Sad news for Walsall Wood FC last Tuesday evening (18th August 2015) as a grossly injury-weakened side faced the F.A. Cup rematch against Hinckley at Oak Park, and were sadly beaten by the visitors – rendering this year’s cup plans in tatters.
Bill Shaw was there, and he wasn’t amused:
Well that’s our interest in the FA Cup over for another season, two late goals giving the result a flattering scoreline for the visitors.
Wood facing the worst injury crisis in my 13 years at the club find themselves really up against it, they only had 12 experienced players available for this game and then to lose two more makes the situation desperate. Swanny and Jamie won’t use this as an excuse for our early results but I don’t agree.
The elevation of the under 21 players looks likely to be sooner rather than later and no matter what happens in the careers of youngsters Toumani Sidibe and Sam Price, they can tell their grandchildren they played in the F.A. Cup.
Joking aside we’ll come through this, but at the moment the darkest hour is lasting a darn sight more than 60 minutes, I’m surprised Swanny has any hair left.
Keep the faith.
Walsall Wood 1 v 3 Hinckley AFC
F.A. Cup Extra Preliminary Round Replay
Wood almost pulled off the great escape, the team started the game with no recognised full backs, one 19 year old centre back and one experienced substitute plus a keeper on the bench and five under 21 players, but when they lost Charlton Davies to a nasty leg injury on 13 minutes they really were up against it.
After just three minutes Leon Taylor collected a ball over the top of the Hinckley defence held the ball up cleverly before laying it back to Corey Currithers who set up drew Aiton to fire a first time effort just wide.
The reply was quickly forthcoming, Luke Richards collecting a long ball forward from Alex Morris before racing into the left of the box, his low drive well held by Mario Kisiel on five minutes. A minute later it was Currithers cutting inside from wide left, creating a shooting chance for Joey Butlin to fire in a low drive that brought a full length save from keeper Sam Arnold. Straight to the other end for Javia Roberts to go on a jinking run inside from wide right, his low near post drive taken at the foot of the post by Kisiel.
Disaster for Wood on 13 minutes, Charlton Davies went in with a defender for a 50-50 challenge and was left lying in a heap, play was allowed to go on even though the Hinckley bench were screaming at the assistant in front of them, ‘That’s nasty, he needs an ambulance,’ he did absolutely nothing. The ball flew around the Wood box finally dropping for Richards on the left of the box to fire over the near angle, if he had scored I think the crowd would have lynched the referee. After lengthy treatment and lots of posturing and threats Davies finally left the field and was replaced by Daniel Holgate. Wood should have realised it wasn’t going to be their night when on 20 minutes a quickly taken free kick by Butlin on the edge of the D found Currithers on the right of the box, his driven low cross deflected off a defender and looped straight into the keeper’s hands when it could have gone anywhere. Two minutes later Taylor on the edge of the D laid the ball back to Currithers to fire first time over.
After lots of entertaining approach play the deadlock was broken on 32 minutes. Richards again involved wide left, cutting inside and finding Roberts whose inch perfect ball into the right of the box was met by Nathan Walker to fire in a cross shot into the far corner of the net, a shot that three keepers wouldn’t have stopped.
On 43 minutes Holgate cleverly held the ball up on the edge of the box, laid the ball back to Butlin to fire a first time effort inches too high. As we entered first half injury time Aiton raced through the centre but fired over under pressure and then a lovely move deserved a goal, Butlin powered away wide left, his ball inside was flicked into the path of Aiton by Holgate, only for his first time low drive to bounce to safety off the foot of the left post, with keeper Arnold well beaten.
A tentative start to the second half with the visitors sitting back and attempting to hit Wood on the break and it nearly paid off on 55 minutes, a swift counter attack saw Deqwon Ebanks race through the centre, play the ball into the path of Roberts whose low drive was taken at full stretch by Kisiel low to his left.
Five minutes later Wood were level, Shane O’Reilly burst forward wide right, cut inside, crossed to the far post for Currithers to head back to Holgate to fire home just inside the left hand post.
Play was end to end, the best chances coming on 75 minutes, Ebanks putting Roberts racing into the right of the box only for him to roll a cross shot agonisingly inches wide. Three minutes later Currithers curled a 20 yard effort an inch wide of the left hand post.
Then on 84 minutes with both sides looking to extra time, Aiton went down on halfway, clutching his thigh and Hinckley came away with the ball, it was played out wide right to Roberts, he raced into the box crossed to the far post and super-sub Oliver Basham tucked the ball away. Five minutes later it was Roberts setting up the clincher with a left wing incisive run, firing the ball across the face of the six yard box to find Marco Addagio (very lucky to still be on the field after an off the ball incident a few minutes earlier) to tuck the ball home from close range.
A real old fashioned cup tie, but Wood now have more squad members injured than they have fit, as the playing staff is decimated by the unprecedented list of casualties.
Hinckley move on to an away tie at Bromsgrove on the 29th, for Wood and physio Jack Hinks it a few days of hard work and hope that we can field a side against Lye Town on Saturday that can compete.
Walsall Wood FC.
Bad luck to Walsall Wood, but onwards and upwards, lads. All the best for the coming season.
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!