All pictures above kindly supplied by David Evans.
Yesterday (Saturday, 17th January 2015), Walsall Wood F.C. faced Barnsley’s Shaw Lane Aquaforce at Oak Park, in a very important match in the FA Vase competition; sadly, it ended deadlocked, but this was a very entertaining match for the spectators.
Bill Shaw was there for every shot and submitted the following match report:
Well we are still in there fighting, with everything to play for. With the Barnsley forecast, the weather will be making the headlines over the next few days. Brocton losing 3-2 it’s Wood carrying the Midland League flag for this season, but don’t write them off yet, they turned in some superb away performances on the way to the quarter finals two seasons ago, so keep the faith, the Wembley dream is still alive, we never said it was going to be easy.
Watch the website for details of the replay, the Stoke City game, as well as the game at Quorn next Saturday, sorry to be so vague but the Vase takes priority, however the South Yorkshire forecast is not very good for next week.
Walsall Wood 1 v 1 Shaw Lane Aquaforce (AET)
F. A. Vase Round 4
Both sides are in Monday’s fifth Round draw after this pulsating encounter. Wood had gone ahead through Ben Evans after just two minutes, the visitors equalised from the penalty spot 20 minutes later. They then had the better of the half but Wood held out before having the better of the second half and when Luke O’Brien was dismissed on 78 minutes the visitors looked to be heading for the exit door, but they took the tie into extra time and held out to take Walsall Wood back to Barnsley sometime next week, weather permitting.
After just a minute clever play on the edge of the box by Lee Morris saw him set up Joe Thornton to take one touch before firing high and wide.
Barely a minute later Corey Currithers collected a ball wide left, cut in along the byeline, his low cross cut back to Ben Evans to fire home from 10 yards. A minute later a ball forward was flicked over the top of a static defence, keeper Ben Gathercole racing out to deny Leon Taylor.
Having weathered the storm Joe Thornton got clear on the visitors right racing to the byeline and pulling the ball back, Craig Deakin heading clear. Three minutes later Luke O’Brien fed Matt Thornhill to race into the left of the box, his cross headed over by Shawn Boothe to deny Morris. On 16 minutes a left wing through ball saw Thornhill race clear as Jamie Sauntson slipped, he ran into the left of the box and calmly slotted home past the advancing Faultless only for the goal to be ruled out by an Assistants offside flag.
A further three minutes on Evans was fouled just over halfway, the free kick was taken quickly to find Currithers wide left, he raced into the box, keeper Gathercole making a brave full length block.
On 20 minutes Morris and Thornton combined on the right of the box, the low cross put behind by Deakin. Minutes later Thornton twisted and turned on the right of the box and went down under a mistimed challenge, a penalty was given and Shane Kelsey put Shaw Lane back on level terms. A minute later Thornton raced into the right of the box, his fierce low drive pushed round his left hand post by Faultless.
With 27 minutes gone, O’Brien raced into the right of the box, his low cross found Thornton, Shawn Boothe blocking his first time drive. A minute later it was Thornton away again wide right, his cross headed goalwards by Morris, with Faultless beaten Deakin raced back to clear the ball off the line. On 37 minutes Thornton was clear again on the right, he cut across the face of the box, his low drive well saved by Faultless. A clever flick on by Gary Stohrer found Thornton on the right of the box to fire a wild cross shot across the face of the 6 yard box. A minute after that it was O’Brien racing into the left of the box, his cross shot right under the bar tipped over by Faultless.
Wood’s reply was instant, Currithers put Andre Gonzales clear wide left, he cut inside, pulled the ball back into the path of Evans to hit a first time low drive jut wide.
Eight minutes into the second half Currithers played a ball into the left edge of the box to find Evans, his quick through ball almost set up Taylor but Gathercole raced from his line to kick clear. With the clock at 55 minutes, Evans cut inside from wide right, his low drive bringing a full length save from Gathercole. Wood couldn’t find a way through the visitor’s defence but gave away a 35 yard free kick on 64 minutes Stohrer’s dipping drive just clearing the crossbar. A couple of minutes on saw a left wing cross by Currithers was only cleared as far as the right edge of the box, Butlin won the ball, cut back inside to fire a cross shot narrowly wide. On 70 minutes Evans won the ball wide right and raced into the box, Steven Istead saving the day with a superbly timed challenge.
On 72 minutes a ball out of defence reached Danny South on the edge of the Wood box, he played the ball across the box to Thornton who fired a first time effort high over. A minute later a ball over the top of the Wood defence was collected at pace by Morris, Boothe saving Wood with a superbly timed challenge.
Then at 78 minutes substitute Tom Evans raced for goal right of centre and was pulled back by O’Brien who collected a red card for the challenge. The 10 men took the heat out of the game denying Wood any space but in the dying seconds Tom Evans crossed from wide right, Currithers saw his header half cleared to Jamie Sauntson to fire in a drive that was deflected just wide. So the tie went into extra time.
The extra half hour saw the 10 men frustrate Wood, with Thornton turning in a heroic performance at left back. It was Shaw Lane with the first chance however after just a minute, an intricate move right of centre had Andrew Fox released into the right of the box to finish wildly.
Barely six minutes in, Currithers released Gonzales into the left of the box, his fierce low drive saved at the second attempt by Gathercole. The first chance of the second half came after just a minute, Tom Evans saw his right wing cross pushed out to Butlin who fired just wide from 25 yards. On 26 minutes an interception 25 yards out by Drew Aiton saw him run on and fire a low drive inches wide.
So it’s a trip up the M1 to Barnsley for Wood, but all is not lost, as it starts all square in the replay, whenever it’s played.
You wouldn’t risk your life savings on either side, whatever the conditions.
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!