Images and captions kindly supplied by David Evans
Walsall Wood FC took the trip to Long Eaton yesterday (Saturday 17th April 2016), and the Woodmen returned to form, beating the home side in a great match.
Bill Shaw was there for all the action, and sent the following match report:
A much changed Wood side from Thursday night came home with the points courtesy of two goals on his debut from Ashley Jackson.
Wood introduced Under 21 striker Ryan Sappleton-Williams to the Midland League for the last 25 minutes and he didn’t look out of place. The back four were all under 20 which bodes well for the future.
Long Eaton keeper Scott Low, with a series of saves kept his side in the game but the injury time penalty gave Wood a well deserved victory to avenge the early season home defeat.
Three big games ahead this week for Wood, one a semi-final on Tuesday night at Lichfield City followed by games against top six opposition at home on Thursday and Saturday, incidentally the Saturday game against Highgate United kicks off at 1.00pm.
It’s exciting times at the Wood, keep the faith and follow the lads.
Really good to be back in the fold, come on you Wood!
Long Eaton United 1 v 2 Walsall Wood
Wood went home with all three points courtesy of an Ashley Jackson brace on his first full game, the match came to life in the second half after a very quiet first 45 minutes.
Both sides played neat approach football without either keeper having to make a save, then on 17 minutes a clever move through the centre for Wood saw Max Black touch the ball on to Lewis Taylor Boyce who released Ben Evans into the D, he was fouled from behind. The free kick found Ashley Jackson, keeper Scott Low saving his low drive at full stretch. Wood continued to have the better of the play with United dangerous on the break with Aaron Cole in the thick of the action. After 37 minutes Elliot King made space with a powerful run wide right, his low cross into the near post was hit first time by Dean Haynes, keeper Adam Jenkins pushing the ball round the post.
Two minutes later Anthony Juxon powered forward from halfway before releasing Taylor Boyce into the right of the box, he took his marker to the cleaners, played the ball back across the area to Max Black, his first time low drive superbly blocked by Low.
Five minutes into the second half Black cleverly released half time substitute Corey Currithers into the left of the box, Low with another brave block at his feet. A further five minutes later Wood ripped open the home defence, a strong left to right run across the face of the box by Evans ending with his pinpoint through ball putting Black in on goal, his rising drive off the underside of the bar and away to safety with Low finally beaten but with his goal still intact.
Two minutes later a miskick in the Wood box presented the ball to Jerome O’Connor on the edge of the six yard box, under no pressure he somehow rolled the ball into the grateful arms of keeper Jenkins.
The dead-lock was finally broken on 61 minutes with Ashley Jackson opening his Wood goal account. Black dispossessed a defender on the left of the box, he made the byeline pulling the ball back into the centre of the box, Jackson stretching to poke the ball inside the far post. It was nearly two when seven minutes later Currithers went on a left wing run, his intelligent pull back was driven inches wide by the hard working Black. Two minutes later a right wing run and cross by Jackson was headed down by Currithers, Low with a full length block. Ben Birch first to the loose ball, Low with another brave block.
On 78 minutes James Cullingworth collected a straight red for a terrible challenge.
Three minutes later a superb one touch move through the centre by Wood ended with a vicious low drive by Taylor Boyce bringing a superb full length save from Low.
On 85 minutes a hopeful long ball forward saw a Wood defender slip to let in skipper Paolo Piliero to run into the left of the box and calmly slot home the equaliser past the advancing Jenkins.
Two minutes later Currithers raced clear wide left, cut in along the byeline, his low driven cross flashing across the face of the six yard box without anyone able to get the all important touch. As we entered the final minute of injury time Jackson crossed from wide left, Currithers off balance flicked the ball goalwards, Low changing direction to somehow keep the ball out. With the referee looking at his watch Jacksons ball inside from the left was collected at pace by Black, he raced into the left of the box only to be brought down. Jackson took responsibility for the penalty and gave keeper Low no chance as he scored from the spot.
Wood again proved they can’t play against 10 men, but justice was finally done with the late penalty goal, but it was home keeper Scott Low saving United from a real hammering as he turned in a brave performance to keep his side in the game.
So it’s the Walsall Senior Cup semi-final next for Wood at Lichfield City, before two home games on Thursday and Saturday against top six contenders Heanor and Highgate United.
Long Eaton United: Low, Haynes, Walker, Cullingworth, McKiever, Burton, Wright, Piliero (c), O’Connor, King, Cole, Gowing, Kemp, Dakin, Westcarr, Barber.
Walsall Wood: Jenkins, Ricketts, Hayles, Wright, Birch, Black, Evans, Juxon, Jackson, Hildreth (c), Taylor Boyce, Deakin, H. Harris, L. Harris, Currithers, Sappleton-Williams.
Thanks to Bill for checking in with us – and good luck to the Woodmen.
What more can I add, but For The Good of the Wood!