Yesterday afternoon (Saturday 28th January 2017) Walsall Wood F.C. played Leicester newcomers St. Andrews FC away, and sadly failed to break the January jinx that seems to have descended.
Thankfully, a better day for the reserve team who battled Lichfield City at Oak Park to win 4-0, a game David Evans attended and sent the gallery from below. I also hear the flames – the Wood under-6s team – did very well. Perhaps we should give them a go up front…
Images and captions from Walsall Wood Reserves v Lichfield City kindly supplied by the young David Evans.
Bill Shaw submitted the following match report from Leicester:
Five-one down with 23 minutes to go it could have been extremely embarrassing, but Wood finished well. With new signings due in the next few days they are interesting times to be involved at the Wood, it’s not easy to keep the faith I know, but stay behind the team, things will improve, would I lie to you?
Don’t expect miracles, Alvechurch isn’t the place to go for rehabilitation, but after that its Shepshed Dynamo, Coventry United and Quorn in February, so just stay in there folks.
St. Andrews 5 v 2 Walsall Wood
Wood said goodbye to January 2017 with their seventh consecutive defeat, they again scored first and last but in between were given a lesson in finishing by this seasons Leicester newcomers to the Midland League.
Wood carved out the first opening when on three minutes Surafel Behailu hit a superb ball into the centre from wide left to pick out Drew Aiton who cut inside only to see his low drive blocked. Two minutes later Aiton released Louis Harris wide right, he raced into the box and crossed low into the centre, Charlie Shaw steered the ball past keeper Warren Butlin, Justin Peace helped the ball into the corner of the net.
On 15 minutes a lovely through ball by Harris was collected at pace by Joey Butlin who was brought down just outside the box, the free kick hammered into the defensive wall.
On 22 minutes left wing pressure had Wood in trouble and they couldn’t get the ball away. Sam Hollis took charge wide left, crossed into the centre and Pearce scored at the right end to tie the scores.
A weak clearance by keeper Butlin a minute later went straight to Harris on halfway, he hit a first time effort well wide.
Three minutes later a left wing corner was punched clear by Wood keeper Andy Hughes, Elliott Puttnum chipping the ball just wide of the left hand post. On 33 minutes Leon Dougherty was released into the right of the box by Shay Brennan, his low drive saved at the second attempt by Hughes. Four minutes later a neat left wing move ended with Puttnum turning and firing in a low drive to bring a full length save from Hughes. On 41 minutes Puttnum was found wide left, he crossed into the centre, Brennan flicked the ball to the right of the six yard box to Ryan Hodkinson to fire back across goal two-one. Wood finished the half camped on the edge of the home box but couldn’t make the all important breakthrough as shots were bravely charged down.
Wood should have equalised four minutes into the second half, a low drive by Josh Mansell through a packed box was spilled by keeper Butlin, Shaw first to react but lifting the ball over the top of the bar.
On 58 minutes Puttnum hit a ball wide left to put Hollis racing clear, he cut inside and his low cross was slotted home by Warren. Four minutes later Hollis made the left byeline, his cross headed inches wide by Warren. 64 minutes gone, a left wing corner played short to Hodkinson on the left of the box, his low drive finding the far corner of the net. Three minutes later Brennan raced into the left of the box and went down under a challenge from keeper Hughes. He got up to despatch the penalty making it three goals in a crazy nine minute spell.
A minute later Aiton crossed from wide right, Leon Taylor flicking a header just over the far angle. Four minutes later a long Hughes clearance was headed on by Taylor to Butlin wide right, he cut inside, keeper Butlin with a full length save. On 80 minutes Taylor was released into the right of the box only to roll a cross shot the wrong side of the post. Seven minutes later an incisive run left of centre by Mansell saw his ball inside flicked on by Butlin to find Taylor who was brought down on the right of the box. Butlin despatching the resultant penalty.
Wood started the better, they finished the better, pity about what happened in between. The difference was that 10 minute spell early in the second half with them shipping 3 goals in that time, they could have given up at that point but kept trying and could have had more than the consolation penalty at the end.
No easy start to February for Wood with them at Alvechurch on the 4th.
St. Andrews – Butlin, Hodkinson, Puttnum, Johnson, Peace, Preston (captain), Morgan, Hurst, Brennan, Warner, Hollis, Latham, Towers, Nyarko, Dougherty.
Walsall Wood – Hughes, Mansell, Adams, L. Harris, Bains, Cleet, Behailu, Shaw, Butlin (captain), Aiton, Dell, Wright, Jackson, Taylor, H. Harris, Rickards.
Thanks to Bill and David for the reports – always appreciated – for The Good of the Wood!