Walsall Wood draw in hard fought battle with Loughborough

Images and captions kindly supplied by David Evans.

Last Tuesday evening (23rd February 2016), Walsall Wood FC entertained Loughborough University at Oak Park, and despite a very closely fought battle, neither side scored.

At the foot of this post is also a report on the Walsall Wood 3-0 away victory over Shepshed that took place on Tuesday 16th February, which has been sourced by Bill Shaw from a Shepshed reporter. Nuff said.

Simon Evans submitted the following match report:

Hiya Bob,

Walsall Wood 0 v 0 Loughborough

Walsall Wood got the game underway and straight away went on the attack. A long ball by Craig Deakin into the Loughborough box was cleared. Then Ben Evans cut inside, his shot went just past the post. Loughborough’s first attack came soon afterwards, their no. 11 Reuben Asamoah had a run, fired inside, but his shot was saved by a combination of the Wood Keeper and defence. Wood then staged a counter attack, Ben Evans fed Lewis Taylor Boyce whose cross was fumbled by the Loughborough keeper and cleared by the defender. Next to test the Loughborough goal was Joey Butlin, a long range shot went just wide, a header went straight at the keeper and then another long range shot which the keeper managed to hold at the second attempt.

Loughborough no. 11 Reuben Asamoah then went on another run at the Wood defence, his shot was cleared. Joey Butlin then tested the Loughboroughs keeper, his shot from a Craig Deakin cross was saved. Loughborough’s Asamoah then had another shot, which was deflected for a corner. From that,  Josh Sellway Loughborough’s no. 4 had a free header which was cleared off the line.

Nice Wood interplay saw a Harry Harris shot go just past the post. The last action of the first half saw Loughborough’s no. 7 Jeremiah Dasaolu surge towards the Wood goal, a great covering tackle by Louis Harris coming to the Woods rescue.

Half time: 0-0

Loughborough started the second half in an attacking mood, with no. 9 Dominic Matcham’s cross  held by Adam Jenkins in the Wood goal. Reuben Asamoah, then fed Matthew Richmond, his cross went over the bar.

Lewis Taylor Boyce had a shot straight at the Loughborough keeper after nice interplay with Joey Butlin. Next a great surging run by Louis Harris into the box, his cutback was met by Lewis Taylor Boyce but straight at the keeper. Next another great Lewis Taylor Boyce run, his cross was headed out. Anthony Juxon then had a header just wide following a Wood free kick.

Loughborough’s no. 10 Matthew Crooks then went on a charge at the Wood defence, he cut inside but the shot was well defended. The visitors then made their first substitution – Cameron Gray on for Dominic Matcham. Wood then had a corner which was eventually cleared.

Walsall Wood made a substitution, bringing Corey Currithers on for Ben Evans. Craig Deakin then had a cross shot well held by the Loughborough goalkeeper. Wood then made a second substitution, Drew Aiton on for Anthony Juxon. Straight after that Drew Aiton surged towards the Loughborough goal, but his shot was saved.

After 77 minutes a Louis Harris cross was bundled in by Lewis Taylor Boyce, the celebrations were short lived, terminated by the linesman’s flag.

Loughborough then made another substitution, bringing Ricky Nurse on for Reuben Asamoah.

Another run by Louis Harris, his pass was met by Corey Currithers who burst into the box, but the cross was well defended. After a slip by the Wood defender, Loughborough’s no. 10 Matthew Crooks had a free run at the Wood goal, but his shot was wide.

Loughborough were now turning up the pressure… Dominic Matcham, Loughborough no. 9 had a great shot well saved by Adam Jenkins in the Wood goal, Jeremiah Dasaolu then shot over. Corey Currithers then had a cross which was well held by the Loughborough keeper.

The last action of the match saw Cameron Grays shot take a deflection just past the post. The resulting corner was cleared for another corner, but the Wood defence held firm.

Full time: 0-0

My thanks to David and Simon for another excellent report – if you can, get to Oak Park and watch a Wood game. These lads are wonderful – a great community spirited, good natured club right at the heart of their community. It’s what football ought to be about!

I also have this report, which came late on Monday, for the away Shepshed match on Tuesday 16th February, during which the Woodmen hammered the home team. The report originated with a Shepshed reporter and has been edited for decency by none other than Bill Shaw, so it’s as fair as it ought to be…

Shepshed Dynamo 0 v 3 Walsall Wood

Sheepshead Dynamo’s unbeaten league run in 2016 was ended at the Dovecote Stadium last Tuesday evening with a 3-0 away victory for Walsall Wood, their 5th consecutive unbeaten game.

Walsall Wood had the first chance of the game in the first minute with Joey Butlin’s shot deflected wide. After this Dynamo dominated the first quarter of an hour.

Jake Betts shot from outside the area on 5 minutes was straight at Adam Jenkins, 4 minutes later after a scramble in the box a Betts effort was cleared off the line and then Dominic Brennan fired wide.

A Michael Reeves shot on 14 minutes was saved by Jenkins and then the keeper rose the highest to punch clear from the resultant corner.

Wood took the lead against the run of play on 19 minutes. A right wing corner was headed to the left of the goal where Harry Harris rifled his shot through the Shepshed defence and past Jack Drury.

Shepshed looked to respond immediately, with Whymark on 21 minutes and Brennan on 29 minutes both firing wide.

Shepsheds best chance to equalise came on 31 minutes Betts heading the ball back to Reeves whose shot was deflected by Harris but Jenkins managed to get back to tip the ball acrobatically over the bar.

Reeves and Whymark combined well to find Liam Read but his effort was again well saved by Jenkins on 41 minutes.

But it was Wood who ended the half stronger, Drury saving from Corey Currithers on 42 minutes and again deep into injury time from Craig Deakin.

Wood carried on where they had ended the first half. Deakin going close with a cross come shot on 52 minutes. Currithers effort was then blocked by Adam Hohn on 54 minutes and a minute later Harris shot straight at Drury.

Shepshed had their best spell of the half Read’s shot well saved by Jenkins on 59 minutes and then Brennan shot wide. A minute later after a poor clearance Matt Langham fed Brennan but his effort was pushed wide.

The remainder of the half belonged to Wood. Currithers shot wide on 61 minutes and 4 minutes later Lewis Taylor-Boyce fired over the top.

Woods pressure told shortly after, Currithers picking the ball up in midfield, he fed Taylor-Boyce wide right, who cut inside to curl the ball past Drury.

Things got worse for Shepshed on 72 minutes. What looked like an innocuous coming together just outside the Shepshed box saw the assistant raise his flag, after a lengthy discussion Jake Betts was given a straight red card.

Wood piled on the pressure. Currithers firing just wide on 73 minutes.

The 3 points were sealed on 81 minutes after Read was robbed on the edge of Woods box, the referee waving play on and Wood used their numerical advantage, breaking quickly before Louis Harris nonchalantly rounded Drury to slot home.

Shepshed had one further chance but Langham’s effort was cleared off the line. Wood finished the stronger , with Butlin twice and Currithers going close.

A well organised Walsall Wood set their stall out from the start and frustrated Shepshed, but thoroughly deserved to leave the Dovecote Stadium with all 3 points.

Team lineups:

Sheepshead: Drury, Shaw, Rawdon, Craven, Chapman, Betts, Read, Prenderville, Brennan, Reeve, Whymark Subs, Langham, Rigby, Hohn, Moore, Guest.

Walsall Wood: Jenkins, Deakin, Hayles, L. Harris, G. Beckett, L. Hildreth, Taylor Boyce, H. Harris (captain), J. Butlin, Juxon, Currithers, Subs. Wright, Birch, Black, Evans, Griffiths

For the good of the Wood!

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