Photos and captions courtesy David Evans
The friendly season continues, and Saturday last (18th July 2015), Bill Shaw was at Brownsfield Lane to watch the Woodmen in action against Lichfield City in an entertaining score draw.
My best wishes to Bill, who’s been a bit under the weather this last week or two. Take it easy and get well soon to the chap with the notebook!
Lichfield City 1 v 1 Walsall Wood
An entertaining contest between two very different footballing styles, Lichfield were pumped up after the defeat of Stafford Rangers but for the first 30 minutes they hardly saw the ball as Wood once again turned on the style, but only had one goal for their dominance.
After a quiet opening Drew Aiton collected the ball from a right wing throw before feeding Joey Butlin who powered inside and hit a low drive just wide. A minute later Steven Hayles went on a left wing run, played the ball neatly inside to Aiton to lay back to Anthony Juxon to fire first time narrowly wide. Then on eight minutes a neat interchange wide right between Butlin and Lewis Taylor Boyce saw them release Aiton in on goal, his low drive bringing a full length save from keeper Clough.
On 14 minutes Hayles from wide left crossed to beyond the far post, Butlin played the ball back into the path of Aiton to fire first time wide. A minute later Butlin held the ball up right of centre, played the ball back to Luke Adams whose ball over the top was collected at pace by Max Black, keeper Clough saving bravely at his feet.
On 16 minutes a rare City incursion into the Wood half saw Ricardo Richards release Tony Clarke into the left of the box only for him to fire a cross shot wide.
Normal service was resumed when on 21 minutes Adams attacked wide right, played a neat ball inside to Aiton, his ball beyond the far post found Corey Currithers who took one touch and fired a shot wide of the far post. Wood deservedly went ahead on 23 minutes, an incisive run by Aiton through the centre saw him release Butlin into the box, under intense pressure he drilled the ball inside the left hand post. Five minutes later a left wing corner was cleared out to Aiton, his first time low drive from 40 yards was saved at the second attempt by Clough.
City put Wood under pressure for the last 10 minutes with Clarke looking dangerous, twice he made space in the left of the box but each time Luke Wright cut out his low cross. From a central free kick on 38 minutes a scramble ensued and Clarke forced home the equaliser from close range. The last action of the half saw Richards race into the right of the box, keeper Dale Faultless saving bravely at his feet.
On 47 minutes Taylor Boyce hit a 50 yard crossfield ball to the left of the box, Currithers mugged his marker but Clough clawed his rising drive from out of the top corner. It was Taylor Boyce crossing from wide right, Butlin’s header well held by the keeper on 61 minutes before nine minutes later a powerful run into the left of the box and low cross from Currithers was just missed by Butlin.
As in the first half City dominated the last 15 minutes, on 75 minutes Fellows got clear and raced into the left of the box, his low cross in front of everyone. Then on 82 minutes he made space wide left again and his ball inside found Tom Evans who was quickly closed down by Wright. With two minutes left Kyle Minto raced into the left of the box and went down under an untidy challenge – penalty. Up stepped Ravenhill and justice was down when he fired the spot kick high over the bar, so it finished 1-1.
It could have been an embarrassing defeat for Wood, some subline football at times but it was the Achilles heel – scoring goals that again made them vulnerable to a late strike. The other game at Great Wyrley saw a young Wood side go down 2-0 to Wolverhampton Sports.
Walsall Wood F.C.
Thanks to Bill for the report – For the Good of the Wood!
Walsall Wood Football Club are a top local side with a big-hearted faithful who know how to have a great time supporting their lads, and welcome all comers to come enjoy great local soccer. The boys from The Wood have been at the heart of the local community for a century or more, so please do go check out a match or two if you’re curious.