Images and captions kindly supplied by David Evans
Walsall Wood FC entertained Rocester yesterday, and the Woodmen beat the visitors, continuing the current decent run for the Woodmen.
Bill was there yesterday, as he always is, and sent the following match report:
Another 3 points to keep up our challenge for 3rd place, but we had to work hard for the win, with League Cup finalists Rocester putting us under pressure in the second half. A great defensive performance (shut out No.5 on the trot).
It’s another hard game on Tuesday night with another one of the current form teams of the division, Dunkirk who are the visitors. The Coleshill game has now been put back a week, meaning that we have to play four games in eight days to end the season, starting with Long Eaton United next Saturday, Westfields Tuesday 21st, Coleshill Town Thursday 23rd all away, before we bring the curtain down on this season with the visit of Heath Hayes on Saturday 25th for a game that could see them relegated back to Level Six. As you can see with those games left to play if we do finish third we will have deserved it, but whatever happens in the last five games we are on course to beat last season’s points total of 71, with us already on 70 this term.
With promotion and relegation issues still undecided it’s not clear who’s going where next season, it’s doubtful if anyone will come into the Midland League from the Evo Stik as the bottom two are Brigg Town and Kidsgrove Athletic, it’s possible however that we could see Hereford reincarnated here next season but as the news unfolds over the coming weeks I’ll keep you informed. It’s something to do in May, June and July isn’t it?
Walsall Wood 1 v 0 Rocester
Luke Adams scored his first goal of the season, an opportunist 24th minute chip over the keeper and with the defence keeping a clean sheet for the fifth consecutive game it was enough to give Wood all three points over a resolute, hard-working Rocester side.
After a lively start it was the visitors who threatened first when on four minutes Callum Thompson raced clear wide right, cut inside and fired a low drive into the side netting. From the goal kick the ball was played out to Corey Currithers wide on the Wood left, his clever ball inside hit first by Daniel Holgate to bring a full length save from keeper Raymond Froggatt. Four minutes later a Craig Deakin left wing run saw his inside pass flicked on by Currithers to put Max Black in on goal, he touched the ball past the fast approaching Froggatt and went down under the keepers challenge, muted penalty appeals turned down.
On 11 minutes Scott Staniland got clear on the right, his low cross cut out by Luke Adams to deny Josh Williams.
A lovely incisive move through the centre nearly put Wood ahead on 19 minutes, Anthony Juxon won the ball on halfway and fed Jamie Hawkins, his touch set up Ben Evans to fire a rising drive just over. The goal came five minutes later, Black powering through the centre before firing in a rising drive that Froggatt couldn’t hold, Adams racing in to calmly chip the ball over the distraught keeper to put Wood ahead. Two minutes later Deakin went on a crazy left to right crossfield run across the face of the box, his low drive whistling narrowly wide.
On 32 minutes the visitors put the Wood under pressure, winning a free kick on the right edge of the box, Staniland’s effort bringing a great save from Wood keeper Mario Kisiel.
A minute later it was that man Deakin powering through from halfway, cutting inside before cleverly setting up Holgate, keeper Froggatt redeeming himself somewhat by making a brilliant brave block from the fierce, first time low drive.
Wood were content to soak up pressure at the start of the second half as the visitors went looking for the equaliser but all they had to show for it was a right wing free kick on 58 minutes that Staniland fired into the near post, Kisiel making a superb full length save.
Wood came out of their shell on 67 minutes, Currithers making a left wing run, finding Evans on the left of the box, his shot was blocked but fell to Holgate to curl a first time effort inches wide of the far post.
It was a brief respite however; three minutes later Thompson charged down an attempted clearance by Adams wide left and raced for goal only to fire high over. Six minutes later Williams hit a first time low drive that was held at the second attempt by Kisiel.
Wood nearly wrapped the game up on 78 minutes; Currithers collecting the ball from a left wing throw in, going through three challenges and hitting a rising drive that deflected off a defender that looped up and under the bar, Froggatt pushing the ball over the top. Two minutes later a poor clearance went straight to Hawkins who raced forward but hit a rising drive just over.
With time up Wood gave away a free kick on the left edge of the box, Andrew Mottershead arrowing in a rising drive for the top right hand corner, Kisiel flying across goal to make a superb save, clawing the ball away to safety.
Wood had the last word breaking out of defence with Currithers wide left, his ball inside was flicked on by Evans but agonisingly inches behind Deakin who couldn’t get any power in his shot and somehow the ball stayed out, to deny him the goal his outstanding performance deserved.
It’s 13 points from the last 15 now for Wood, with Long Eaton winning they are still fifth but are now within one point of Lye Town with three games in hand and of course Wood visit Long Eaton next Saturday in a game that could decide who finishes third.
Walsall Wood FC.
Thanks to Bill for checking in with us.
What more can I add, but For The Good of the Wood!