Images and captions by David Evans.
Yesterday (Saturday, 3rd September 2016), Walsall Wood squared off against AFC Wulfrunians at Castlecroft, and sadly lost, much to the dismay of Bill Shaw who kindly submitted the following report:
A game of what might have been. AFC Wulfs took all three points courtesy of a mistake that let in Jamie King to score the only goal of the game in the 62nd minute. Drew Aiton’s blockbuster six minutes later came back off the underside of the bar with the keeper soundly beaten, if that had gone in it would have been an interesting last quarter. As it was both teams worked hard and created chances but with no more goals.
Wood’s injury toll continued to mount, losing striker Nick Wright after only 11 minutes as he joined Ashley Jackson and Joey Butlin on the injury list of front men.
There’s no rest for Wood as they travel to Long Eaton United on Tuesday night before the FA Vase trip to Oswestry on Saturday, a game that sees Louis Harris banned after his red against Coleshill.
I promised a review of how we are going to finish this season, well with the exception of Westfields currently five wins out of five in the league it’s a case of anyone can beat anyone else, so much so that the title could be won (note I said could, not would) with less than 80 points, and with 12 already on the board, another 105 to play for we can certainly do that, so don’t write us off yet.
There’s a lot of football to be played between now and Saturday April 29th, when we visit none other than Westfields no less. You never know, stranger things than that are happening all the time in our great game of football, could that be the title decider, it’s far too early to be thinking that way, but rest assured we won’t be relegating anyone in our last game this season, like we have on the last day in the last two seasons.
AFC Wulfrunians 1 v 0 Walsall Wood
In a season of firsts for Wood they lost to AFC Wulfs for the first time in four attempts at Castlecroft, obviously losing their 100% away record in the process, in a game that could so easily have gone the other way.
On four minutes the ever dangerous Demetri Brown collected a ball out of defence racing through the centre before playing the ball left to Jamie King who cut back inside and from the edge of the box hit a rising drive that was pushed away by keeper Curtis Pond. Two minutes later Brown raced onto a through ball into the centre of the box, going through tow challenges before he was stopped by Luke Adams with a superbly timed challenge.
After none minutes Louis Harris went on a right to left diagonal run for Wood, played a quick one-two with Craig Deakin and put Lewis Taylor Boyce racing into the box, his shot deflected just wide.
Two minutes later Brown raced onto a ball on the left of the box, his rising drive bringing a great full length save from Pond. A minute later a left wing corner by Jake Sedgemore was punched away by Pond but went straight back to Sedgemore whose first time cross shot flew high over the near angle.
Nineteen minutes gone and Louis Harris cut inside from wide left, under intense pressure he fired just over the bar.
A free kick from halfway on 30 minutes for Wulfs was headed on by Marvin Robinson, Pond quickly off his line to deny Brown – twice.
Wood dominated the last 10 minutes of the half, Drew Aiton fired a right wing cross across the face of the six yard box without anyone able to get a touch. On 38 minutes Karl Edwards won the ball on the right of the box, he fed Taylor Boyce who sidestepped his marker, his shot deflected for a corner. From the corner the ball was half cleared to Edwards, his acrobatic first time effort just wide. Five minutes later Louis Harris fired over the right angle. Right on half time Deakin crossed from wide right to find Aiton, he took one touch and his goalbound effort was bravely blocked.
Louis Harris had the first chance of the second half, turning on the edge of the box and firing over.
Three minutes later Brown was released wide left, cut inside and fired into the side netting.
The game was end to end at this stage, epitomised by the 58th minute, Taylor Boyce saw his shot on the left of the box charged down, the ball immediately delivered up to Brown who galloped into the right of the box, his low drive saved at the second attempt by Pond. Four minutes later Brown hammered in a cross from wide left, the ball headed out to the right of the box, Robinson fired in a low cross that was misread by a defender and fell to King on the left of the box, he kept composure and gave Pond no chance with a lovely crisp finish to open the scoring.
Wood’s reply was immediate, Aiton firing in a low drive that was well saved by keeper Joshua Morton. The keeper was powerless five minutes later when a Pond clearance was flicked on by Edwards to find Aiton 30 yards out, his first time thunderbolt bouncing to safety off the underside of the bar with the keeper grasping thin air.
The game continued to be end to end, Shawn Boothe headed jut over from a right wing corner, Aiton had a shot deflected wide. Brown set up King to fire in a low drive that was well saved by Pond. Morton saved at the feet of Leon Taylor before Steven Hayles crossed from wide left, Aiton’s low drive well held by Morton.
The game could have gone either way but it was Jamie King’s goal that settled matters in AFC Wulf’s favour, on a weekend that was very good for leaders Westfield’s, winners in the FA Cup and still top of the pile.
AFC Wulfrunians – Morton, Ray, Caines, Rose-Laing, C. McParlane, Barnes, M. McParlane, Sedgemore (captain), Robinson, King, Brown, Gregg, Harrison, Nesbitt, Webb, Brady.
Walsall Wood – Pond, Deakin, Hayles, Boothe, Adams, L. Harris, Parsons, H. Harris (captain), Edwards, Wright, Taylor-Boyce, Beckett, Birch, Currithers, Aiton, Taylor.
Walsall Wood are a good team and an excellent, community-spirited club. They need our support – please do attend their games if you can. The lads deserve as much support as we can give them.
As ever, thanks to Bill for the report – always appreciated – for The Good of the Wood!