Images and captions kindly supplied by the young David Evans.
Last Tuesday evening (13th September 2016) Walsall Wood entertained Westfields at Oak Park for a gripping, seven goal match that kept the faithful from both sides on the edge of their seats.
Bill Shaw enjoyed a cracking match:
It could have gone either way, but we lost our way in a crazy 10 minute spell and boy did we pay a heavy price for it.
The loss drops us down to sixth on goal difference but the game was once again another great advert for Midland League football, it was just a pity one team had to lose.
Alvechurch, never an easy game at the Wood on Saturday, don’t be late!
Walsall Wood 3 v 4 Westfields
Wood finished on the wrong end of a pulsating seven goal thriller, leading two-one with just 10 minutes to go the leaders came roaring back at them and Karl Edwards initial goal for Wood in injury time was purely academic.
On three minutes Dan Polan raced at the Wood defence through the inside left channel, he made the box only to be robbed by a great tackle by Luke Adams.
Four minutes later Steven Hayles won the ball on halfway and released Drew Aiton to run on and fire inches wide. Westfields keeper Matt Gwynne on 10 minutes could only find Aiton 25 yards out, he ran on and fired in a low drive that brought a full length save from the keeper.
On 20 minutes a right wing run and cross by Sirdic Grant saw Ben Miller head wide. A minute later he raced into the right of the box to hit a low drive, Curtis Pond saving at full stretch.
Wood went ahead on the half hour mark, Craig Deakin powered down the right, crossed into the centre to find Nick Wright, his ball into the left of the box was collected at pace by Aiton who took one touch and hit a peach of a shot into the right hand top of the net.
The reply was immediate, Grant on a diagonal run from wide right played a clever one-two with Miller on the edge of the box before being stopped by Deakin. Two minutes later a ball over the top of the Wood defence saw Pond race from his area to kick clear from Richard Greaves.
Three minutes later Harry Harris played the ball out to Aiton, his first time cross shot deflected wide of the right hand post. 40 minutes gone, Deakin hit a right to left crossfield ball to pick out Steven Hayles left of centre, he ran on and from 30 yards fired just wide. Right on the break Karl Edwards robbed a defender in the right hand corner and powered into the box, his low drive deflected inches wide of the near post.
On 50 minutes from a left wing free kick Greaves lost his marker and powered a header against the bar. Two minutes later it was all square, Polan making a powerful left wing run and cutting inside his low cross touched home by substitute Aidan Thomas. Just two minutes later Pond mis-kicked an attempted clearance straight to Polan 25 yards out, he raced into the centre of the box, Shawn Boothe saving the keepers blushes with a superb tackle, loud penalty appeals ignored.
Wood’s reply a minute later saw Aiton collect a ball into the left of the box, his low drive bringing a full length save from Gwynne. On 63 minutes the visitors were unable to clear their lines and Harris fired a low drive just wide. Two minutes later Wood were back in front, Harris played a ball over the defence, Edwards collected the ball at pace, keeper Gwynne blocked his low drive only for the ball to ricochet off Kane Kahaki and into his own net.
With 69 minutes gone, Polan ran at the Wood defence, played a neat one-two with Greaves only to be robbed by Hayles.
Back to the other end, Deakin’s ball wide right put Edwards away, his ball inside found Aiton, his low drive superbly pushed away at full stretch by Gwynne.
With 10 minutes to go Grant went on a right wing run, his low cross touched back by Greaves to set up skipper Craig Jones who fired home through a packed area. Three minutes later Grants right wing cross picked out substitute Paul Glover, his shot deflected for a corner. The ball was delivered beyond the left hand post, Greaves powering a header home. On 89 minutes Polan raced onto a ball in the box left of centre to calmly slot home number four.
Deep into injury time Wood reduced the arrears, Edwards racing onto a ball into the left of the box, he cut inside, his fierce drive giving the keeper no chance as the striker finally opened his goal account.
Wood deserved at least a point, but it’s a game of 90 plus minutes and unlike Saturday at Oswestry it was the other team who finished strongly. Football however was the winner as both sides played a great game at times. It was just a pity a small minority of away fans had to spoil it at the end, sadly, the game at any level doesn’t need this mindless, moronic behaviour.
Walsall Wood – Pond, Deakin, Hayles, Boothe, Birch, Adams, L. Harris, H. Harris (captain), Edwards, Aiton, Taylor Boyce, Huckfield, Haines, Currithers, Taylor, Wright.
Westfields – Gwynne, Sauntson, Plane, Febery, Kahaki, Bonella, Jones (captain), Miller, Greaves, Polan, Grant, Glover, Thomas, Molyneaux, Reeve, Blackburn.
As ever, thanks to Bill for the report – always appreciated – for The Good of the Wood!