Woodmen deny Star’s wish

Images and captions kindly supplied by roving reporter the young David Evans.

Yesterday afternoon (Saturday 7th March 2014), Walsall Wood FC faced Continental Star at home, and beat the lads from Dales Lane with two penalties – but Bill Shaw can’t hide his disquiet.

Sorry for the delay to this report, technical gremlins have been running amok today…

Bill submitted the following match report:

Hiya Bob,

Back to winning ways, albeit two goals from the penalty spot by Joey Butlin. Walsall Wood thoroughly deserved the win but still the achilles heel was well to the fore, Wood have by far the best defensive record in the league but only Alvechurch, Heath Hayes and Tipton Town have scored fewer goals.

You don’t have to be a genius to work out what the problem is, but regrettably goal scoring strikers looking to move in March are as rare as hen’s teeth. If you know of one, let us know!

Don’t forget it’s the Hendrie brothers at Oak Park on Tuesday night, don’t be late, should be yet another interesting 90 minutes.

Walsall Wood 2 v 1 Continental Star

Another 90 minutes of almost total Wood domination, but once again they struggled to put their chances away. Joey Butlin with two converted penalties in a five minute second half spell sparing their blushes.

Wood were first to threaten after just seven minutes, a sloppy pass across the face of the Star box was intercepted by Ben Evans who went through 3 tackles before being stopped by a no nonsense challenge from Matt Hunt.

Three minutes later Ricardo Reid was released wide left for Star, he cut inside through one tackle only to fire over the bar.

Wood’s reply was immediate, Anthony Juxon winning the ball on halfway and feeding Joe Pickering wide left, he made the box, cut inside and then outside his marker before rolling his low cross shot agonisingly wide. It was Pickering again on 23 minutes, collecting a ball through the middle of the defence from Harry Harris, after a slick one touch move through the centre, his rising drive just too high. Two minutes later Joey Butlin released Corey Currithers wide right, his low cross put behind by the alert Hunt. The corner kick was slapped away by keeper Ryan Cheshire for a left wing one which was half cleared to Evans to fire first time over from 20 yards. Next it was Pickering on 32 minutes racing onto a ball in the centre of the box, only to be engulfed by keeper Cheshire and a posse of defenders before he could get his shot away. The last goal mouth action of the half came five minutes later, Currithers played a ball in from wide on the right to Harris whose low drive from 35 yards was saved at full stretch by Cheshire.

Wood thought they’d finally broken the deadlock on 53 minutes, Harris played the ball inside from wide right, Pickering threaded the ball through the centre of the box for Butlin to fire home, only for the goal to be disallowed by an offside flag, much to the strikers disgust. The first goal came on 60 minutes, the tireless Pickering racing into the left of the box, he was fouled as he went past the defender the Referee playing the advantage, but when Pickering went down under a second challenge by the same player a penalty was rightly given. Butlin making no mistake to become Wood’s leading goalscorer. It was almost 2-0 when four minutes later Craig Deakin put Harrris clear wide right, his ball inside found Leon Taylor, keeper Cheshire out quickly and bravely to keep out his first time effort. A minute later it was 2-0, Evans ball into the left of the box was collected at pace by Harris, the ball appearing to stick under his feet only for him to be unceremoniously bundled over by an untidy, mistimed challenge, penalty No. 2, Butlin doubling Wood’s lead.

That appeared to be it as Wood with one eye on Tuesday night’s encounter with leader Basford United attempted to calmly play the ball around, but on 81 minutes Marcel Simpson broke up an attack and powered over halfway and hit a pinpoint ball over the top of a square Wood defence into the right of the box, Reid timed his run to perfection and slotted the ball past the advancing Mario Kisiel as he raced from his line to meet him.

It should have been a nervous last 10 minutes for Wood but they went close to increasing their advantage with ex-Star Daniel Holgate racing 30 yards into the box before being caught by Hunt and then right on time he cut in along the left byeline, laid the ball back to Taylor who saw his goalbound effort blocked on the line.

Wood again should have had a hatful of goals but struggled to find the net, there was only ever going to be one winner and the two goals from the penalty spot at least gave us the right result.

Bill Shaw
Walsall Wood F.C.

My thanks to Bill for a great report – and for all those he selflessly writes and send to me after every match. They really are popular, and a credit to Bill and the club. Walsall Wood have a reputation for being a great, community spirited group of people and these reports demonstrate that – it’s an honour and joy to feature them here.

For the good of the Wood!

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