Photos and captions kindly supplied by David Evans
Yesterday afternoon (Saturday, 29th March 2015) Walsall Wood FC faced Westfields at Oak Park, resulting in a decisive and pleasing victory for the Woodmen.
Bill Shaw submitted the following match report:
It wasn’t easy and at times it wasn’t pretty but nevertheless it was three more points that cements 5th place and with eight games still to go puts us within eight points of last seasons 71 that saw us finish 6th.
It’s AFC Wulfrunians away at Wolves old training ground Castlecroft on Tuesday night before on Saturday we visit high flyers Coleshill Town, with the banned duo of Harry Harris and leading scorer Joey Butlin, together with Joe Pickering who has returned to Heath Hayes for the rest of the season, missing. It’s a chance for Leon Taylor, Daniel Holgate and Drew Aiton to make an impact on this season. Let’s face it, they’ve all scored goals this term, so good luck guys, go for it.
We’ve also lost the irrepressible Gonzo (Andre Gonzales) who has gone back to Sutton Town to help in their promotion push for the play offs. Thanks for everything mate, good luck.
Thanks to everyone for the support as we approach the sharp end of the season, there’s still a lot to play for, so keep the faith.
Walsall Wood 2 v 0 Westfields.
Another comfortable three points for Wood who whilst never looking in danger of defeat struggled to break down 10 man Westfield after the 40th minute dismissal of striker Luke Corbett.
It took Wood just five minutes to go ahead, Jamie Hawkins making his first appearance of the season crossed from wide right, keeper Harvey Rivers slapped the ball away from Joey Butlin and Corey Currithers out for a left wing corner. Harry Harris delivered the flag kick, Butlin took control and fired goalwards, his shot blocked on the line, he pounced to fire the rebound home to open the scoring. On 15 minutes Butlin was strong on the right of the box, his ball inside found Currithers to turn his marker before drilling a low drive just wide.
Three minutes later Luke Corbett released Sam Gwynne into the right of the Wood box, Currithers getting back to stop him at the expense of a corner that was easily cleared. Next skipper Jamie Cuss fired in a right wing free kick, the ball deflecting out to Tom Boyle whose low drive brought a full length save from keeper Mario Kisiel.
You can’t keep Butlin quiet for long and on 22 minutes he won a free kick on the left edge of the box, he touched the ball to Harris whose first time rising drive skimmed the bar. On 29 minutes a right wing move, with Currithers playing a one-two with Max Black, his ball across the box was collected by Lewis Taylor Boyce, he went through three tackles but was crowded out before he could get his shot away. Four minutes later Craig Deakin crossed into the box from wide left to find Butlin, his inch perfect ball to the right of the box hit first time wide by Taylor Boyce. We had a quiet spell but on 40 minutes an off the ball incident saw Corbett dismissed.
The first chance of the second half saw substitute Luke Griffiths wide right play the ball inside for Boyle to hit a first time effort wide after 51 minutes.
You can’t keep a good man quiet and three minutes later it was Butlin causing havoc on the right edge of the box before winning a free kick, hit just wide by Hawkins.
It should have been all square on 65 minutes, Gwynne crossed from wide right to find Boyle at the near post only for him to slice his effort horribly wide.
A lovely move 10 minutes later with Harris winning the ball in the centre sweeping the ball out right to substitute Ben Evans, he went past two players fired the ball across the face of the box for Butlin to hit a first time low drive inches wide.
Back came the visitors, the hardworking Cuss playing the ball out right to Zac Sirrell whose cross cum shot right under the bar was pushed over by the alert Kisiel.
A short spell of Wood dominance should have seen them home and dry when a minute later a lovely ball over the defence by Anthony Juxon put Black clear on goal, he beat the keeper and the bar. Next it was Harris putting Butlin clear into the left of box, with the same outcome.
Just to remind Wood it wasn’t over Sirrell made space for a shot on 88 minutes; when from 30 yards he sent a rising drive just too high.
Wood finished the game in style, Shawn Boothe came out of defence with the ball on 89 minutes and fed Butlin on halfway, his first time ball released the flying Currithers who left defenders labouring in his wake as he calmly drilled the ball past the stranded Rivers to wrap the game up. A minute later a superb nonchalant chip over a static defence by Harris put Drew Aiton clear through the centre, Rivers saving bravely at his feet , the ball squirmed loose, was collected by Aiton only for Rivers to make another brave save at the striker’s feet and this time hold onto the ball.
Not an Oak Park classic , but three points nevertheless to keep the top three finish alive. It should have been a stroll for Wood but once again they struggled to break down 10 men opposition. It’s AFC Wulfrunians away next Tuesday for Wood before the game next Saturday at Coleshill which could have a big say in the destination of the inaugural Midland League title.
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!