The faith of the faithful at Oak Park is being severely tested at the moment as the Woodmen seem to be enduring a losing streak, this time to long-term combatants The Mikes yesterday afternoon (Saturday 21st January 2017).
No pictures today as David Evans has got ill with a nasty cold – I join with all the readership in wishing him a swift recovery.
Bill Shaw was there, and as usual, didn’t mince his words:
No excuses I’m afraid, when you thought it couldn’t get any worse, it just did. Losing to two very poor sides in the space of four days is hard to take, but at least Wood are in transition after the managerial change, the visitors have no such excuse.
Ten points is the difference between Wood in 10th and Stourport Swifts in 20th, so we aren’t in danger – yet.
League Cup quarter final action on Tuesday night at the Wood as we look for a change of fortune in 2017.
Walsall Wood 0 v 2 Boldmere St. Michaels
This victory together with Stourport only drawing at Rocester saw Boldmere climb out of the bottom three on goal difference. With Wood struggling for goals it was ironic that the two scorers Joe Lyng and Max Black had both left for Boldmere this season.
Wood’s new signing Dominic Dell nearly made the perfect start, first he won a left wing free kick on two minutes, the ball flew around the box, eventually dropping for Dell in the D, his low drive through a packed area saved at full stretch by keeper Stuart Parsons.
On nine minutes Max Black wide left played the ball inside to find Alex Forde to fire a first time effort well over.
With 22 minutes gone and Josh Mansell intercepted a ball on halfway and hit a peach of a long ball to pick out Dell wide left, he cut inside to bring another good save from Parsons. Six minutes later Mansell ran on from halfway, played a clever one-two with Joey Butlin, his low drive deflecting off a defender to give Parsons an easy save four minutes later Wood keeper Lewis Gwilliams and two of his defenders made a mess of a clearance, the ball going to Forde who from 35 yards out fired wide of an empty net. Well into first half injury time a right wing corner to the near post saw a scramble develop, the visitors taking the lead with their only shot of the half on target when Joe Lyng fired home from close range.
Within five minutes of the restart Ben Usher-Shipway released Forde into the left of the box, but he rolled his cross shot wide. On 55 minutes a lovely, intricate one touch move wide right saw the ball played into the centre of the box to find Black who swept the ball home to double the visitors lead. Nine minutes later Remi Bell crossed from wide left to find Alister Brauns in the D, his first time through ball kicked clear by Gwilliams to deny Black.
On 70 minutes a right wing counter attack down the Wood right ended with Butlin holding the ball up before turning and firing in a low drive that was well held by Parsons. After 90 minutes Mansell released Liam Molesworth into the right of the box only for him to fire a cross shot wide.
It’s no secret after this game why both teams are struggling, Boldmere only had two shots on target, both went home. Wood’s frailty in front of goal was obvious again, but keeper Stuart Parsons was equal to everything they threw at him. So it’s still pointless in 2017 for Wood as they regroup for the league cup quarter final against Highgate United on Tuesday 24th.
The Black month ends with a visit to St. Andrews of Leicester on Saturday.
Walsall Wood – Gwilliams, Deakin, Hayles, Juxon, Bains, Wood, Mansell, L. Harris, Butlin (captain), H. Harris, Dell, Molesworth, Jackson, Shaw, Wright, Taylor.
Boldmere St. Michaels – Parsons, Rosser, Bell, Smith (captain), Craven, Lyng, Skinner, Forde, Usher-Shipway, Brauns, Black, Male, Fitzmaurice, Leek, Wellington, Moreton.
Let’s hope things improve soon – for the good of the wood!
Thanks to Bill for another great review.