On Tuesday evening (28th October 2014), Walsall Wood FC faced Continental Star at home, and a remarkably tense, high scoring game ensued.
Bill Shaw submitted the following match report:
Another night of high drama and excitement at Oak Park as Wood made it seven wins out of seven over near neighbours Continental Star since August 17th 2013. The visitors twice came from behind to take the tie into extra time but Wood deservedly went through to face an away tie with Heath Hayes for a place in the last eight of the competition.
Walsall Wood 5 v 3 Continental Star
League Cup (After extra time)
Both sides started confidently in the blustery conditions but it was Wood who drew first blood on 11 minutes, Max Black breaking through the centre of the Star defence, his diagonal ball into the left of the box calmly slotted home by Corey Currithers to open his goalscoring account for the season. Both teams had chances in an open first half but it stayed 1 – 0 until the break.
The second half continued in the same vein with open attacking play from both sides, but it was Wood who scored next. Danny Forrest winning the ball left of centre on 56 minutes and finding Jamel Fuller wide left, his ball into the box was dug from under his feet by Leon Taylor who scored with a low drive.
On 67 minutes a long ball forward through the centre found substitute Daniel Elwell on the edge of the box, he ran on and calmly reduced the arrears. The game was then turned on it’s head in 3 crazy minutes when on 78, Danico Johnson collected the ball on halfway and raced for goal, brushed aside 3 tackles before his low drive tied the game up at 2 – 2.
Walsall Wood’s reply was immediate, from the restart the ball was played out wide left to Drew Aiton, he made ground before coming inside and crossing to the far right of the box to find Ben Evans. Ben calmly cut back inside, faded across the face of the box, before drilling a low drive into the left hand corner.
Wood won the ball back from the restart and Joey Butlin raced onto a ball into the right of the box, going down under a challenge, loud penalty appeals from the crowd but the ball was unceremoniously cleared upfield to just right of centre to find Elwell, who raced into the box and equalised with style for his 2nd and Star’s 3rd.
Wood nearly won it right on 90 minutes, Craig Deakin’s ball into the box finding Aiton, he sidestepped his marker and fired the ball the wrong side of the left hand post.
So it was extra time and as so often happens in these circumstances Wood were ahead within a minute, Currithers won a left wing corner, the ball was delivered into a congested goalmouth and it was he who scored through a packed six yard area.
On 10 minutes Lee Stretton made a great last ditch tackle to deny Elwell his hat trick and a minute later Johnson hit a first time effort just too high from 20 yards. A peach of a move on 14 minutes nearly put Wood 2 ahead when Aiton played a clever 1 -2 wide right with Butlin, then racing into the right of the box to hit a vicious rising cross shot that brought a superb one handed save from keeper Jordan Ellis.
A minute into the second half Black raced through right of centre, his ball out right was collected at pace by Ben Evans who cut inside and sewed the game up with a sweet low drive thar gave the heroic Ellis no chance. It was Ellis late on denying Black the goal his hardworking performance deserved when he raced from his line to make a brave block save on 28 minutes, a minute later Ben Evans charged down an attempted ball forward and raced for goal, the keeper denying him his hat trick with another superb block.
So it’s Wood into the next round but the visitors go away with credit for the part they played in a thoroughly enjoyable 2 hours of attacking football, not sure about the defending, but come on folks it was a great game, played in at times very difficult conditions so well done both sides.
FA Vase next, Saturday 1st November with West Midland League Premier Division leaders AFC Bridgnorth the tricky visitors.
My thanks to Bill for a great report – and for all those he selflessly writes and send to me after every match. They really are popular, and a credit to Bill and the club. Walsall Wood have a reputation for being a great, community spirited group of people and these reports demonstrate that – it’s an honour and joy to feature them here.
For the good of the Wood!