Images and captions by David Evans, who also noted that, and I quote, ‘The samosas were to die for.’
Yesterday (Saturday, 26th September 2015), Walsall Wood squared off against AFC Wulfrunians at Castlecroft, and won, much to the delight of Bill Shaw, who kindly submitted the following report:
There are many adjectives that you could throw at this game but boring certainly wasn’t one of them. It would appear that my honesty on Tuesday night has upset a few people, if we don’t see another boring 90 minutes this season surely that’s got to be a good thing.
In April we turned in arguably our best performance of the season here, we didn’t match that yesterday but for the unbiased watchers, of which there weren’t many… The game had everything – superbly worked goals, a battling comeback from Wulfs after we’d threatened to run riot in the second half, controversy (that should be my middle name) that degenerated into farce… The 10 men again mounting a superb rear-guard action only to lose out in the 90th minute, or so we thought but Joey the Lionheart had other ideas. Giving everything until the final whistle, Drew had so much to do when Joey’s ball inside found him, but his finish was superb and as he slowly comes back to peak fitness you can see why Swanny rates him so highly.
It’s the double high flying H’s next, the big one at Oak Park to leaders Hereford on Tuesday night (remember, don’t be late) followed by our trip to fellow high flyers Heanor Town on Saturday. Now 6 points from those 2 games would really give our season a boost.
What’s that I hear, he’s gone mad – the word I think you’re looking for is – POSITIVE.
AFC Wulfrunians 2 v 3 Walsall Wood
Wood save their best for Castlecroft, they weren’t as dominant yesterday but still went in two goals to the good at halftime. But they again lost their way in the second half, conceded another questionable penalty in the 73rd minute, then lost skipper Harry Harris in the unseemly aftermath, then let in the equaliser in the 90th minute. Only to score the winner in the third minute of time added on, with a goal of the season contender from Drew Aiton
After just four minutes Kyle Minto capitalised on a defensive slip wide on the right, racing into the box, rounding keeper Lee Evans at pace only to fire into the side netting as he lost balance with the net gaping.
On eight minutes Joey Butlin released Dan Griffiths through the middle, he ran on and his fierce low drive was deflected just wide.
On the quarter hour mark Minto collected a ball on the left edge of the box, found Jake Webb on his outside, he went through one challenge, crossed low into the centre, the ball completely wrong footing Minto who could only prod the ball wide of the near post.
From a quickly taken left wing throw on 22 minutes Butlin powered through one challenge as he raced into the left of the box, giving keeper Liam Stanton no chance to keep out his scorching low drive to put Wood ahead.
Four minutes later it was a Wulfs left wing throw that put Webb clear, he ran at the Wood defence; his pace took him clear to fire in a low drive from the edge of the box that flew just wide.
It proved costly as on 28 minutes Drew Aiton made space wide left as he went through two tackles before firing in a low cross to find Griffiths in the centre of the box, he calmly flicked the ball to his right for Craig Deakin to fire home. Wood were now in full flow, Griffiths hit a cross shot wide three minutes later, before on 35 minutes Butlin’s power on half way saw him come forward and find Griffiths just outside the box, he was cynically wiped out, the clever short free kick saw Butlin turn away from his marker and hit a rising drive inches too high.
Wulfs thought they’d pulled a goal back on 37 minutes, danger-man Webb going on a penetrating left wing run, crossing into the centre for Minto to jump highest and PALM the ball into the net. Things went from bad to worse for the former Wood player when four minutes later he mugged a defender wide right, ran into the right of the box only to fire into the side netting. Then right on half time a right wing free kick was headed back across the box by Matthew Hunt, keeper Evans taking the ball cleanly under intense pressure.
Wulfs put Wood under pressure at the start of the second half winning a right wing corner; the ball flew around the box with Wood defenders charging down three goalbound efforts.
Wood having weathered the storm set about making the game safe, on 53 minutes a ball out of defence gave Butlin a chance to run at the home back line, he cleverly fed Griffiths, who cut back inside and his low drive was taken at the second attempt by an alert Stanton. The keeper was powerless when a minute later Harry Harris hit a ball wide left that was collected at pace by Aiton, he cut inside, his rising drive bouncing to safety off the bar with the keeper a spectator. Two minutes later a neat one-two between Butlin and Aiton saw a clever ball into the box by Butlin set up Griffiths to fire in a low drive that brought another full length save from Stanton.
On 65 minutes an intricate left wing move released Webb into the box, Josh O’Garro charging down his vicious cross shot. Eight minutes later chaos ensued, Hunt ran onto a ball into the left of the box and appeared to go down very easily, but a penalty was given, after some lively debate and discussion (some might even say gamesmanship and time wasting) skipper Jake Sedgemore scored from the spot. What happened next has no place at any sporting venue and was allowed to degenerate into absolute farce. It got even worse when Wood skipper Harris was sent off, any one of four players could have joined him, but whoever said life was fair?
The 10 men seemed to have held out until on 90 minutes Ben Jevons cut inside from wide right, crossed low into the box for Hunt to gleefully tuck away the equaliser from close range. We’d had over three minutes of added time (mainly from the farcical 73rd minute antics) when Butlin held the ball up wide right, his clever little ball inside collected by Aiton who turned inside and curled an exquisite low drive into the far corner to give Wood a deserved win.
Walsall Wood are a good team and an excellent, community-spirited club. They need our support – please do attend their games if you can. The lads are doing us all proud and deserve as much support as we can give them.
Tuesday’s match looks sure to be a cracker!
As ever, thanks to Bill for the report – always appreciated – for The Good of the Wood!