Woodmen shoot a failing Star

Last Saturday afternoon (30th April 2016), the Woodmen faced Continental Star at Oak Park, and I think it’s fair to say Walsall Wood sent star home with their reputation in a carrier bag – a thumping five nil win for the Wood lads was a fine finish to the season.

Bill Shaw was there, and wrote:

Hiya Bob,

Well Wood finished their league season on a bit of a high with this five goal stroll over a very poor relegated Continental Star, with other results going their way Wood moved up to seventh and unless fast fading Highgate United beat Brocton on Tuesday night that’s where they will finish.

So it’s Hereford at Solihull Moors ground on Tuesday 10th May in the League Cup Final, Wood of curse are real underdogs but any game is a maximum of 11 against 11 and anything can happen in 90 minutes, so don’t write them off.

Thanks to you and all the readers of the blog for all the messages of support, especially between Christmas and the end of March when things really did get me down. No plans on next season yet, I have some big decisions to make in the next two months, but rest assured you’ll be one of the first to know what I decide.

Walsall Wood 5 v 0 Continental Star

Wood finished their League programme with this comfortable victory over relegated Continental Star. The score flattered the visitors, Wood wasted chance after chance and the game could have ended with them improving their goal difference by another 10 or even 15 goals.

After two minutes Louis Harris collected a ball left of centre and delivered a pinpoint diagonal ball to pick out Lewis Taylor Boyce on the right of the box, he turned back inside to hit a rising drive that was pushed over by keeper Remi James. From the left wing corner a scramble developed in the box, the ball eventually falling to Harris to fire a first time effort over. Seven minutes gone and a swift Wood counter attack through the middle saw the ball played out wide left by Joey Butlin to find Corey Currithers, his far post cross was hit first time inches wide by Butlin. Five minutes later Wood pressure on the right kept Star pinned in their half, the ball was finally played into the centre of the box to find Butlin who hit a first time effort flying wide. A minute later Craig Deakin raced into the Star half wide right and played Butlin into the right of the box to fire across the keeper and into the far corner of the net to put Wood deservedly ahead. Two minutes later Currithers won the ball left of centre, he went through three challenges on a diagonal run into the right of the box before feeding Butlin to fire first time over. A minute later it was Taylor Boyce racing into the right of the box to hit a far post cross that was hit first time inches too high by Max Black. It was wave after wave of Wood attacks with Star occasionally crossing the half way line, the only surprise was that it took Wood another 20 minutes to add number two, when on 35 minutes Black powered into the left of the box, Dwayne Robinson making an important challenge, the loose ball was collected by Butlin but heroic defending saw his shot blocked, the rebound collected by Black to bury the ball past the stranded keeper to make it two-nil. Four minutes later a long ball forward was collected at pace by Black who raced into the centre of the box, Nathan Waite bravely blocking his low drive. On 41 minutes keeper James was put into trouble by a suicidal back pass, Butlin closed him down, won the ball and calmly slotted home to make it three-nil.

On 42 minutes a short back pass at the other end was intercepted by Jordan Willock, keeper Adam Jenkins saving bravely at his feet.

Four minutes into the second half Butlin won the ball right of centre, immediately finding Deakin wide right, his low cross fired first time over by Butlin who’d raced into the centre of the box. A minute later Harris raced away on the right, fed Currithers who crossed low into the box, Harris who had continued his run scoring with a powerful diving header. Seven minutes later a right wing free kick was delivered to the far post, Deakin volleying just over the bar. Two minutes later Butlin raced onto a ball into the right of the box, his vicious low drive pushed round the near post by James. On 67 minutes Deakin released Ricardo Ricketts into the right of the box, James saving bravely at his feet. Five minutes later Harris delivered a right wing free kick into the centre of the box, Anthony Juxon hitting a first time effort just wide. On 83 minutes Butlin won the ball on halfway and ran at the centre of the defence, he played the ball to Currithers who raced into the left of the box played the ball back into the path of Butlin, Robinson with another superbly timed challenge. Four minutes later an exquisite chip by Harris wide right put Butlin clear, his ball inside found Ricketts to hit a low drive that was taken at full stretch by the heroic James. A minute later a desperate challenge just outside the D gave Butlin a chance, his low drive deflecting off the wall and inches wide of the right hand post with James beaten. Deep into injury time Luke Wright collected a ball on halfway and fed Deakin wide right, he ran at the defence, fired in a low cross to pick out Harris on the left of the box, he powered through one tackle and calmly slotted the ball beyond the stranded James to score his second and Woods fifth.

This could have been a stroll in the sunshine for Wood but the weather in the first half was abysmal. No matter what happens next week Wood can’t finish lower than eighth to salvage a creditable position from an injury ravaged season. Another two goals from Joey Butlin confirmed his place as leading scorer with 24 for the campaign.

The season ends for Wood on Tuesday May 10th at Solihull Moors in the League Cup Final against champions Hereford, can Wood throw the form book out of the window, stranger things have happened in cup finals over the years.

Bill Shaw

The Teams:

Walsall Wood: Jenkins, Deakin, Hayles, Wright, Birch, Black, Taylor Boyce, L. Harris, Butlin, Beckett (c), Currithers, Ricketts, Juxon, Aiton, Hawkins, Swann.

Continental Star: James, Hurdman, Nokes, Waite, Hoyte, Robinson, Al-Baarni, Larmond, Ellis (c), Elwell, Willock, Foster, Moses, Nzabanora, Chisanga, O’Connor.

Thanks to Bill and for the report, and for all the reports he submits to the blog…

For The Good of the Wood!

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