Photos and captions from Tuesday’s match kindly supplied by David Evans
Last Tuesday evening (22nd September 2015) Walsall Wood FC entertained Alvechurch at Oak Park, from which the visitors returned home with a one – nil victory which didn’t impress Bill Shaw, and neither did the referee.
Bill Shaw was distinctly unamused and submitted the following report:
We have at least one game a season that proves the ladies right when they say football is boring. The most exciting part of the night was the ludicrous sending off of Church skipper Richard Huckfield, a farcical decision from someone who by this time had lost the plot, that’s if he ever had one. We then had a masterclass in time wasting as I reckon that between the 70th and 90th minutes the ball was actually in play for just 5. Incredibly we had less than 6 minutes of time added on, which to me doesn’t add up, but I didn’t have the stopwatch and the whistle.
The win put Alvechurch up to 4th, but only one point off the top with games in hand, whoever finishes above them won’t be far off the title, but if this performance is how to win the league count me out, I’ll stay in my armchair.
Don’t be late on Tuesday night for the Hereford game, could be a full house.
Walsall Wood 0 v 1 Alvechurch
Two years ago Ian Long arrived with his Tividale side and went home courtesy of a 3-1 victory. He arrived last night with his Alvechurch team, not as much fire power up front as back then, hence the winner from a fortuitous penalty but just as hard and uncompromising, Wood can have no complaints that he again went home with a victory.
The visitors dominated from the start pinning Wood back in their own half and should have gone ahead on 12 minutes, Leigh Downing going on a right wing run, crossing low into the centre for Josh March to hit a first time effort, keeper Lee Evans making a great block, the ball went straight to Karl Edwards whose shot was blocked by a posse of alert defenders. On 27 minutes a quickly taken free kick was played out wide left to Zack Foster, he made space for a cross and Edwards planted a header wide. Five minutes later a lovely ball out left put March clear, he raced into the box but Tom Hurdman raced back to make a superbly timed tackle.
Right on 45 minutes Joey Butlin found Drew Aiton wide left, he cut inside, cleverly made space and with Butlin screaming for the ball went outside his marker and fired in a low cross shot that was saved at full stretch by keeper Paul Evans.
I went in search of some wet paint at this point so I could watch it dry, but I couldn’t find any.
It was the same story at the start of the second half, Church quickly closing Wood down and giving them no opportunity to play any football whatsoever. Another attack on 48 minutes saw the visitors win a left wing corner, the ball falling for man mountain Mark Smith whose acrobatic overhead kick was saved at full stretch by Wood’s Evans. Seven minutes later March again raced clear wide right, his cross hit first time by Edwards, skipper Harry Harris deflecting the ball just over his own bar. From the corner the ball was collected on the right edge of the box by March who turned away from goal and went down under a seemingly innocuous challenge, the referee harshly awarding a penalty. Downing scoring from the spot, Evans diving the right way but unable to keep the ball out.
On 65 minutes skipper Richard Huckfield picked up a harsh second yellow card and went for an early shower, but Long just brought on another partner for Smith and the twin towers were back in situ. A minute later they nearly went two ahead, a long ball forward brought Evans racing from his area, Edwards reached the ball first, lobbed the advancing keeper but the ball rolled harmlessly well wide of the Wood goal.
A foul wide left on Lewis Taylor Boyce on 77 minutes saw the free kick by Harris delivered to the far post, the ball headed back into the centre for Bekir Halil, making his Wood debut, to hit a rising drive off the top of the bar. Right on time Grant Beckett crossed from wide left; Aiton touched the ball back to Josh O’Garro to flash a first time low drive just wide of the right hand post.
If that’s how to play to win the league I’m sure not many people will leave their cosy armchairs in the coming months to watch it, I’m sure I wouldn’t.
Ninety minutes of total boredom, an evening wasted, I’m sure I could have found other things to do, plus it was cold as well.
For Wood it’s off to AFC Wulfrunians on Saturday followed on Tuesday by the visit of Hereford, now that certainly won’t be boring.
Walsall Wood F.C.
Walsall Wood are a good team and an excellent, community-spirited club. They need and deserve our support.
As ever, thanks to Bill for the report – always appreciated – for The Good of the Wood!