Yesterday afternoon (22nd October 2016), Walsall Wood F.C. travelled to Allpay Park at Hereford to face Westfields, who sadly beat the Woodmen 6-0.
Before we kick off with the match report, do check out Walsall Wood Saints’ appeal for your help here. That looks like a great project we can all get behind.
Bill was at the somewhat daftly named allpay.park to witness the match, and submitted the following report:
The report says it all, it looks bad but it could have been so much closer. We didn’t have a Sirdic Grant who at times was virtually un-playable, full backs Craig Deakin and Steven Hayles must feel relieved they aren’t due to meet him again until April 29th.
A silver lining, youngsters Josh Mansell and Romano Graham made substitute appearances and impressed on their first team debuts.
It’s difficult to keep the faith at present, but stay in there guys, we’ll get there, would I lie to you?
Fourth placed Lye Town are the visitors on Saturday, no easy fixtures in the Midland League Premier Division remember.
F.A. Vase Round 1.
Westfields 6 v 0 Walsall Wood.
Looking at the scoreline you’d think this was a one sided contest, well in a way it was, there were two differences however, Westfields put their chances away whilst Wood didn’t and Wood didn’t have a Sirdic Grant to terrorise the opposition defence.
Just like the League game both sides immediately settled into playing football but it wasn’t until 12 minutes that there was a shot on target. Wood pressure on the right of the box saw Grant Beckett win the ball and lay it back to Harry Harris 30 yards out, his low drive well held to his left by keeper Keiron Blackburn.
Three minutes later a Wood right wing move broke down, Sam Plane played the ball forward wide left, the ball was mis-read by a defender putting Aidan Thomas clear, he raced to the edge of the box, squared the ball into the centre, Richard Greaves firing into the roof of the net. A minute later Wood couldn’t get the ball clear and Sirdic Grant fired just wide.
On 21 minutes Nick Wright raced into the right of the home box, his ball inside was collected at pace by Ricardo Ricketts who laid the ball back to Karl Edwards, his first time effort deflected into the side netting.
Two minutes later Plane intercepted a crossfield ball, ran clear wide left, played the ball into the near post, Grant losing his marker and flicking the ball across keeper Andy Hughes and into the right hand corner of the net. Three minutes later a ball left of centre found Greaves 40 yards out, who seeing Hughes off his line hit a lob just over the right hand angle.
Wright ran through the centre three minutes later, his low drive deflected left to Lewis Taylor Boyce to hit a first time cross shot inches over the far angle. It was on 34 minutes that Wood found out it wasn’t going to be their day, Wright charged into the right of the box, his powerful low drive was pushed away at full stretch by Blackburn, the ball was unceremoniously fired down the left by Plane to find Thomas, who raced into the left of the box and calmly slotted the ball past Hughes as the keeper raced to meet him. Four minutes later Ricketts was on the end of a neat right wing move, his shot was charged down, the ball fell to Harris, his first time screamer bravely blocked by skipper Phil Glover. Then right on half time Craig Deakin crossed from the right to beyond the far post, Harris made space and curled a shot over the far angle.
Two minutes into the second half Grant fired a chance high over but it was all over on 51 minutes. Grant played the ball into the left of the box, Thomas turned and fired in a cross shot that deflected off the back of a defender and flew past Hughes into the net. Four minutes later Wright raced into the right of the box, his low cross found Beckett who cleverly turned back inside, his low drive blocked. Straight to the other end, Grant played a quick-fire one-two with Greaves in the centre of the box before releasing Nick Harrhy into the right to calmly fire home number five. On 64 minutes Craig Jones raced onto a ball inside from Grant wide right, he was caught by a late challenge from Shawn Boothe who picked up his second. yellow and left the field. Six minutes later Grant was put through into the centre of the box, Hughes saving bravely at his feet.
On 77 minutes Grant raced clear from halfway into the left of the box, he laid the ball square to Harrhy who fired a first time effort inches wide.
A minute later Wood substitute Romano Graham raced into the right of the home box, going through one challenge and firing over the far angle. On 84 minutes second substitute Josh Mansell crossed from wide right to the far post Ben Birch powering a header just over.
Three minutes later Grant again carved open the left of the Wood defence, went past Hughes, his cross shot put behind by Beckett. From the corner Kane Kahaki headed the ball across goal and Harrhy headed home number six at the far post.
On 90 minutes Wood pressure on the left of the box saw three shots charged down, Deakin collecting the loose ball, his fierce low drive bringing a full length save from Blackburn.
Grant had the last word racing clear wide left and finding Dan Polan to turn inside his marker and fire in a low cross shot that Hughes half stopped and Deakin cleared off the line.
Westfields were clinical, Wood couldn’t buy a goal this afternoon, and as the cheeky chappie wrote in my notebook after the game, ‘We miss Joey Butlin’, I’ve got to agree.
Westfields – Blackburn, Sauntson, Plane, Glover (captain), Kahaki, Bonella, Jones, Thomas, Greaves, Harrhy, Grant, Polan, Febery, S. Gwynne, Miller, M. Gwynne.
Walsall Wood – Hughes, Deakin, Hayles, Boothe, Birch, Beckett, Ricketts, Harris (captain), Edwards, Wright, Taylor Boyce, Adams, Mansell, Taylor, Graham, Butlin.
As ever, thanks to Bill for the report – always appreciated, and my commiserations to the team and fans. Keep gwarnin, for The Good of the Wood!