Sadly disappointment again for Walsall Wood FC and the faithful as Saturday (5th November 2016) saw them lose away to Shepshed, but at least the performance improved.
Bill Shaw was there, and sent this report:
An improvement on October but still not the finished article, next Saturday’s game is very important for both sides as Boldmere St. Michaels unveil their all-weather pitch for the first time. [That’ll please David ‘Whispering Grass’ Evans, then – Bob]
Is this the shape of things to come, being an old fashioned purist I hope not. The F.A. call it progress however.
Shepshed Dynamo 1 v 0 Walsall Wood.
A win for Shepshed that leapfrogs them above Wood who continue their downward spiral into 14th place. In a game of few chances it was debutant Joel Carta pouncing to fire a rebound into the roof of the net in the 68th minute.
On two minutes Karl Edwards raced onto a ball on the right of the box and fired just wide. The home side replied on five minutes, Ben Haseley getting away wide left, cutting inside his rising drive pushed away by Wood keeper Sam Arnold. Two minutes later it was Liam Hurst cutting into the box from wide right, Wood debutant Queenton Manase saving the day with a superbly timed challenge. Nine minutes gone and Haseley won the ball on the right of the box, his far post cross headed away by Ben Birch.
On 11 minutes Manase picked up the ball from a left wing throw, turned inside and fired over the far angle. Four minutes later Craig Deakin fed Manase who raced into the right of the box, hitting a low cross across the face of the six yard box without anyone getting a touch.
On 18 minutes Hurst out on the right touchline fired a 40 yard free kick just too high. A left wing counter by the home side on 26 minutes saw Liam Read drive into the left of the Wood box and hit a cross shot agonisingly wide.
Four minutes later a long ball forward by keeper Arnold found Leon Taylor in the centre of the box, he held the ball up before laying it back into the path of Manase to hit a first time effort over.
Four minutes later a right wing run and cross by Hurst saw Haseley head wide.
Wood were put under intense pressure with the ball flying around the box, Haseley took charge only to fire an effort straight at keeper Arnold.
On 38 minutes keeper Ben Gathercole sliced a clearance to Edwards who played the ball into the path of Leon Taylor to fire goalwards from 35 yards, the keeper getting back to spare his own blushes. On 44 minutes Taylor set up Edwards only for his shot to be blocked.
The first chance of the second half came four minutes in, Manase getting clear wide left, cutting inside and firing over the far angle. Four minutes later Nick Wright ran through the centre and fed Manase who pulled the ball back to Taylor whose first time effort was half stopped giving the keeper an easy save.
On 57 minutes Haseley raced clear wide right, played the ball into the right of the box, Joel Carta’s rising drive bringing a great save from Arnold. Three minutes later it was Hurst wide right setting up Haseley, his vicious cross shot bringing another great save from Arnold.
Woods immediate reply saw Deakin hit a right wing cross to the near post, Gathercole saving bravely at the feet of Taylor.
A counter on 68 minutes released Matt Gardner into the centre of the box, Arnold somehow kept out his low drive but Carta was first to the loose ball to fire into the roof of the net.
On 75 minutes Taylor had a shot half stopped by Gathercole and cleared off the line. Substitute Ash Way raced onto a ball left of the box on 87 minutes, his rising drive coming back off the underside of the bar with Arnold beaten.
Another brave performance by Wood but not for the first time their frailty in front of goal was exposed.
Its Boldmere St. Michaels next for Wood next Saturday on the new 3g pitch at Church Road, should be interesting.
Shepshed Dynamo – Gathercole, Adam Hohn, Morrall, Pheasant, Carlisle Prenderville (captain), Hurst, Carta, Haseley, Gardner, Read Way, Whymark, Andy Hohn,
Walsall Wood – Arnold, Deakin, Hayes, Beckett (captain), Birch, Juxon, Steane, Wright, Edwards, Taylor, Manase, Butlin, Graham, Roberts, Adams, Hawkins.
Thanks due to Battling Bill Shaw for his reports and all he does – for the good of The Wood!