Images kindly supplied by Simon Evans
Saturday (15th August 2015) had Walsall Wood away at Heather to face Hinckley, and despite some excellent football on both sides, the match ended goallessly.
In an act of remarkable dedication, David Evans couldn’t make the match this week, so his son Simon was on photographic duty. My thanks to Simon for doing an excellent job, and to David for being so conscientious. Dedication, right there!
Bill Shaw was there, as ever, and sent the following match report
Both sides playing neat football, a crowd of 240+, the sun shining and all in all a lovely day out in the Leicestershire countryside. The only thing missing were goals, Joey Butlin hit the foot of the post with a free kick after four minutes and then on 35 minutes he saw his penalty saved by home keeper Sam Arnold in an incident that saw Hinckley’s Liam Smith harshly red carded. Livewire striker diminutive Sean Williams was a constant threat to the Wood defence and even when he moved to left back after half time he continued to be a danger.
Wood had the better of the chances but both keepers made fist class saves, Arnold however was well beaten early in the first half when Butlin’s free kick bounced to safety off the foot of his right hand post.
Overall a draw was a fair result, but if you like two sides playing neat, one touch football then Oak Park is the place for you on Tuesday night, who knows, we might see a goal or two, whatever happens there must be a winner on the night, with extra time and penalties if needed. Could be a night of late, high drama – don’t miss it.
Saturday 22nd August sees Lye Town the visitors to Oak Park.
Hinckley AFC 0 v 0 Walsall Wood
(F.A. Cup E.P. Round)
The tie was always going to be a banana skin for Wood and so it nearly proved. The home side lost Liam Smith on 35 minutes to a red card for hauling down Joey Butlin in the centre of the box, keeper Sam Arnold saved Butlin’s penalty kick and the 10 men comfortably survived for 55 minutes to book a replay at Oak Park on Tuesday night and thoroughly deserved to do so.
After just three minutes Leon Taylor was fouled wide left, he played the ball quickly inside to Joey Butlin who played the ball to the right of the box to find Harry Harris who took one touch and fired a low drive inches wide. Wood almost opened the scoring a minute later; Butlin was fouled as he raced for goal on the right of the box. He took the free kick himself, the ball bouncing to safety off the foot of the left hand post with keeper Sam Arnold well beaten.
Wood nearly self-destructed on seven minutes, a terrible back pass putting Mario Kisiel under intense pressure, his hurried clearance fell to Sean Williams, his first time rising drive into the right hand corner bringing a great one handed save from Kisiel.
Three minutes later Corey Currithers crossed from wide left to find Charlton Davies on the right edge of the box to fire a first time effort narrowly wide. Thirteen minutes gone and Davies saw his ball forward flicked into the path of Butlin by Taylor to fire a first time drive inches wide.
The home side opened up the Wood defence down the right on 17 minutes, Javia Roberts racing clear crossing low across the face of the box, Williams allowing the ball to run on for Nathan Walker to hit a first time drive just too high.
On 35 minutes hard work wide left by Taylor saw him hold the ball up before releasing Currithers into the box, his ball inside would have found Butlin on the penalty spot but he was dragged down by Liam Smith, who was harshly red carded. Butlin’s penalty well saved by Arnold. The last goalmouth action of the half came on 41 minutes, a left wing run and cross by Steven Hayles saw the ball drop for Davies whose low drive was deflected the wrong side of the post.
Hinckley re-organised at the start of the second half with man of the match Williams going to left back. It took Wood until 58 minutes to break down the home defence, Currithers from wide left played a ball into the box, Butlin reached the ball just before Arnold but under pressure from Alex Morris he ran the ball out of play.
The first danger to the Wood goal came on 61 minutes; from a left wing corner Kisiel punched the ball 25 yards out but only to Neil Mackenzie whose first time effort was just wide. Five minutes later Anthony Juxon won the ball on halfway and fed Currithers down the left, he went past his marker, crossed low and hard into the centre to find Harry Harris who held the ball up before turning and bringing a full length save from Arnold. On 70 minutes Currithers raced from halfway into the left of the box, his rising drive into the top corner tipped over by Arnold.
From a counter attack a minute later Marco Adaggio was allowed to run 50 yards with the ball only to fire wide. Two minutes later Roberts was brought down on the left edge of the box, Walker’s free kick saved at full stretch by Kisiel.
On 76 minutes a powerful header forward from halfway by Harris found Currithers, whose strength and pace took him into the right of the box, only to drag his cross shot agonisingly wide.
The home side finished strongly, on 83 minutes Williams was involved twice in a lovely left to right move across the face of the Wood box, Adaggio drew back his foot to take his side into the next round, only for Luke Wright to take the ball with an impeccably time challenge. Four minutes later clever play wide left by Roberts saw him make space to cross low into the box, this time it was Josh O’Garra making a timely block to deny Adagggio.
So both teams have to do it all again on Tuesday night at Oak Park and it’s no foregone conclusion who will go forward to visit Bromsgrove on August 29th.
Rest assured there will be plenty of good football on offer from both sides.
Walsall Wood FC.
I know many of you lot love the match reports and news from Oak Park, and it’s great to be able to share them: I thank Bill Shaw profusely – he’s a top bloke.
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.
I guarantee you’ll have more fun cheering on the local chaps than you ever will watching the over-priced prima donnas on TV…
For the good of The Wood!