Images and captions kindly supplied by David Evans
I’m pleased to note that when Walsall Wood FC faced Lye Town FC at Oak Park yesterday afternoon (Saturday 22nd August 2015) they seemed to have re-discovered mojo, beating the visitors 2-1.
The young David Evans, refreshed from a damp week in somewhere hot and sunny, rejoins us this week on photo duty. Welcome back old chap.
Bill Shaw sent the following report, and although it was a win, still isn’t mincing his words:
That’s better, our first win of the campaign, but more to the point the first win in three attempts against the visitors, with the walking wounded thoroughly deserving the three points, as apart from a five minute spell in the first half and the last 10 minutes the high flying visitors were decidedly second best. On a day that saw the average IQ at Oak Park drop by at least 10 points.
Let’s hope the season starts here, we have a little breather as we don’t play again now until August Bank Holiday Monday, when we visit struggling Boldmere St. Michaels kickoff 3.00 pm. Taking nothing for granted though as the 2 sides when they meet have a habit of throwing the form book out of the window.
It’s taken five games to record the first win but the character in the side is there for everyone to see and that bodes well for the future.
I see Hereford bounced back from two defeats, showing great resolve to come back from a 3-0 half time deficit at Rocester to win 4-3. They know now what we learned two seasons ago, there are no easy games at this level, welcome to the real world.
Walsall Wood 2 v 1 Lye Town
Wood’s walking wounded recorded their first win of the season over high flying Lye with goals from Leon Taylor and Drew Aiton. This was no fluke result however as the Woodmen could and should have been out of sight by half time.
Wood started well and could have gone ahead in the first minute, Leon Taylor raced into the centre of the box and was dispossessed before he could shoot and within seconds Daniel Holgate raced onto a ball into the middle of the box, keeper Jake Bedford with a full length brave block. They went ahead on 11 minutes, a run forward then an incisive ball into the right of the box by Harry Harris to put Drew Aiton clear, his hard low cross swept home at the far post by Leon Taylor. Eight minutes later chaos in the Lye Defence, a Joel Caines header on the right of the 6 yard box completely beat keeper Bedford, Holgate pounced at the far post, but Bedford made ground to claw the ball around the post. On 25 minutes Grant Beckett won the ball wide left, his ball down the line was collected by Aiton at pace, his diagonal ball inside intercepted by keeper Bedford as he raced from his area to fly kick clear from Taylor. A minute later Anthony Juxon powered out of defence and hit a ball into the right of the box to find Holgate whose first time low drive to the far post was well taken by Bedford.
Wood paid the penalty for the missed chances when the visitors equalised with virtually their first attack on 32 minutes, James Spray ran at the Wood defence, his ball into the right of the box was collected at pace by Kevin Nickle wearing 19, he went through 2 challenges to fire in a low near post drive that keeper Lee Evans could only help into the net. Four minutes later from a quick counter attack they nearly went ahead, Nickle again racing into the right of the box but this time as Evans raced to meet him he fired a cross shot narrowly wide.
Wood’s reply on 37 minutes should have put them back in front, Harris released Aiton on a right wing run, his measured low cross ripped the defence apart, Joey Butlin with the goal gaping saw his rising drive bounce down and away to safety off the underside of the bar. Two minutes later he turned provider, racing through into the centre of the box, laying the ball off to Holgate to fire a first time low drive inches wide of the left hand post. Wood had the last word right on half time, from a right wing corner the ball was only half cleared to Aiton 20 yards out, his vicious low drive deflected away from goal.
The first action of the second half came on 52 minutes, Nickle making a right wing run, going through two challenges before Beckett stopped him with a superbly timed challenge.
On 55 minutes Corey Currithers raced onto a Craig Deakin ball into the right of the box, laid the ball back cleverly to Aiton whose first time low drive was taken at full stretch by Bedford. Two minutes later Harris released Holgate into the right of the box, his low cross shot deflected for a corner. The ball flew around the box without a Wood player managing to make the all important breakthrough.
A counter attack by the visitors on 59 minutes saw Spray run through the centre, his ball forward took a fortuitous deflection off Luke Wright to put Nickle in on goal but under intense pressure from the chasing Juxon and Wright he fired wide of the advancing Evans.
Wood continued the pressure and a minute later Butlin released Aiton into the left of the box, his first time rising drive touched over by Bedford. The keeper was powerless three minutes later, Aiton was strong as he powered into the left of the box, going through three challenges before showing great composure as he hammered the ball past the stranded Bedford to put Wood deservedly back ahead.
The visitors threw the kitchen sink at the Wood in the last 10 minutes, but the defence stood firm. On 81 minutes a left wing corner was half cleared to Simon Williams, his first time effort deflected for a right wing corner, the ball again found its way to Williams, this time his rising drive into the top right hand corner bringing a great save from Evans. two minutes later Sam Tye lead a right wing counter attack, his ball inside to Williams who arrowed a rising drive into the top right hand corner that was nonchalantly flicked over by Evans. From the corner the ball was easily cleared but lost on halfway, Spray played the ball hard and low into the near post, Wright clearing the danger with a great interception. With time running out a ball out of defence found Williams on halfway, his left to right diagonal run ending with his low drive superbly saved at the foot of his right hand post by the ever dependable Evans.
Wood thoroughly deserved the three points, apart from a five minute spell in the first half when Lye could have scored twice and the last 10 minutes they were undoubtedly the better side.
A rare Saturday off before they visit Boldmere St. Michaels on Monday afternoon.
Walsall Wood F.C.
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!