Photos and captions generously supplied by the young David Evans
Yesterday (Saturday 6th August 2016) saw Walsall Wood take a scenic trip over Cannock Chase to Brocton, where despite a good fight, the Badgers beat the Wood lads 2-1.
This was the first match of the 2016/17 season and I’m proud and honoured to welcome back the reporting dream team of Bill Shaw on the words and the young David Evans behind the camera.
Here’s to all at Walsall Wood Football Club – players, club and supporters alike – I and the blog community wish you all the very best for this season. For the good of the Wood!
And so to Brocton, where Bill Shaw caught all the action…
Not the start we wanted as Wood exited from the FA Cup at the first hurdle for the second successive season. Going down to a late goal when everyone was talking about a Tuesday night replay at the Wood.
The first goal was well worked but the other 2 goals came from defensive errors.
The game was competitive throughout but rarely got above mediocrity.
Suspensions, injuries and holidays depleted the squad but it’s 2 testing away games at relegated Tividale on Saturday followed on Wednesday night the 17th with a visit to Shawbury United, last season’s West Midland League Champions.
So the season isn’t going to be easy to start with, games against Brocton, Coleshill Town and Sporting Khalsa to follow, points will be hard to come by in August, so keep the faith.
F.A. Cup Extra Preliminary Round
Brocton 2 v 1 Walsall Wood
It was Brocton who went through to face Chasetown on August 20th.
An end to end competitive opening without either keeper being troubled. Then on 13 minutes Louis Harris won the ball in the centre, played a pass forward to find Karl Edwards left of the box, his far post cross fractionally too high for Harris who’d raced into the box but could only head wide.
Dan Lomas and Jack Edwards both made inroads into the left of the Wood box but were eventually repulsed. The Badgers broke the deadlock on 40 minutes when from a quick counter attack the ball was played forward to skipper Sean Kinsella who laid the ball off quickly to his right to find Edwards, who went on a diagonal run before hitting a sweet low drive into the bottom left hand corner of the net. It was nearly two when three minutes later Lomas crossed low from the left, Dominic Dell’s first time drive pushed away by keeper Conor McCarthy. Kinsella collecting the loose ball on the right of the box, making inroads along the byeline only to be crowded out.
The Badgers had the first chance of the second half when on 53 minutes Kinsella was strong on the right of the box before crossing beyond the far post, Lomas looping a header back across goal, McCarthy at full stretch tipping the ball over the top. It was Lomas again 15 minutes later capitalising on Kamikaze defending in the centre of the box that allowed him to fire in a snap shot that McCarthy saved at full stretch.
On 77 minutes a high ball forward for Wood saw the Badgers defence misread the bounce completely, allowing Harry Harris to race into the box, just left of centre before calmly sliding the ball past the advancing Calum Barrett in the home goal.
With just four minutes to go substitute Paul McMahon collected a ball into the box, with Wood defenders looking for an offside flag that never came, he ran on to give keeper McCarthy no chance, proving there is no substitute for experience.
The Badgers held out reasonably comfortably to move into the next round.
Wood are away at Tividale on Saturday and then travel up to Wem on Wednesday 17th to face newly promoted Shawbury United.
Brocton – Barrett, Devoir, Douglas, Taylor, Skinner, Jones, Edwards, Davies, Dell, Kinsella (captain), Lomas, McMahon, Dean, Green, Smith, Berks, Head, Stone.
Walsall Wood – McCarthy, Deakin, Hayles, Boothe, Birch, L. Harris, Williams, H. Harris (captain), Butlin, Edwards, Adams, Wright, Parsons, Jackson, Currithers, Griffiths, Aiton, Taylor.
Thanks to Bill for the report, as ever. Onwards and upwards!