Last Wednesday (19th October 2016) Walsall Wood travelled to Heanor Town and sadly, came away soundly beaten following yet another injury.
It’s not going so well for the Woodmen this season. Bill Shaw was at the match, and doesn’t mince his words:
The injury list continues to grow, we were playing well last night with yet another patched up side, but losing Drew Aiton at half time to a nasty looking knee injury was a body blow, from which we never recovered and Heanor totally dominated from then on.
Don’t write us off at Westfield on Saturday, but I for one wouldn’t put my mortgage money on us.
We’ll really be glad to see the end of October but we still have Lye Town at home on Saturday 29th, oh happy days.
Heanor Town 3 v 1 Walsall Wood
This was certainly a game of two halves, with Wood the better side in the first and then after losing Drew Aiton at half time finding themselves almost unable to get out of their own half in the second, as Town gave them a real battering.
After only four minutes Lewis Taylor Boyce on the Wood right crossed to the near post, debutant Richard Gregory seeing his first time effort saved by the legs of keeper Joe McCormack. Two minutes later Steven Hayles played a ball forward that was flicked through the home defence by Gregory, McCormack out bravely to save at the feet of Drew Aiton. On 11 minutes a long ball out of defence by Shawn Boothe was passed back by a defender, McCormack having to race from his area to kick clear from Gregory.
A minute later Town nearly went ahead, Nathan Benger crossed from wide right, Chris Smiths diving header cleared off the line.
On 19 minutes a right wing free kick was delivered to the near post, Ben Birch forcing the ball home to put Wood deservedly ahead.
Four minutes later Alex Brown threaded a ball into the Wood box, keeper Andy Hughes saving bravely at the feet of Benger. A minute later Benger got clear wide right, his cross too hard for Elliott Reeves who could only flick the ball wide of the far post. Three minutes later Benger again raced down the right, his ball inside hit first time but blocked by Boothe.
29 minutes a lovely ball by Lewis Taylor Boyce into the right of the box put Aiton in on goal to roll a cross shot narrowly wide. Three minutes later a suicidal roll out by McCormack was intercepted by Nick Wright on the left of the box, his square ball right found Gregory, his first time effort blocked by a very relieved keeper.
On 36 minutes Reeves crossed from the right to pick out Benger, his goalbound effort kept out by Birch and keeper Hughes. On 41 minutes Dominic Wilkinson ran onto a ball into the right of the box and went down under a mistimed challenge. Benger firing home the resultant penalty.
Wood had the last word, Aiton won the ball on the right of the box and fed Harry Harris who set up Gregory to hit a first time low drive that a flying McCormack pushed round his left hand post.
For the first 25 minutes of the second half apart from a 40 yard effort by Harris that just missed the right angle it was constant Town pressure but they couldn’t break down a hard working defence, then on 70 minutes Benger collected a ball forward from a left wing throw, cleverly played in Reeves into the right of the box and he hammered the ball home.
Six minutes later a rare Wood excursion over halfway saw Lee Parsons go on a powerful left wing run before cutting inside and finding Gregory, his low drive half blocked giving McCormack an easy near post save.
Town went back on the attack from this point and made certain of the 3 points when on 86 minutes a free kick on the edge of the D was fired home by Benger.
The loss of Drew Aiton (Woods leading scorer) was pivotal, but Town really gave them a second half working over and in the end deserved the three points.
Wood face Westfields on Saturday with a horrendous injury list, a time for someone or two to step up and become an unlikely hero.
Heanor Town – McCormack, Marriott, Seale, Smith (captain), Hall, Whitmore, Wilkinson, Brown, Benger, reeves, Layton, Conway, Naylor, Daley, Power.
Walsall Wood – Hughes, Ricketts, Hayles, Boothe, Birch, Deakin, Wright, Harris (captain), Gregory, Aiton, Taylor Boyce, Parsons, Beckett, Mansell, Edwards, 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.
As ever, thanks to Bill for the report – always appreciated – for The Good of the Wood!