Walsall Wood FC scored an away win over Heath Hayes last Tuesday (6th January 2015), in a sporting match of good, solid football.
Bill Shaw submitted the following match report:
Back to what we do best, playing football, albeit on what we old Clanger lads call a real claggy pitch (for everyone else that’s heavy, clinging mud).
Can we thank everyone for the messages of support over the last few trying days?
Can we also thank Heath Hayes for the warmth of Tuesday night’s welcome, also the sportsmanship and understanding shown in the game, it really was appreciated. We just shaded the 90 minutes but as per usual it was a very tight encounter that could so easily have gone the other way.
It’s an away trip to Coventry Sphinx for Wood on Saturday next for Wood before we embark on the trek to Westfields (Hereford) on Tuesday 13th.
Thanks again for all your support.
Heath Hayes 0 v 1 Walsall Wood
An entertaining encounter with both sides making light of the heavy conditions. A goal from returning Joey Butlin was all that separated the sides at the end of 90 minutes and that was probably a fair reflection of the game overall.
Wood had the better of the early exchanges but nearly went behind after 6 minutes, Joe Pickering getting into the left of the box to hit a low ball square for Liam Degville to completely mis-hit his shot as the ball took a wicked bobble off a divot.
Wood took until 12 minutes to threaten the home goal, a lovely right wing move involving Craig Deakin and Ben Evans saw the ball played into Leon Taylor who was stopped by Ben Maddox at the expense of a corner. From the corner the ball was half cleared to Max Black whose first time low drive brought a full length save from keeper Matt Cottrell.
On 15 minutes a free kick from the home right dropped perfectly into the path of Chris Geldart to fire a first time effort well wide.
3 minutes later Evans fed Deakin wide right, Evans raced into the box but the far post cross was taken off his head by Cottrell.
Geldart won a left wing corner on 33 minutes, Damian Jarrett powering a header into the top right hand corner, keeper Dale Faultless making a stunning one handed save. Back came Wood, an intricate one touch move right of centre involving Deakin, Evans and Joey Butlin saw Black released into the box, Luke Wright saving the day with a superbly timed challenge. Two minutes later a measured ball by Black found Corey Currithers wide left, he raced into the box and his low cross was just too far in front of Evans and Butlin.
Three minutes later Jarrett and Pickering combined cleverly on the left edge of the Wood box, Jamie Sauntson snuffing out the danger with a great tackle. 43 minutes gone and Joe McNulty played a ball in to Pickering on the right of the box, he turned and fired just wide.
Just into the second half Maddox raced into the right of the Wood box, his low drive was pushed away by Faultless but Maddox was first to the loose ball and this time Faultless saved with his feet at the foot of his left hand post.
On 50 minutes Butlin collected the ball right of the box, twisted and turned to work an opening, his low drive pushed around his left hand post at full stretch by Cottrell. The corner was easily cleared to Pickering who raced for goal through the middle, his low drive under pressure from Sauntson was saved comfortably. A minute later Currithers accelerated away from his marker wide left, cut inside and hit a rising drive wide.
Back came Hayes and on 56 minutes a right wing free kick was flicked on by Tom Essex, bouncing off the far post before being hacked clear.
With Evans becoming more and more influential he scythed through the home defence as he cut in from the right, his diagonal ball into the left of the box was collected at pace by Steven Hayles, his low drive pushed round his left hand post by a diving Cottrell. It was Evans a minute later threading a ball through the defence to put Butlin into the left of the box, his calm, low drive giving Cottrell no chance, to put Wood ahead.
On 77 minutes a long ball forward saw Pickering nick the ball past Faultless as he raced from his area, the striker was forced wide by fast retreating Wood defenders and his low cross was easily cut out.
A minute from time a classic left to right crossfield ball from Harry Harris picked out Hayles on the right of the box, he ran on and rolled a cross shot narrowly wide. A minute later a powerful defensive header by Juxon was flicked on by Harris to put Hayles in on goal, his low drive saved at full stretch by Cottrell.
Wood who replaced central defender Shawn Boothe with midfielder Harry Harris on 55 minutes began to dominate midfield and with Ben Evans having probably his best game for them it was only a matter of time before they broke the deadlock. Nevertheless, both sides played their part in a sporting encounter in trying conditions.
Walsall Wood F.C.
Thanks to Bill and David for the report – always appreciated, indeed, I was thanked on twitter just a day or so ago for the last one.