Photos and captions kindly supplied by David Evans – including the best photographic use of the back of a punter’s head I’ve ever seen
Yesterday afternoon (17th September 2016) Walsall Wood FC entertained Alvechurch at Oak Park – and sent the visitors home defeated.
Bill Shaw was there to catch the action and sent the following report:
Another shaky first half that could have seen Wood trailing by three or four goals rather than just the one, but another superb second half performance saw them deservedly take all three points, going some way to repairing the damage done by Tuesday night’s heartbreak against Westfields.
It’s a mid-week rest for Wood this week before F.A. Vase action next Saturday, another step on the road to Wembley.
Walsall Wood 2 v 1 Alvechurch
A goal down at halftime to last season’s runners up, an injury ravaged Wood came roaring back in the second half to deservedly take all three points with goals from Drew Aiton and Karl Edwards for the second game running.
Alvechurch started the better, almost going ahead on seven minutes, Danny Dubidat racing onto a ball into the left of the box, he went down under a challenge from Luke Adams, optimistic penalty appeals ignored. Six minutes later a neat one touch move through the middle saw Dubidat released into the right of the box, a superbly timed tackle by debutant Joe Haines stopping him in his tracks. Two minutes later Connor Deards crossed from wide right, Zac Foster’s first time drive blocked on the line. On 19 minutes a lovely left wing interchange involving Luke Paskin and Ryan Winwood saw Foster released to cross into the box, Jordan Nadat’s first time drive deflected inches wide. On 26 minutes a left wing corner was delivered to the far post, Dubidat soaring above everyone to power a header home to give ‘Church’ a deserved lead.
The goal woke Wood up and they should have equalised just three minutes later, Drew Aiton robbed a defender on the right of the six yard box and pulled the ball back for Lewis Taylor Boyce six yards out, he fired a rising drive over the bar.
Back came the visitors, Nadat going on a left sided run, crossing low into the centre, Haines first to the ball to deny Dubidat.
On 44 minutes Harry Harris put Taylor Boyce away wide left, his ball into the box hit first time by Aiton, keeper Charlie Price at full stretch pushing away his cross shot.
Seven minutes into the second half it should have been 2-0, Nadat raced onto a through ball into the right of the box, he fired the ball past keeper Andy Hughes, the ball bouncing to safety off the inside of the left hand post.
This was the turning point as two minutes later Shawn Boothe broke up an away attack and played a ball over the top of the defence, Aiton outpaced two defenders, scoring with a low drive from the edge of the box to draw Wood level.
Three minutes later Deards got away wide right, crossed into the box, a defensive header fell to Dubidat who hit a first time drive just wide.
Once again the miss was crucial as on 63 minutes Haines charged down the left, his far post cross hit first time by Karl Edwards, keeper Price blocked the shot but it was Edwards first to the loose ball to gleefully fire into the roof of the net to put Wood ahead for the first time.
On 68 minutes dangerman Nadat raced into the right of the box, but under pressure from Luke Adams and Boothe, he dragged his shot into the side netting. 10 minutes later a long ball forward saw keeper Hughes race to the edge of his area to take the ball a split second before substitute Andy Nicol.
Wood should have sewn the game up three minutes later, Nick Wright mugged a defender right of the box, cut inside and set up Edwards, he unselfishly played the ball to Aiton left of the box, his low drive blocked.
Back came the visitors putting the Wood defence under intense pressure, Nadat and Nicol having shots bravely blocked by last ditch defending.
On 86 minutes Edwards charged through the centre of a fading defence, he was forced wide of the goal but managed to pull the ball back to Aiton on the penalty spot only for Wood’s leading scorer to hit a first time effort high over.
The one thing Wood currently lack is consistency, they certainly don’t lack character which once again they showed in bucket loads and could have won by more than the odd goal after taking a first half battering.
It’s F.A. Vase action next up for Wood with Pegasus Juniors visiting on Saturday 24th.
Walsall Wood – Hughes, Hayles, Haines, Boothe, Adams, L. Harris, Wright, H. Harris (captain), Edwards, Aiton, Taylor Boyce, Taylor, Carns, Williams, Hawkins, McCarthy.
Alvechurch – Price, Parsons, Foster, Bellis, Smith, Paskin (captain), Deards, Winwood, Nadat, Dubidat, March, Turton, Pedley, Gresswell, Nicol, Evans.
Walsall Wood are a good team and an excellent, community-spirited club. They need and deserve our support.
As ever, thanks to Bill and David for the report – always appreciated – for The Good of the Wood!