Last Tuesday evening (3rd March 2015), Walsall Wood F.C. played Boldmere St. Michaels at Oak Park and the match was yet another goalless draw, much to the frustration of Bill Shaw, who submitted the following match report:
Another shut out at Oak Park as yet another three points went begging. It’s now just four goals in seven league games for the Wood as another side put up the shutters at Oak Park. Could it be that Wood are paying the price for their elevated high profile position in non-league Midland football and are being seen as a real scalp? Stranger things have happened.
Walsall Wood 0 v 0 Boldmere St. Michaels
Another Oak Park stalemate as both sides conquered the wind and the heavy pitch but neither side could understand some of the crazy decisions, a terrible penalty all, (obviously missed) and a ridiculous red card just two of them but the list was endless.
The game started quietly, with the protagonists appearing to feel each other out, it was the Mikes who were first to threaten when on eight minutes an intricate move through the centre saw Jermain Clark race into the box, keeper Mario Kisiel flicked the ball off his toe but it flew straight to Cameron Jones who fired a first time effort wide. Three minutes later a right wing corner was delivered to the near post, Jason Holmes flicked the ball on for Jack Hulin to power a header just too high.
The first howler game on 13 minutes, Harry Harris won the ball left of centre and delivered a superb 60 yard diagonal ball into the right of the box to find Ben Evans, keeper Adam Jenkins came racing out and as Evans tried to take the ball past him he touched the ball away at full stretch and him and Evans went down in a heap. A penalty was the decision, much to Mikes disgust, justice was done however when Joey Butlin fired wide of the left hand post from the spot. Three minutes later Butlin collected a ball in the centre, powered through two tackles, his low drive pushed away by Jenkins. Then on 25 minutes Anthony Juxon intercepted a pass in midfield and raced for goal, he laid the ball off right to Butlin who cleverly sidestepped one challenge before firing in a 20 yard low drive that brought another full length save from Jenkins. Two minutes later an intricate right to left crossfield move saw Andre Gonzales hitting a shot that was deflected for a corner. The flag kick was half cleared to Corey Currithers 25 yards out, his first time rising drive blocked by a line of charging defenders. On 30 minutes Joe Pickering raced onto a ball into the left of the box, but was stopped by Nick Heath at the expense of a corner. Harris seeing his flag kick sail over everyone and bounce to safety off the inside of the right hand post with Jenkins this time soundly beaten.
A lovely move two minutes later almost broke the deadlock, Currithers soared into the air to direct a right wing header inside to Butlin, his clever incisive flick into the right of the box was collected at pace by Harris, his first touch took him past the fast approaching Jenkins but from an almost impossible angle his shot went off the outside of the post. The last goalmouth action of the half came on 41 minutes, Currithers was fouled wide right and from the resulting free kick Pickering saw his header bring another full length save from Jenkins.
Wood cranked up the pressure at the start of the second half, three minutes in Currithers cut in from the right, Jenkins full length to keep out his low drive. Four minutes later Wood pressured a defender into a mistake wide left, Evans crossed into the centre of the box to pick out Butlin, his lovely flick up took him away from his marker, only for him under pressure to push the ball the wrong side of the right hand post. Three minutes later it was Luke Adams marauding down the right, his low ball inside collected at pace by Butlin who turned inside his marker, Jenkins again full length to keep out his low drive. 60 minutes gone and Pickering got clear wide left, crossed into the box, the ball only cleared out to Adams to hit a first time effort narrowly wide. Two minutes later a strong defensive challenge by Gonzales saw him break up a rare Mikes attack, his long ball forward was collected by Pickering to race into the box, Hulin making a superb last ditch tackle, half hearted penalty appeals rightly ignored.
Having weathered the storm Mikes broke out of defence on 63 minutes, Stephen Palmer collecting a ball played over the top, he ran on and was brought down by an untidy challenge from behind by Adams, who was inexplicably given a straight red card.
Wood quickly regrouped taking off Pickering and bringing on Craig Deakin at right back and they were equal to anything the Mikes could throw at them and dominated the last 10 minutes. Butlin stopped by a great challenge by Hulin on 82 minutes, two minutes later Evans saw a shot charged down. The only scare came a minute later when Bogdan Coderean raced onto a ball left of centre only to fire well wide. Wood had the last word when on 88 minutes Gonzales cut inside from wide left, his cross to beyond the far post was hit first time over the far angle by Currithers.
It didn’t reach the heights of the Boxing Day encounter, due in part to some strange decisions, that undoubtedly frustrated and angered players and management alike, certainly baffling the spectators.
To clear up a query, Mikes did not field four second half substitutes, No. 3 wore the No. 12 shirt after a first half clash had seen his shirt blooded.
Continental Star on Saturday at Oak Park, then Basford United on Tuesday night.
Walsall Wood F.C.
Thanks to Bill and David for the report – always appreciated – for The Good of the Wood!