Images and captions kindly supplied by David Evans
Sorry folks, I’ve had this match report in for a week now, but it’s been a busy old week and it took a bit to assemble – but here it is: the young David Evans match review of the charity all stars game that took place last weekend at Oak Park (Sunday, May 3rd 2015).
All money raised was for Ataxia UK in honour of local footballing lad Bradley Barratt, who’s recently been diagnosed with this debilitating condition. I can’t think of a better cause.
It was a great match, which the young David Evans recorded in his own inimitable style. From the flowery verbiage, it sounds like the club bar was doing fine trade!
These May Day weekend charity matches look like becoming a regular annual fixture, and I congratulate all concerned in what was clearly an entertaining, fun and positive afternoon. Well done folks, you did the community proud.
Even if you’re not into football, Walsall Wood FC are a great community institution who deserve all the support we can give them…
Shire Oak Stars (SOS) vs Select Windows Athletic Tristars (SWAT)
May Day weekend, sunshine and showers, a new Princess in London, and this, the global international sporting event of the year. This was set to become the pinnacle of the footballing year, to equal and possibly surpass other matches soon to be held, also in London, in that land far, far away.
The sun shining high in the clear blue sky as it does from time to time, bathed this afternoon of sporting entertainment in brightness and happiness, and a wind was felt across the pitch by every player as they looked round at each other.
Two teams of good men and true, valiant gladiators in this amphitheatre of hallowed turf emerged from the depths of the Windowless darkness. One team was dressed for this momentous occasion in freshly laundered and starched bright wasp yellow strip, and numberied well over eleven contestants of various ages and circumference. With no care for the consequences they engaged in their tribal volumetric warm-up May Dance where, muscle by muscle, their aerobics underlined the medical truth; pain is its own antidote. These were the Shire Oak Stars…
Meanwhile and simultaneously, if not at the same time, all kitted up in Red tunics and reinforced liberty bodices that delighted the hordes of spectators, they sprang into a sprightly Circular Tig and Hold, diagonal hopscotch and hamstring warm-up routine. From the physical jerks emerged, with encouragement from a cow-prod, the inimitable world famous Select Windows Athletic Topstars.
Each side assumed team-like positions for the pre-match CCTV image and photos, after which they helped kneeling players back to their feet, prudently staying them with them until the blood returned.
Speed football, flash passes, slip and run, on my ‘ead, nutmeg and splice, none of these outmoded tactics were used. But, sometimes leaping high, sometimes turning without tumbling, often passing the bouncing, disobedient ball over the billiard flat surface that is Oak Park, goals were scored. Saves, tackles, discrete use of inhalers where necessary, a merry wave of a yellow flag in the distance and surely out of focus for most players, a short toot on a whistle, a throw-in with shin muscle wrench, an air kick of an a ball flying hither or whither it would, and all in good heart, reddening faces, gasping and heaving lungs.
All this, and much more. This was soccer as it had never been seen before. It gladdened the heart and widened smiles in to denture clasping grins. It strained elastic, bootlace and shinpad in equal measure. Numerous substitutions to take vital quick intakes of oxygen, and hydration were reuired, and permitted. The whole ground echoed to gasps and cheers from the crowd of ‘Come on Dad!’ or ‘Go on Granddad!’ from the supportive, paying spectators.
The yellow team put pressure both on their opponents, and on their own shirts. The red team did the same to them… Like that famous unforgettable scene from the Cannes Film festival winning entry ‘Life on Earth, the beginning’, attacks en masse and in a blur of legs of all shapes and sizes with Knotty Ash kneecaps to match, slowly edged their way towards the so-named goalmouth (distinguishable by its keep net and catch).
The scores mounted. Firstly one, then two, and three and finally four for one team; possibly the SWATs, but it could have been the SOS.
The final whistle was blown, and erstwhile competitors rejoiced and shook hands, Some kissed the ground
Select Window 4 Shire Oak Vets 2… possibly.
And an amazing sum of money..whispered to be well over £800, was raised for Ataxia Trust.
Walsall Wood, at its very best!
For the good of The Wood – and thanks, as ever, to David for all he does.