All pictures above kindly supplied by David Evans.
Walsall Wood FC got 2015 off to a good start at home against Stourport Swifts yesterday (1st January 2015), despite a somewhat eventful match.
Bill Shaw submitted the following match report:
Another important three points for the Wood and a great way to start the New year.
From the feedback I’ve had, your followers prefer the full report rather than the shortened version I’ve done previously. It’s the report that is sent to the newspapers, so you can see how they amend it. Anyway, let me know what people prefer if you can and I’ll do what the majority want.
Walsall Wood 2 V 0 Stourport Swifts
A win for the visitors would have taken them up to 4th place, but it was Wood who deservedly claimed the points courtesy of a brace by Leon Taylor.
On a heavy pitch Wood almost went ahead after just a minute, Leon Taylor took the ball round keeper Brendan Bunn but Kevin Spencer poked the ball behind for a left wing corner that was easily cleared. The ball was quickly played to the other end for Luke Corbett to hit a low drive from 30 yards that was pushed round the right hand post by a diving Dale Faultless at full stretch. On 10 minutes a forceful run wide right by Paul Hurrell saw him hit a cross to the far post that just eluded Lewis Pountney.
On 14 minutes Andre Gonzales powered down the Wood left before releasing Corey Currithers into the left of the box, his low ball inside was fractionally behind Taylor who could only shoot straight at the keeper.
Three minutes later Pountney won a right wing corner, the ball half cleared to Michael Briscoe whose first time effort cleared the back fence.
The game developed into a midfield stalemate and you could see why the two sides had the two meanest defences in the league until on 28 minutes an unseemly off the ball incident saw Black for Wood and Carl Fellows for Swifts take an early bath.
After a lengthy delay the game continued and two minutes into injury time Currithers picked the ball up on halfway and raced for goal, he scythed through three tackles before being half stopped just inside the box, Taylor first to the loose ball to push it wide of Bunn and the post.
A minute later Corbett raced onto a through ball left of centre to fire hopelessly wide.
The first goalmouth action of the second half came on 53 minutes, an intricate piece of interplay by Currithers and Ben Evans won a corner that was easily cleared. They combined two minutes later, Currithers cut in from wide left and set up Evans whose first time drive brought a full length save from Bunn. Wood broke the deadlock a minute later, Gonzales broke up an attack and raced 50 yards wide left, played a clever 1-2 with Currithers before crossing low into the centre, Taylor timing his run to perfection hammered the ball home. On 68 minutes it was Currithers, the left wing marauder, making the left of the box, pulling the ball back to find Taylor who made no mistake to bury the ball in the back of the net. On 80 minutes from a right wing throw Evans cut inside, laid the ball back to Charlton Davies whose 25 yard low drive was deflected inches wide, to deny him his first Wood goal.
The last goalmouth action of the game came on 88 minutes, a left wing through ball was collected at pace by Corbett who from 20 yards fired a low drive wide.
It was Wood who adapted better to the double red card in the 28th minutes, but make no mistake, they deserved the three points in the battle of the league’s best defences. The two goals were courtesy of some brilliant old fashioned wing play and powerful centre forward finishing that would have had the TV pundits purring.
It’s Heath Hayes away on Tuesday 6th followed by a visit to Coventry Sphinx on Saturday 10th.
Walsall Wood F.C.
Please do let me know your views on the longer reports – personally, I love them and are happy to feature them.
As ever, thanks to Bill for the report – always appreciated – for The Good of the Wood!