Images and captions kindly supplied by David Evans
Walsall Wood FC were at home to Coventry Sphinx yesterday afternoon (Saturday, 15th October 2016), and suffered somewhat of a drubbing at the hands of the Coventry visitors.
Before the report, though, it’s worth noting that there was a bucket passed around yesterday for Walsall Wood amputee Graham, who had his wheelchair stolen earlier in the week – and the grand total of £100 was raised.
Bill Shaw said of the collection:
just a line to let you know that we had a collection at the game against Coventry Sphinx today and raised £100.00.
The donation from William Shaw is the money from this collection.
Just proving that there are some decent people that use Oak Park.
There’s never been any doubt that there are fine people at Walsall Wood FC – thanks for your wonderful generosity folks, really is appreciated. We’re all bowled over with the kind response of Walsall Wood and the wider community. Great stuff.
Meanwhile, back to the football: Bill Shaw has submitted an excellent match report, in which he doesn’t mince his words, so assume brace position…
A struggle against a mediocre side Wood should have had no problem in beating comfortably. This division is very unforgiving, there are no easy games, if you aren’t at your best you will struggle, and at present Wood aren’t remotely near their best.
Hard work ahead for management and players, no easy fix I’m afraid.
Walsall Wood 1 v 3 Coventry Sphinx
Wood turned in a lacklustre display, and got what they deserved – nothing, and lost to what can only be described as a mediocre Coventry Sphinx side.
It started well for Wood, after only 2 minutes Drew Aiton won a left wing corner, the ball was pushed out by keeper Scott Dutton, Anthony Juxon’s header comfortably saved. A minute later Lewis Taylor Boyce was strong on the left of the box, raced into the area only to be stopped by a superb challenge from Liam Cairns. Four minutes gone Louis Harris cut inside from wide right, played the ball to Aiton who set up Karl Edwards to hit a fist time low drive that brought a full length save from Sutton.
Ironically Sphinx should have scored in their first attack on six minutes, James Towers collected a ball at pace wide left, he ran on and crossed to the far post Reece Blackmore firing over from close range when it looked easier to score.
Back came Wood and two minutes later Taylor Boyce ran through the middle just right of centre, he found Edwards left of the box, his touch inside was hit first time wide by Louis Harris.
On 11 minutes a Sphinx left wing free kick was headed downwards by Towers, Wood debutant keeper Lee Payne saving low to his right. A minute later it was Towers racing onto a long ball forward wide right, cutting inside and hitting a low near post drive that was well held by Payne.
Back to the other end, Craig Deakin crossed from wide left to find Harry Harris who sidestepped a challenge, saw his low drive half blocked, keeper Dutton down bravely at Aiton’s feet.
After a more sedate passage of play Sphinx went in front on 26 minutes, a right wing corner pinged around the box in a bout of head tennis before dropping at the feet of Aron Wint at the far post to score from close range. Five minutes later Towers again got clear wide left, played the ball inside to Luke Downes who went across the face of the box and fired inches wide of the right hand post. A break out of defence on 34 minutes saw Downes play the ball across the face of the box to pick up Cairns who was fouled. He took the free kick himself but fired it wide.
Wood struggled to make any impact at the start of the second half and it was the visitors who dictated play. On 50 minutes Towers powered into the box from wide right only to be stopped by a superb challenge from Shawn Bothe. Eight minutes later a strong right wing run by Scott Lower saw him cross to the far post, Luke Adams heading behind to deny Towers. With 64 minutes gone Blackmore swung in a left wing corner that was forced home from close range by Darren Eggleton at the far post.
Wood huffed and puffed but couldn’t get back into the game until on 76 minutes a long ball forward found substitute Leon Taylor who released Aiton into the right of the box, his driven rising cross handled by a defender, a harsh penalty given. Aiton’s spot kick pushed onto his left hand post by a flying Dutton.
It was sewn up on 83 minutes, Harry Harris was dispossessed on halfway by Ryan Harkin who ran on before releasing Jimmy Holton into the box to calmly slot the ball past a stranded keeper.
On 86 minutes Louis Harris went on a crossfield right to left run, he rode three tackles before being brought down on the left of the box. He took the free kick himself firing into the top right hand corner, Dutton finally beaten.
Sphinx held out to take all three points, stifling any chance of a late comeback.
Wood’s defeat drops them down to 10th and their season looks in danger of unravelling as they try to find a settled winning line up. It’s a crunch week with trips to Heanor Town on Wednesday followed by the FA Vase trip to Westfields next Saturday.
Walsall Wood – Payne, Adams, Deakin, Boothe, Juxon, L. Harris, h. Harris (captain), Edwards, Aiton, Taylor Boyce, Hayles, Haines, Wright, Taylor, Ricketts.
Coventry Sphinx – Dutton, Lower (captain), Fesel, Cairns, Eggleton, McAteer, Jones, Blackmore, Towers, Wing, Downes, Nkasi, Holton, Harkin.
Thanks to Bill for an honest, entertaining match report as ever and great photos from David. It really is an honour to feature them.
Check out Walsall Wood FC’s website here.