Images and captions kindly supplied by David Evans
Walsall Wood FC were at home to Coventry United yesterday afternoon (Saturday, 18th February 2017), and much to the relief of the hard-pressed faithful, they Woodmen pulled off a hard-fought draw.
Bill Shaw was there, and was pleased with what he saw:
A far better all-round performance by Wood as they battled hard for this point. They had to work really hard in the second half but thoroughly deserved their first point of 2017.
The balance of the team improved over previous games this year and that can only bode well for the last 11 games of the season as they build for 2017-2018.
Walsall Wood 1 v 1 Coventry United
Wood won their first point in 2017 with this battling draw against Coventry United (Seventh before start of play). Well worth their one-nil interval lead they withstood a second half battering by the visitors, keeper Adam Jenkins turning in a five star performance to win a point.
The visitors had just the better of the opening exchanges but it was Wood who threatened first when on 13 minutes a right wing free kick to beyond the far post was headed back across goal by Adam Wood, keeper Richard Morris claiming the ball from a posse of attackers. Three minutes later an intricate right wing move ended with Michael Williams finding Charlie Shaw to fire a first time effort over the back fence.
On 25 minutes a long right wing clearance found Joshua O’Grady, he cut inside, his rising drive bouncing down off the underside of the bar before being hacked away by Luke Adams. Two minutes later a right wing corner was played short to Pierre Moudime who floated a cross to the far post that was missed by everyone.
On 30 minutes a right wing free kick was headed down by Joey Butlin to Drew Aiton who fired a first time effort inches wide.
Four minutes later a free kick on the left edge of the box was fired over the wall by O’Grady, Jenkins at full stretch saving at the foot of his right hand post.
Wood went ahead on 37 minutes; Rikki Bains played the ball up to Aiton right of centre he ran for goal before playing the ball left to Butlin who raced into the left of the box and calmly slotted the ball past the advancing keeper. Two minutes later Butlin stole the ball from Morris who then made a brave block; Aiton’s shot was charged down, Williams onto the loose ball only to be crowded out.
On 43 minutes Moudime ran from halfway into the 6 yard box only to be stopped by a superbly timed tackle from Adams.
A minute into the second half a volley by Aiton on the right edge of the box was fingertipped onto the bar by Morris, the ball only cleared to Butlin on the edge of the box, he raced for goal and was brought down but loud penalty appeals turned down.
On 52 minutes a right wing press ended with Kevin Thornton’s near post cross headed home by Lewis Ison. Eight minutes later O’Grady raced onto a ball into the left of the box, his low drive bringing a great full length save from Jenkins.
On 63 minutes Butlin’s left wing run and cross found Aiton who twisted and turned, Jamie Coleman blocking his low drive.
Three minutes later Courtney Cameron raced clear wide left, his ball inside hit first time by Kai Williams, Jenkins with an amazing stop. Another three minutes later a ball inside from Thornton found Williams in the centre of the box, his low drive cannoning away off the foot of the post. Another session of right wing pressure on 73 minutes ended with Thornton racing into the box, his powerful low cross shot well held by Jenkins at the near post. Eight minutes later O’Grady cut inside from wide left, his low cross headed downwards by Ison to bring another full length save from Jenkins.
A point at last for Wood, they really had to dig deep in the second half as the Coventry league newcomers really gave them a working over, but this was a far better balanced performance and they deserved their first point of 2017.
It’s Quorn away next Saturday for Wood as they look to build on this battling performance and start to build a settled line up.
Walsall Wood – Jenkins, Williams, Adams, Brooks, Bains, Wood, Shaw, Juxon, Butlin (captain), Aiton, Mansell, Lake-Gaskin, Molesworth, Taylor Boyce, Deakin, H. Harris.
Coventry Utd. – Morris, Moudime, Vallance, Dakouri, Ison, Coleman, Thornton (captain), Halton, Williams, O’Grady, Cameron, Prinzel, Glasscoe, Saye, Nduna, Connor.
Thanks to Bill for an honest, entertaining match report as ever and great photos from David. It really is an honour to feature them.
Check out Walsall Wood FC’s website here.