Images and captions kindly supplied ny David Evans.
Yesterday (7th February 2015), after a rash of weather-scuppered games, Walsall Wood F.C. squared off against Brockton at Oak Park in that very rare event – an entertaining no score draw.
Bill Shaw was there for every shot and submitted the following match report:
Anything but a bore draw, Wood looking a little ring rusty shaded the 90 minutes, but both Mario Kisiel for Wood and Calum Barrett for Brocton turned in superb performances to deny two lively attacks.
Wood travel to Quorn on Tuesday night before facing Tipton Town away on Saturday next. Wood’s only cup interest comes on Tuesday week with Stoke City at Oak Park, with them probably fielding the under 21 side, why not come along and see if you can spot yourself a future star from the Potteries.
Walsall Wood 0 v. 0 Brocton
One of the games rarities, an entertaining goal-less draw, with Badgers keeper Calum Barrett somehow going away with a clean sheet, but not to be outdone Wood’s Mario Kisiel turned in a fine performance as the game unbelievably ended without a goal.
After just four minutes, debutant Joe Pickering crossed from wide right to the near post, Leon Taylor getting in a header that Calum Barrett saved comfortably. On 10 minutes Corey Currithers crossed from the leftt of the box, David Ablewhite just inches ahead of Taylor and Joey Butlin to put the ball behind for a corner that was easily cleared.
Near disaster for Wood a minute later, Shawn Boothe easily cut out a crossfield ball and played the ball back to Kisiel who sliced the ball straight to Sam Bell, he raced into the box, Kisiel making amends for his error with a superb full length save. Two minutes later Carl Morris found Paul McMahon on the left edge of the box, he turned his marker and fired high over. Next it was Bell racing into the right of the box, his cross cum shot touched away under pressure by Kisiel, but only to the left side of the box for Charlie Jones to fire a ball across the face of the six yard box without anyone able to apply a finishing touch.
On 20 minutes Currithers raced clear on the left, cut inside but his low cross was intercepted, Taylor won the ball back and set up Ben Evans, his rising drive well held by Barrett. Four minutes later Wood laid siege to the Badgers goal, Butlin, Evans and then Butlin again had shots charged down, the ball breaking left for Andre Gonzales, who came inside and his howitzer drive was pushed around the near post by Barrett standing tall. 10 minutes later Currithers was fouled 35 yards out, Butlin’s free kick deflecting off the wall, Barrett making a stunning save. Three minutes later from a right wing corner Edward Booth powered a header just over the Wood bar. A minute later Bell won the ball wide right, ran on a released McMahon into the right of the box, his low drive saved at full stretch by Kisiel.
Back came Wood and on 41 minutes Currithers released Pickering into the left of the box, his neat ball inside was crossed first time by Gonzales into the middle, Barrett slipped as he came out but managed to flick the ball away from Taylor before pouncing on the loose ball.
Then on 44 minutes Gary Fife crossed from wide left, Morris firing first time over. Wood should have gone ahead on the stroke of half time, Gonzales put Currithers clear on the left of the box, his low cross found Pickering who was undone by the infamous Wood bobble and he screwed the ball over the bar from 10 yards.
The first chance of the second half fell to the Badgers on 51 minutes, Morris running through the centre, laying the ball off right to Jack Edwards his first time low drive well saved by Kisiel. Wood’s reply was immediate, Evans cut in from the right and set up Pickering, his rising drive touched over by Barrett. From the corner Wood again put the Badgers defence under siege but players were throwing themselves in the way of shots and they somehow survived the onslaught.
On 63 minutes a misplaced clearance went to Evans left of centre, he cut inside only to see his shot deflected wide. A minute later it was Evans racing through the centre before playing the ball into the path of Pickering, his low drive bringing another full length save from Barrett.
A quick break out of defence by the Badgers three minutes later saw Edwards wide right play the ball inside to Morris to hit first time wide.
With Wood looking for a winner they were open to a quick counter attack, a move broke down on 78 minutes and the Badgers won a right wing free kick, the ball was delivered wide of the far post, Fife powering a header off the post. The last action of the game saw another Wood attack repulsed, a long ball forward was allowed to drop over his right shoulder by Fife and uncharacteristically he fired a first time effort hopelessly wide.
Both sides mastered the tricky, heavy conditions to turn in an entertaining 90 minutes, the Badgers goal at times bore a charmed life. The return game at Brocton on the 21st should be an interesting encounter, well worth a trip up the A34.
Walsall Wood F.C.
As ever, thanks to Bill for the report, and the young David Evans – always appreciated – for The Good of the Wood!