Walsall Wood FC were away to Coventry Sphinx yesterday afternoon (Saturday, 10th January 2015), and were on form with 90 minutes of wonderfully entertaining football, in which they beat the Coventry boys 2-1.
Bill Shaw has submitted an excellent match report, as he always does – thanks, Bill!
Bill sent this report:
This was Wood grafting out a win, to record their third double of the season, but they were made to fight all the way by a young Sphinx side, but in the end just about deserved the three points which has seen them move into the top six for the first time this season.
The next home game is Saturday 17th in the 4th Round of the FA Vase, against Shaw Lane Aquaforce, with Walsall almost having booked their Wembley place in May, come along and roar neighbours Wood on towards an unbelievable WS double.
Coventry Sphinx 1 V 2 Walsall Wood
Wood must like giving Sphinx a goal start, behind after 90 seconds at Oak Park in October they lasted until the 13th minute this time, but came back with two second half goals to really win ugly. With results going their way Wood entered the top six for the first time this season.
Facing a strong wind Wood threatened first on five minutes with Ben Evans racing away wide right, his low cross flashed across the face of the six yard box but was pushed behind by Rickie Fletcher to deny the late arriving Joey Butlin.
On 10 minutes Ashley Cain made space wide right before pulling the ball back to Luke Downes who was tackled instantly by Andre Gonzales to clear the danger. three minutes later it was Cain again, this time getting into the right of the box before crossing to the far post to find Jamie Newton who fired home from close range.
On 17 minutes Jamie Sauntson broke up a Sphinx attack and played a lovely crossfield ball to find Corey Currithers wide left, he raced into the area his low drive easily saved.
On 22 minutes Cain and Nic Evangelinos carved open the right of the Wood defence, the low cross into the six yard box was cleared by Craig Deakin to deny Downes. two minutes later Jackson Downie collected a ball right of centre and was allowed to run for goal, his rising drive from 30 yards bounced down and away to safety off the underside of the bar.
After 27 minutes an incisive ball into the left of the six yard box was hit by Currithers, keeper Carl O’Neill making a point blank block, the ball was hacked clear but only as far as Charlton Davies whose first time effort skimmed the bar. six minutes later a long ball forward was headed on by Butlin into the path of Evans to flash a first time effort inches wide.
A clever left wing free kick into the left of the box on 40 minutes nearly caught the Wood defence napping, Kyle Baxter ghosting in to glance a header across goal and beyond the far post. two minutes later Cain, Evangelinos and Downes were involved in a move from the right across the face of the box, Newton’s snap shot from 20 yards straight at keeper Dale Faultless. Right on half time Deakin crossed from wide right, the ball only cleared as far as Andre Gonzales who from 20 yards fired just over the right angle.
Wood came out to play with the wind at their backs, only to find it had dropped considerably during the interval, nevertheless within two minutes of the restart they were on level terms. From a right wing corner the ball was half cleared, Evans was released into the centre of the box and was brought down, Butlin despatching the resulting penalty. Wood won the ball back from the restart, Harry Harris releasing Butlin wide left to run on, cut back inside and fire in a low drive that was held by O’Neill. four minutes later a lovely move through the centre saw Evans put Black racing into the box, he swept the ball out left to Currithers and Black was then inches away from the far post cross. It was Wood again on 65 minutes breaking up a Sphinx attack, Deakin feeding Evans wide right, his ball across the box hit first time by Butlin to bring another full length save from O’Neill.
The Wood defence got aught out on 67 minutes, Downie timing his run perfectly to collect a ball over the top of a flat footed defence, Faultless racing from his area and saving the low drive with his feet.
On 75 minutes Butlin powered in from the left, he was stopped on the edge of the box but managed to play the ball out to Harris to fire a first time effort just too high.
Two minutes later Downes powered in from the right along the byeline, fired in a low cross that Downie screwed wide from close range.
A minute later O’Neill easily saved a Butlin lob before on 82 minutes racing from his area to make a great tackle on Steven Hayles as he raced onto a lovely Harris through ball.
Not to be outdone, Cain raced clear wide left for Sphinx, fired in a low cross, Ashley Wilks firing high over when it looked easier to score.
It looked like a creditable draw until on 90 minutes Faultless launched a kick down-field, O’Neill raced from his area to make a complete mess of an attempted clearance, Hayles nipping in to race clear and score into an empty net.
There was some good football played by both sides, but this was Wood grafting out a hard fought win, but it’s three points however it’s won.
It’s Westfields away on Tuesday night for Wood, followed by the 4th round of the FA Vase at home on Saturday.
Walsall Wood F.C.
Thanks to Bill, for an honest, entertaining and very fan-focussed match report, as ever. Really an honour to feature them here.
Check out Walsall Wood FC’s website here.