Photos and captions generously supplied by the young David Evans
Yesterday (Saturday 11th March 2017) saw Walsall Wood take a scenic trip over Cannock Chase to Brocton, where despite a good fight, the Badgers held the lads to a one-all draw.
Another priceless point from a battling performance, but only one goal to show from lots of chances. Drew Aiton rescued a point with an 87th minute penalty, the worrying thing is Wood have only scored one goal in each of the last three games, two of them coming from penalties. The situation at the bottom is now really dog eat dog, and any one of 11 teams could be relegated with Tividale and Brocton who now look to need a miracle to survive.
No game next Saturday so it’s a big, big game on Tuesday 21st at home to Shepshed Dynamo.
Come on down to cheer the Wood to victory, they need your support like never before.
Brocton 1 v 1 Walsall Wood
An 87th minute penalty by Drew Aiton inched Wood closer to survival but the loss of the two points left the Badgers 8 points adrift of safety. When the two sides met in the FA Cup in the August sunshine no-one thought that this game would be a relegation battle but that’s how unforgiving this league is.
Wood had the better of the opening exchanges with both sides wary of making a mistake. A quick break out of defence on seven minutes nearly saw the Badgers go ahead, Dan Lomas was put clear wide left, his ball inside hit first time inches wide of the near post by Dominic Dell.
A catalogue of misplaced passes, mainly from Wood followed until on 21 minutes a ball over the top of the Badgers defence by Anthony Juxon into the left of the box saw keeper Aidan Stone race from his line to save bravely at the feet of Joey Butlin.
The opening goal came seconds later, a right wing corner was put behind by Juxon at the far post but from the left wing flag kick Lomas powered home a far post header as once again Wood’s Achilles Heel was cruelly exposed.
On 25 minutes Liam Molesworth raced into the right of the Badgers box, played a tight one-two with Drew Aiton but the return bounced awkwardly and he flicked the ball just too high.
On 34 minutes Dave Berks fired in a free kick that keeper Adam Jenkins acrobatically touched over. From the left wing corner Sam Bell saw his header bounce to safety off the top of the bar.
The last action of the half saw Aiton run at the defence left of centre only to be fouled on the edge of the D, Butlin touched the free kick to Aiton who fired just too high.
From the kick off at the start of the second half the ball was played back to Sam Brooks, his ball forward was headed on by Butlin to find Molesworth to race into the right of the box and fire a cross shot narrowly wide.
A minute later a long ball into the left of the box saw Bell outmuscle a defender but head just wide of the left hand post.
Two minutes later Craig Deakin fed Aiton wide right, his driven low cross somehow just in front of Lewis Taylor Boyce. On 54 minutes from a left wing corner the ball fell to Juxon whose first time shot was deflected the wrong side of the post. A minute later from a right wing corner a scramble developed in the Badgers box, Butlin’s snap shot charged down. On 59 minutes Deakin fed Taylor Boyce wide left, he cut inside and set up Josh Mansell whose rising first time drive swung just over the right angle. Two minutes later a long ball forward by keeper Jenkins was touched on by Butlin to find Brooks who hit a first time effort wide from 30 yards. Six minutes later Michael Williams raced into the right of the box, swapped passes with Molesworth before hitting the far angle.
On 75 minutes Jack Edwards capitalised on a defensive mistake to race into the right of the six yard box, his cross shot beat Jenkins, bounced off the inside of the left hand post, rolled along the line and Deakin calmly took charge and cleared the danger.
It was a rare let up as Wood immediately went back on the attack, Butlin and Mansell both seeing low drives charged down. On 84 minutes Brooks played a ball forward to Butlin who laid the ball into the path of Aiton to fire first time over.
A break out of defence wide left by Edwards saw his low cross hit first time by Kenny Devoir, Jenkins making an amazing full length save.
On 87 minutes a long ball into the box by Aiton saw Butlin put the defence under pressure and a defender handled the ball. Aiton despatching the resultant penalty. Wood finished the game on top but couldn’t find the all- important winning goal.
The result didn’t really help either team but with the way other games went it’s now only six points that separate the team in 10th place from the third relegation spot of 20th. With Wood not playing next Saturday by the time they play Shepshed Dynamo on Tuesday 21st they could find themselves in the third relegation position if results go against them, that’s how tight it is at the bottom.
Brocton – Stone, Ablewhite, Hardiman, Powell, Fife, Vaughan, Holland, Dell, Bell, Berks, Lomas (captain), Edwards, Hartshorne, Devoir.
Walsall Wood – Jenkins, Williams, Deakin, Juxon, Brooks, Wood, Molesworth, Mansell, Butlin (captain), Aiton, Taylor Boyce, Bains, Hayles, Ricketts, Shaw, Taylor.
Thanks to Bill and David for the report, as ever. For The Good of the Wood!