Images and caption kindly supplied by David Evans
Touch and go yesterday (Saturday 19th September 2015) as Walsall Wood squared off against long-term opponents Boldmere St Micheals, but the best team won and it’s good to see the Woodmen getting back to winning ways at last.
The match observed a minute’s silence for former Chairman and great friend of the club John Seedhouse, who recently passed away; readers are reminded his funeral takes place this coming Tuesday (22nd September 2015). Details can be found here.
Bill Shaw was there,as ever, and sent this report:
On a day that the Wood remembered former Chairman and all round good guy John Seedhouse, the players turned in a great rear-guard performance after throwing away a two goal lead (again) and having Anthony Juxon red carded on 31 minutes. A superb second half saw them find the winner on 70 minutes when Luke Wright powered home a header to open his account for the club. So Wood, after three seasons finally obtain the bragging rights over local neighbours Mikes, beating them for the first time since October 2013.
Daniel Griffiths made it three goals in two games as he went top of the Wood goalscoring charts, but this was no one man show, all of them out there showed strength of character to turn in a 5 star second half performance that fully deserved the three points. The youngsters grabbed the headlines but let’s not forget the part played by the experienced players. But remember, there’s no ‘I’ in team – superb everybody.
Walsall Wood 3 v 2 Boldmere St. Michaels.
Finally, after nine hours of cracking football it was Wood who came out victorious, even though they had to play the last hour with only 10 men after Anthony Juxon saw red for an off the ball incident on 31 minutes. By the break Jazz Luckie had scored twice to cancel out Daniel Griffiths’ brace, but Wood controlled the second half and deserved the 70th minute winner from Luke Wright.
A lively opening, Wood threatened first when after six minutes Harry Harris won the ball in the centre, chipped the ball over the defence, keeper Sean Butler racing to the edge of the box to deny Daniel Griffiths. Three minutes later Harris found Joey Butlin wide right, his cross beyond the far post was volleyed goalwards by Griffiths but was blocked for a corner. Two corners in succession followed, from the second one Anthony Juxon put an acrobatic volley just too high. Then on 14 minutes Toumani Sidibe won a left wing corner, Griffiths heading home through a crowd of players. 11 minutes later from a right wing corner it was Griffiths again powering a header into the roof of the net to put Wood two ahead.
Within five minutes the Mikes were back in it, Jordan Archer collected a ball wide right, cut inside into the box, his lovely low cross swept home by Jazz Luckie from close range.
A minute later in an off the ball incident Anthony Juxon was red carded. With Wood in disarray Luckie took advantage when on 36 minutes he raced into the centre of the box, going through three challenges before tucking the ball past the exposed Lee Evans to tie the game at 2-2.
Then right on half time Butlin won the ball in centre midfield and found Griffiths who raced into the left of the box, he was held up but played the ball out wide to Grant Beckett to cross to the far post, Butlin’s header deflected inches wide.
Four minutes into the second half a slide rule ball from Butlin released Griffiths into the left of the box, his low near post drive taken at full stretch by Butler.
With 62 minutes gone Luckie went on a left wing run, cut into the box, Evans saving bravely at his feet, the ball squirming goalwards, Josh O’Garra calmly tidying things up calmly.
Wood’s reply was immediate, Griffiths was put clear wide right, cut back inside and went down under a heavy challenge, loud penalty appeals turned down. The all-important winner came on 70 minutes, Harris delivered a right wing free kick into the box, Butlin’s header back across goal beat the keeper but was headed round the post for a right wing corner. From the flag kick Luke Wright powered a header into the roof of the net – his first goal for the Wood. Wood were content to soak up the pressure and you had to count the players to be sure it was them who were down to 10 men. Then on 81 minutes Butlin took the ball to the right corner flag, before bursting between two defenders, only to fire wide of the near post. 3 minutes later Griffiths was again fouled wide left, the ball half cleared to Delaney who played the ball in to Sam Price, he turned his marker cleverly and rolled a cross shot wide of the post.
On 90 minutes danger man Luckie raced into the left of the box, his fierce low drive cut out by a superb block from O’Garra. The resulting right wing corner was cleared and Wood saw out the four minutes of injury time to finally put daylight between the teams.
Wood were well worth their two goal lead with Daniel Griffiths making it three goals in two games but Jazz Luckie pulled one back five minutes later Wood lost a player and then Luckie tied the game up with a great solo effort. Wood though were the better side in the second half thoroughly deserving to take all three points, with Luke Wright scoring his first goal for Wood.
It’s Alvechurch the visitors at Oak Park on Tuesday 22nd before Wood visit AFC Wulfrunians next Saturday.
Walsall Wood F.C.
Thanks to Bill for that – For the Good of The Wood!