Images and captions kindly supplied ny David Evans.
Yesterday (21st November 2015) Walsall Wood F.C. entertained Finlanders Holbeach United, and after some great football, Wood emerged the victors with an impressive 4-1 scoreline.
Bill Shaw was there, and came home a happy man:
Another first step on the road to Wembley, a very competitive 60 minutes with the United Counties League high flyers nowhere near as much a handful as last season’s F.A. Vase opponents from the same division, Wisbech Town. Two goals from a revitalised Corey Currithers put Wood in the driving seat but the Tigers worked hard for a second equaliser.
Joey Butlin put the game beyond them with a sublime finish. Goal No.15 from Dan Griffiths was the icing on the cake as the once again patched up side showed just how good this injury hit squad really is.
Next up on Saturday it’s fading Long Eaton United as Wood look to make it five wins out of five in November and the catalyst for a concerted push up the table.
F.A. Vase Round 2
Walsall Wood 4 v 1 Holbeach United
Wood’s entry into this season’s competition saw them comfortably dispatch the high flying United Counties League visitors to advance a step closer to Wembley.
The win was deserved but the visitors were always in the game until Wood sewed the game up on 65 minutes when a slide rule through ball by Max Black set up Joey Butlin to calmly fire Wood into the next round.
Defences were on top with the game condensed into the middle third of the pitch until on 20 minutes a lovely move in from the Wood left saw Corey Currithers win a corner that was delivered to the near post for Currithers to power a header home.
The Tigers nearly equalised from the kick off, Jake Clitheroe racing onto a ball into the right of the box to fire a rising drive over the near angle. Three minutes later from a left wing corner Nick Jackson headed just over the bar. On 33 minutes Wood lost the ball in a right wing mix up from a throw in, Clitheroe playing a clever ball inside to set up Josh Ford to fire a first time effort over the bar. Five minutes later a flowing left wing move saw Jordan Thomas find Lee Beeson in the D, he played the ball to Clitheroe on his right who switched play to the left hand post and Ford scored with a header back across the keeper. Right on half-time a defensive mistake let in Clitheroe who raced for goal only to be fouled from behind just outside the D, Jamie Stevens firing the free kick over the wall and the bar.
Wood came out all guns blazing at the start of the second half, pinning the Tigers back, on 49 minutes Currithers made space on the right of the box, powered his way into the six yard box and his vicious low near post drive had too much venom for keeper Rick Drury who got a hand to the ball but couldn’t keep it out.
Four minutes later the ever dangerous Clitheroe went on a right wing run, cut in along the byeline and his driven low cross was cut out by Grant Beckett to deny Ford. Then four minutes later an intricate left wing move presented Stevens with a shooting chance, from 30 yards he sent a first time low drive inches wide of the left hand post. Wood were living dangerously and four minutes later Beeson hit a low cross from wide right, Ford hitting a first time effort that deflected off Anthony Juxon and flew the wrong side of the post.
Having weathered the storm Wood went looking for the goal that would put the game safe, it nearly arrived on 63 minutes, Harry Harris delivered a left wing free kick into the right of the box to pick out Currithers, he beat his marker, crossed low across the face of the six yard box, Max Black sliding in only inches away from applying the finishing touch. The killer goal arrived two minutes later, a crisp move through the middle found Black in the centre of the D, his exquisite ball through the right of centre released Joey Butlin into the box, the big man, calmness personified as he gave the advancing Drury no chance with a low drive. Wood began to exert pressure on the Tigers defence who started to get a little desperate. When on 75 minutes Jackson picked up a second yellow the game was over as a contest, but on 86 minutes substitute Ollie Gale raced into the left of the Wood box, pulled the ball back to Stevens who turned his marker and fired over.
Deep into injury time Butlin powered into the right of the box, checked back and fired in a low drive that was blocked by Drury, Butlin was first to the rebound playing the ball off to his left, Dan Griffiths making no mistake with a trademark finish.
Wood deserved to progress into Monday’s Round 3 draw but the Lincolnshire Tigers made them fight all the way, they lost a little of their composure in the last 20 minutes as Wood piled on the pressure, but another good win on the road to Wembley for the Wood.
It’s Long Eaton United next for Wood at home on Saturday 28th as they look to make it a 100% November…
Walsall Wood: Evans, Deakin, Beckett, Wright, Juxon, Black L. Harris, H. Harris (Captain), Butlin, Hayles, Currithers, Taylor, Sidibe, Griffiths, Aiton, Delaney.
Holbeach United: Drury, Worthington, Ward, Warfield, Jackson, Stevens (Captain), Beeson, Tidswell, Ford, Clitheroe, Thomas, Pinner, Gale, King, Keeble, Roberts.
As ever, thanks to Bill for the report, and the young David Evans – always appreciated – for The Good of the Wood!