Photos and captions from Tuesday’s Basford match kindly supplied by David Evans
It’s a double bubble treat for Wood followers today as Bill Shaw is close to up and running again following his computer problems over the last week or so – so I can now post the match reports from the home loss to Basford on Tuesday and yesterday’s away victory over Shepshed.
First of all, Bill had this to say, and I’m not very happy, either. I’ll let the gentleman explain:
Sorry about the lateness of the Basford United report, but better late than never.
I have heard a few whispers that the reason I hadn’t submitted a report was because we had been well beaten. That has never been my style and I’m not about to start now.
The defeat killed off our title chances, but let’s be honest how can we compete with a club who can afford a budget of £3000 per week, that’s right, three thousand pounds per week? I think that on Tuesday night we saw the league champions, but they can still throw it away. Amazingly they were a better side after superstar Lee Hendrie received his marching orders, here’s on interesting statistic for you, striker Ruben Wiggins-Thomas took his seasons goal tally in the league to 41, we as a team had scored 45 on Tuesday night (now 47 after Saturday). Need I make any other comment?
Back to winning ways on Saturday at Shepshed, another 2 goals from Joey Butlin giving us the points. Stafford Rangers in the Staffs Senior Cup semi-final on Tuesday night, the final at Port Vale on Monday 20th April.
Still computerless but hopefully we’ll be back to normal by Wednesday, so keep your fingers crossed we are OK to report the semi-final.
Right, well said Bill. Let me say here and now that Bill works bloody hard to get the reports through to various outlets – including me – and last week his computer problems were so grim he was reduced to faxing the Advertiser his report.
In my experience, Bill has never shied away from telling a few home truths and facing bad games, so cut it out. We had last week’s report by a wing and a prayer, so please, lay off one of the most dedicated and plain speaking supporters Walsall Wood could have.
We both put the effort in to keep you fans informed. Sometimes, stuff doesn’t go to plan – the technology fails, the blog falls over or whatever. We hate it when it happens, but that’s how life runs. I remain happy to refund the blog subscription of anyone who feels they’re getting poor value for money.
Walsall Wood 1 v 3 Basford United
Tuesday 10th March 2015
Wood came back from a horror start to equalise in the first minute of the second half, seven minutes later Lee Hendrie was red carded and against all the odds the 10 men of champions elect Basford United calmly regrouped and took control of the game.
After only three minutes a ball through the centre of the Wood defence looked to be running through to Wood keeper Mario Kisiel who had come racing off his line, he inexplicably hesitated and man of the match Ruben Wiggins-Thomas pushed the ball past him and ran on to score into an empty net.
Wood’s first effort came three minutes later, Steven Hayles flying down the left and crossing to beyond the far post, Leon Taylor powering a header just too high.
On 14 minutes a Stuart and Lee Hendrie interchange wide right, a near post cross for Stuart to hit first time inches wide.
An intricate move three minutes later on the Wood right involving Craig Deakin, Joey Butlin and Ben Evans saw Deakin race into the right of the box, his low cross put behind by Rob Durkin.
On 23 minutes a lovely one touch move across the face of the Wood box with the Hendries prominent ended with Lee fouled in the D, he took the kick himself, Kisiel saving at full stretch. Back came Wood Corey Currithers winning the ball on halfway and putting Hayles clear wide left his far post cross inches in front of the onrushing Taylor, Currithers won a left wing corner on 38 minutes, Harry Harris delivered the flag kick to the near post and Anthony Juxon’s header bounced to safety off the post. Two minutes later Butlin held the ball up cleverly before playing a slide rule ball inside to Harris to hit a first time effort whistling wide.
Referee Malcolm Steward retired injured at half time and after a search for a replacement assistant Jason Main took over in the middle and the game restarted nearly 15 minutes late.
The extra rest seemed to revitalise Wood who were immediately on the attack and within a minute they were back on terms. Harris whipped in a free kick from wide left, Lee Stretton timing his run to perfection and glancing a header beyond keeper Saul Deeney. On 51 minutes the Hendries combined through the centre, Lee released Stuart into the centre of the box; Shawn Boothe making a superb last ditch challenge, the ball broke for Lee who fired a first time effort well wide. Then on 53 minutes came the incident that ultimately changed the course of the game. Lee was booked wide right, carried things too far and collected a second booking and went for an early shower. From a free kick wide right Tyrell Shannon lost his marker and powered in a header from eight yards that was somehow kept out by an amazing save from the flying Kisiel. He was beaten on 60 minutes however when a left wing corner was hit beyond the far post and skipper Dean Meikle scored with a powerful header. With Wood pressing for the equaliser they were open to a quick counter attack which duly came on 72 minutes, a ball was played out of defence to Hendrie who hit a lovely ball into the right of the box that found Jamie McNicholas who’d run 80 yards, his low ball across the 6 yard box was bundled home at the far post by the tireless Wiggins-Thomas.
Wood with nothing to lose threw caution to the winds but couldn’t get back in the match, then with just four minutes to go Wiggins-Thomas trying to stop another ball being bombed forward was a split second late with challenge and was unlucky to pick up a red card.
The title favourites, (certainly the best side to visit Oak Park this season) had shaded the first 53 minutes, but from when Lee Hendrie was sent off they totally dominated proceedings. Ruben Wiggins Thomas on his own up front from then on was superb, but then what do you expect from a player whose personal tally in the league is only five short of Wood’s team total.
A thoroughly deserved victory that puts them three points clear in the title race. I won’t be betting against them.
Walsall Wood F.C.
Shepshed Dynamo 1 v 2 Walsall Wood
Saturday 14th March 2015
Wood completed the double over Dynamo thanks to another Saturday brace from Joey Butlin. The win keeping Wood in contention for a top three finish.
Wood created the first chance when after just two minutes Joey Butlin latched onto a ball on the left edge of the box, his low drive saved at full stretch by home keeper Ryan Thacker.
On seven minutes Liam Prescott raced clear down the home right, he cut inside the box, his near post drive pushed away at full stretch by Wood keeper Mario Kisiel. It was Prescott again on 18 minutes,from a right wing free kick Jake Duffy calmly laid the ball back into his path and his first time rising drive bounced off the top of the bar.
Four minutes later Max Black was fouled just outside the right of the D, Butlin’s free kick bouncing off the outside of the right hand post. A minute later an Andre Gonzales right wing run and cross was hammered goalwards by Butlin at the near post, Thacker with a superb point blank save. It was Thacker to Dynamo’s rescue two minutes later, keeping out a low drive from Joe Pickering. Wood finally made the breakthrough on 38 minutes, a lovely 60 yard crossfield ball from Black found Corey Currithers wide right, he made the byeline, powered through two tackles before firing the ball across the face of the 6 yard box for Butlin to hammer the ball home giving Thacker no chance.
The last goalmouth action of the half came right on half time, Jay Smedley winning the ball on halfway before chipping the ball forward, Shawn Boothe glancing a header back to Kisiel to deny the hard working Brett Darby.
Dynamo put Wood under pressure at the start of the second half and equalised on 49 minutes, Darby holding the ball up cleverly and then releasing Joe French into the right of the box, his low cross to the far post swept home by Danny Chapman.
Footage of Walsall Wood v. Basford posted by Basford United
The goal stung Wood into action and three minutes later Craig Deakin charged down the left, he lost the ball, won it back before crossing to Butlin, foiled again by Thacker with a full length save to keep out his low drive. Harry Harris won a free kick on the left edge of the box on 56 minutes, Butlin’s effort landing on the roof of the net. Two minutes later Lee Stretton broke up a home attack, played the ball up to Harris on halfway, his inch perfect , first time through ball releasing Pickering into the right of the box, his first time rising drive skimming the cross bar.
Just to remind Wood not to go attack crazy Prescott was released into the left of the box by Steve Towers on 72 minutes , Gonzales racing back to make an important challenge and come away with the ball. It was Gonzales again on 74 minutes breaking up an attack and coming forward before releasing Currithers wide right, he cut inside, shrugging off 3 tackles to hit a powerful rising drive that took the slightest deflection off a defender for a corner. Harris delivered the right wing flag kick beyond the far post, Butlin timing his run and jump to perfection to power in a downward header that a defender on the line could only deflect into the roof of the net.
Dynamo’s reply two minutes later saw a free kick on the left of centre touched sideways to skipper Towers to fire a first time rising drive high over. Even the late introduction of Julian Joachim couldn’t help the home side break down a resolute Wood defence and it was Wood who almost had the last word when substitute Lewis Taylor Boyce scythed inside from wide left, laid the ball back perfectly into the path of Butlin to hit a rising drive that was bravely blocked by a defender, to deny the big man his hat trick.
This was another case of winning ugly, but on an uneven surface with the ball bobbling all over the place it was never going to be a football classic. Wood thoroughly deserved to come away with the three points, keeping alive their hopes of a top three finish
Walsall Wood F.C.
Thanks due to Battling Bill Shaw for his reports and all he does – for the good of The Wood!