, followed by a home league cup tie against Continental Star on Tuesday night.
Thanks to Bill for a great and thoroughly honest match report, as ever.
Walsall Wood Football Club are a top local side with a big-hearted faithful who know how to have a great time supporting their lads, and welcome all comers to come enjoy great local soccer. The boys from The Wood have been at the heart of the local community for a century or more, so please do go check out a match or two if you’re curious.
Cheers old chap. For the good of The Wood!