Yesterday Afternoon (Saturday 29th October 2016) Walsall Wood were at home entertaining Lye Town, and sadly, yet again an injury ravaged side were beaten.
Bill Shaw watched with grim determination and submitted the following report:
Another defeat dropped us one more place to eleventh, as Black October thankfully came to an end with just one point from the month.
Joey Butlin and Ashley Jackson came off the bench, as did short term injury victim Drew Aiton, only time will tell if they are back to fitness because at the moment if you can walk you make the 16.
We are now closer to the bottom than the top, but things have surely got to change, Lye Town moaned they had four players out injured – Wood had fourteen– enough said.
Just keep the faith, things can only get better, it’ll soon be Christmas.
Walsall Wood 1 v 3 Lye Town
Wood ended October with another defeat as the visitors leapfrogged long time leaders Westfields to move into second place. One-nil down at the interval, Wood got back into the game but conceded within two minutes of the equaliser and into injury time Ben Billingham sewed the game up with a well-crafted goal.
On four minutes a central free kick for Town was flicked on to James Spray on the left of the box, Craig Deakin saving the day with a superbly timed challenge. Six minutes later a ball from wide right was fed left by Mark Danks to Sam Tye, his rising drive finger-tipped over by debutant keeper Sam Arnold. After 20 minutes Spray capitalised on a misplaced pass before a clever chip inside was superbly controlled by Danks, he held off a challenge as he fired past Arnold to put Town ahead. Five minutes later it was Simon Williams powering through the centre only to finish weakly. Two minutes later Matty Johnson powered over halfway, his lovely ball forward put Spray clear into the left of the box, his rising drive touched over by Arnold at full stretch.
On 31 minutes Steven Hayles crossed from wide on the Wood left, the ball headed out to Anthony Juxon to hit a first time effort high and wide.
Two minutes later Spray collected the ball from a left wing throw, his ball to the near post hit first time by Billingham, Arnold with a superb full length save. Three minutes later Scott Gennard ran through the centre of the Wood defence and set up Danks, his low drive well held by Arnold. A long ball forward by keeper Dean Coleman was headed on by Spray to Billingham who fed Danks on the left of the box to run on and fire wide of the near post.
On 42 minutes a long ball forward by Deakin saw Coleman race from his area to head clear from Karl Edwards.
Both teams started the second half brightly then on 54 minutes Harry Harris robbed a defender in the centre circle, seeing Coleman off his line he lobbed the keeper from 45 yards to put Wood level.
Parity lasted just two minutes, a pair of Wood defenders collided as they went for the same ball, Billingham pounced, ran on and released Spray into the left of the box, he made no mistake to restore the lead.
On 61 minutes Deakin won a right wing corner, Harris delivered to the near post and Juxon powered a header the wrong side of the post.
On 71 minutes Billingham raced through the centre, his rising drive bouncing to safety off the bar. Six minutes later a superb 60 yard diagonal ball by Hayles into the right of the box found Ashley Jackson, Coleman immediately down to save at his feet. 10 minutes later a long ball forward by Ben Birch saw keeper Coleman race from the area to head clear from Joey Butlin.
Two minutes into injury time Billingham collected the ball from a left wing throw, slalomed into the box and gave Arnold no chance as he fired a rising drive into the top right hand corner.
Another much changed Wood side still decimated by injuries somehow stayed in the game, until injury time. With long term injury victims Joey Butlin and Ashley Jackson making cameo appearances is there finally light at the end of what has been a very dark October tunnel.
Its league cup action on Tuesday night at Tividale followed on Saturday by a visit to Shepshed, never an easy place to go to.
Walsall Wood – Arnold, Deakin, Hayles, Beckett, Birch, Edwards, Juxon, Harris (captain), Taylor, Taylor Boyce, Wright, Aiton, Adams, Jackson, Butlin, Hughes.
Lye Town – Coleman, Johnson, Meacham, Williams, Dallison, Tye, Danks, Gennard, Spray, Billingham, Jevons (captain), Jones, Till, Henry, Hindley, McDonnell.
My thanks to Bill for a great report – and for all those he selflessly writes and send to me after every match. They really are popular, and a credit to Bill and the club. Walsall Wood have a reputation for being a great, community spirited group of people and these reports demonstrate that – it’s an honour and joy to feature them here.
For the good of the Wood!