Walsall Wood battle AFC Wulfrunians to decisive victory


Castlecroft Stadium, home of AFC Wulfrunians, from their website.

The Woodmen last Tuesday (31st March 2015) faced AFC Wulfrunians at Castlecroft, and took yet another decisive win.

Bill Shaw was at Wolverhampton to witness the mach, and submitted the following report:

Hiya Bob,

Wood warmed up to Saturday’s challenge at Coleshill Town with a superlative footballing performance. Harry Harris and Joey Butlin signed off for their respective three match bans with a five star master class – Harris’s volleyed effort on 37 minutes worth the entrance fee alone.

It’s three wins on the bounce without conceding a goal from Wood, but high scoring Coleshill with 94 goals so far this term will be a real test as the league’s meanest two defences cross swords again. With Town previously winning 2-1 in controversial fashion at Oak Park, there will be even more added interest.

Well worth a trip to the other side of the Belfry on Saturday!

AFC Wulfrunians 0 v 3 Walsall Wood

Both sides mastered the conditions but it was Wood who went home with the points, courtesy of two goals from Joey Butlin and another goal of the season contender from Harry Harris as they played arguably their best football of this term.

Wood dominated the early proceedings until on seven minutes a lovely one touch move right of centre involving Harry Harris, Craig Deakin and Max Black released Joey Butlin into the box, Ryan Talbot saving Wulfs with a superb last ditch tackle.

After withstanding almost constant pressure Michael Robertson got clear on the Wulfs right, he played the ball inside to find Liam Bood, his low drive pushed away at full stretch by keeper Mario Kisiel, Demitri Brown first to the loose ball to fire wildly across the face of goal. Wulfs then won a free kick on the right edge of the box, Jake Sedgemore’s low drive through the wall somehow smuggled over his bar by the diving Kisiel. It was Sedgemore who crossed from wide left on 17 minutes, Brown yards offside nonchalantly heading home only for it to be ruled out. A minute later Jamie King cut inside from wide left, his low drive bringing a full length save from Kisiel.

Then on 20 minutes Wulfs easily dealt with a Wood attack but the ever dangerous Butlin robbed a defender on the left of the box, his rising drive spilt by keeper Daniel Tipton, Talbot first to the loose ball to clear the danger. On 33 minutes Harris collected a ball right of centre, Deakin raced past him wide right and was found by a lovely weighted through ball, Deakin’s low cross volleyed home from 15 yards by Butlin. Four minutes later it was 2-0 and what an absolute cracker, Corey Currithers wide left came inside through two tackles, looked up and picked out Harris on the right apex of the box, his spectacular volley flying past the helpless Tipton.

Wulfs started the second half trying to put the Wood defence under pressure but all they had to show for it was a 50th minute effort when Richard Palmer’s ball inside from wide right found Bood to fire in a low drive that brought another full length save from Kisiel.

Wood from that point took almost total control. Two minutes later Ben Evans won the ball in centre midfield and found Butlin, his first time low drive saved at full stretch by Tipton. The keeper was a spectator a minute later when Butlin capitalised on a misplaced pass, his rising drive from 35 yards coming back off the right hand post, Evans first to the loose ball his shot deflected for a corner that was easily cleared. 60 minutes gone and Deakin ran at the right of the defence, played the ball inside to Butlin, his low drive blocked.

A rare Wulfs attack three minutes later saw Brown run at the Wood defence and set up Bood on the right of the six yard box, Kisiel with a superb point blank save.

Four minutes after Wood wrapped up the three points when Butlin powered a header home from a right wing corner.

To their credit the home side kept trying to take the game to Wood and on 70 minutes Jordan Perks released Brown into the right of the box to fire a cross shot wide.

Three minutes later Currithers won a left wing corner, Tipton punched the ball away from Shawn Boothe but only out to Anthony Juxon on 25 yards, the keeper flying to his left to keep out the rising drive.

On 85 minutes Perks raced onto a ball into the left of the box, cut inside his marker and his low drive was deflected wide. Then three minutes later the hardworking Brown won a ball over the top and his slide rule ball opened up the Wood defence to allow Perks to race onto a ball through the centre only to hit a first time effort well wide.

A superb all round team performance by Wood, who played some of their best football of the season to record another away victory. It really was a case of the sorcerer and his apprentice with Harris pulling the strings and Butlin again turning in a five star striking performance that must have impressed the watching Stourbridge scout. Wood have caught Long Eaton United on 66 points, but stay fifth on goal difference.

Bill Shaw.

Walsall Wood are a good team and an excellent, community-spirited club. They need our support – please do attend the coming games if you can. The lads are doing us all proud and deserve as much support as we can give them.

As ever, thanks to Bill for the report – always appreciated – for The Good of the Wood!

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