Images and captions kindly supplied by David Evans
Walsall Wood FC yesterday squared off against Long Eaton (28th November 2015), and the Woodmen sadly lost the match, much to the dismay of supporters.
Bill Shaw caught all the action, and sent the following match report:
A real sickener for the lads after last Saturday’s superb F.A. Vase win, with Louis Harris recalled by Stourbridge for their F.A. Trophy game he was the only change from that line-up. Wood struggled to get going in the first half, conceding two poor goals, but they showed great character to get back to 2-2 only to shoot themselves in the foot by conceding virtually from the restart, what proved to be the deciding goal.
It’s no easy rehabilitation for Wood as on Tuesday night they visit Sporting Khalsa in the J.W. Hunt Cup, followed on Saturday by a visit to the same venue for the League game.
Wood don’t have a home game until Saturday 12th December when they take on Alvechurch in the third round of the F.A. Vase.
Walsall Wood 2 v 3 Long Eaton United
Wood missed the chance to leapfrog AFC Wulfrunians and move up to seventh as the visitors themselves closed the gap on Wood to just one point, with them having two games in hand, as they look to get their season back on track after a managerial change in mid-September.
Both sides initially lacked a cutting edge, but it was Wood who threatened first with on 10 minutes Corey Currithers crossing low from wide right, Shaun Rickford denying Joey Butlin a shot at goal at the expense of a right wing corner. From the flag kick a bit of a scramble developed and two close range shots were charged down before the ball was finally cleared. Then on 21 minutes Dan Griffiths crossed into the middle from wide right, Butlin holding the ball up cleverly, then turning and drilling a low drive inches wide.
United’s first attack came two minutes later, Josh Wright racing clear wide left, his ball into the box hit first time high over the bar by Grant Ryan. A minute later Ryan was released left of centre to race for goal, Luke Wright saving Wood with a superbly timed tackle. Four minutes later they went ahead, Wright powering in from wide left, his near post cross was spilled by keeper Lee Evans, Brad Wells pouncing to score from close range. It was Wright again crossing from the left of the box four minutes later to pick out Ryan the other side of the box, his rising first time drive deflecting across the face of the six yard box. A minute later a lovely crossfield ball by Paolo Piliero picked out Wright on the left of the box, his low cross shot deflected wide by a determined Craig Deakin.
From a free kick on halfway on 34 minutes the ball was half cleared to Piliero who hit a first time 30 yard effort just too high. A minute later Jarrod Westcarr was found on the right edge of the box, he cut inside, turned back outside a challenge to drill a low shot just inside the right hand post to make it 2-0. The last action of the half came on 42 minutes, Piliero crossing from wide left to find Ryan in the centre of the box, under intense pressure he screwed his first time effort just wide.
Four minutes into the second half a quickly taken right wing throw in released Butlin into the box, keeper Scott Low at full stretch to push away the goalbound effort. On 55 minutes Grant Beckett brought the ball forward from halfway, his ball into the box headed down by Butlin to Griffiths to hit first time, Low again pushing the ball away. 6 minutes later a clever left wing corner move found Griffiths at the near post to flick the ball just over the bar. Wood kept up the pressure with the visitor’s content to defend their lead, but it all changed on 72 minutes, Beckett again powering forwards from halfway and laying a neat ball through to Max Black, his lovely pinpoint through ball releasing Griffiths into the left of the box to fire past the advancing keeper. Wood kept up the pressure in search of the equaliser which duly arrived on 78 minutes, Deakin racing out of defence and playing the ball up to Butlin, his quick ball out right collected at pace by Griffiths to cross into the box, Black gleefully tucking away the equaliser.
Virtually from the restart United went back ahead, Wood were caught out on the left of the box, (their right) Wells was strong to win the ball and quickly fed Piliero to his right, the skipper calmly crossed low into the box to find Wright and he got the goal his livewire performance deserved, scoring with a crisp low drive.
Wood tried to find a way back but the goal totally demoralised them and they went down to their first defeat in November.
Long Eaton fully deserved their half time lead, but helped by the visitors sitting back Wood showed great character to get back on level terms, but then committed the cardinal sin of conceding a goal just after scoring one.
It’s a double helping of Sporting Khalsa this week, both away, with the J.W. Hunt Cup on Tuesday night followed by the league game on Saturday.
Walsall Wood: L. Evans, Deakin, Hayles, Wright, Juxon, Black, Griffiths, Harris (captain), Butlin, Beckett, Currithers, Birch, Aiton, B. Evans, Taylor-Boyce, Hughes.
Long Eaton Utd.: Low, Haynes, Walker, Gowing McKeever, Rickford, Wright, Pilfer (Captain), Wells, Ryan, Westcarr, King, O’Connor, Cooper-Richards, Muskambi, Hancock.
Thanks to Bill for checking in with us – and good luck to the Woodmen for the upcoming matches. Myself, the good folk who contribute to the blog and all the readers are rooting for you!
What more can I add, but For The Good of the Wood!