Photos and captions kindly supplied by David Evans
Last Saturday (23rd January 2016), the Woodmen faced AFC Wulfrunians at Oak Park, and in their first home match of 2016, fought hard to come away with a 1-0 win.
Simon Evans was there standing in again for Bill Shaw (from whom there’s a message after this report) and submitted the following match review:
This was the Woods first home match of 2016.
Walsall Wood 1 v 0 AFC Wulfrunians
Straight from the kick off Walsall Wood went on the attack, Joey Butlin’s shot was well blocked for a corner, which was cleared. A couple of minutes later a Wulfrunians attack resulted in a shot which the Wood keeper saved well.
After 11 minutes some good play by the Wood resulted in a great curling shot by Ben Evans which was well saved by the Wulfrunians keeper. From the resulting corner, Wulfrunians attacked but it came to nothing. The next attack saw the Wulfrunians attacker bearing down on goal only for Stevie Hayles to do a great last ditch tackle.
After 23 minutes a great run and shot by Corey Currithers went just wide, next it was Lewis Taylor Boyce to cause panic in the Wulfrunians defence. Then after a one-two betwen Joey Butlin and Corey Currithers, a great shot by Corey was well saved by the Wulfrunians keeper. Next to test him was Craig Deakin, his shot well saved. The next attack saw the Wulfs number 11 run straight at goal after a hopeful punt from defence but his shot was just off target. The last action of the first half say a Lewis Taylor Boyce shot just wide after a great knock down by Joey Butlin.
Half time: 0-0
Wood started the second half like they finished the first half – on the attack. A lewis Taylor Boyce header went straight at the Wulfrunians keeper, a Joey Butlin header was just over the bar.
Wulfrunians then had a counter attack which was eventually cleared by the Wood’s defence. Then the visitors upped the pressure – a corner was cleared for another corner. The Wulfrunians number 10 after a good run, cut inside but his shot was just wide.
After 66 minutes Wood made a substitution, Drew Aiton replaced Ben Evans. After 73 minutes following a punt from the Wood keeper, Boycey collected and ran at the defence, his pull back was met sweetly by Drew Aiton. 1-0 to the Wood. Straight after that, Drew Aiton had another shot which went just wide.
Wood pulled on another sub, Dan Griffiths replaced Corey Currithers.
In the last few minutes, Wood had chances to increase their lead and Wulfrunians went in search of an equaliser but solid defending from the Wood saw them hang on to a hard earned victory.
Full time: 1-0 to the Wood
Today, I also received the following message from Bill Shaw, who regulars will know has been a little poorly of late:
Hope you are keeping well, I’m improving slowly but going in the right direction.
The last time I shaved was December 30th before I was discharged from hospital, feeling like I did I had decided I wouldn’t shave again until the Wood managed to keep a clean sheet. A feat they hadn’t managed since Saturday 15th August against Hinckley in the FA Cup, the beard was coming on a treat, but then typical of the lads this season they went and spoiled things by shutting out AFC Wulfrunians on Saturday and winning 1–0 in the process, It had taken 27 games, that’s 2,430 minutes and what made it even more amazing they did it without any recognised central defenders with Grant Beckett and new signing Lee Hildreth doing a great job in the middle of the defence and keeper Andy Hughes making it two clean sheets out of four (his first coming two seasons ago at Coleshill when he played most of the game with a broken thumb).
Let’s hope Wood can now kick on and rescue something from what has so far been a nightmare season injury wise, but with five home games in February hopefully they’ll be making a late assault on the top six as we enter the last three months of the season.
Thanks to Simon Evans for doing a great job as my understudy, much appreciated.
My best wishes and thanks to David and Simon, and of course, to Bill. Simon has been doing a wonderful job filling Bill’s shoes in what is a very difficult job to do.
Thanks to you all!
Walsall Wood are a good team and an excellent, community-spirited club. They need our support – please do attend the coming games if you can. The lads do us all proud and deserve as much support as we can give them.
For The Good of the Wood!