Photos and captions very kindly supplied by the young David Evans
Yesterday afternoon (Saturday, 1st April 2017) Walsall Wood were visited by Highgate United, who sadly seem to have made April fools of the Woodmen.
Bill Shaw was there, and sent the following report:
A horror start by Wood as they shipped three goals between the 6th and the 15th minute. They got back into the game in the 26th minute but the fourth goal just before the break killed off any hopes of a comeback. Now only four points clear of AFC Wulfrunians Wood on paper have the easiest run in but in this ultra-competitive division that counts for nothing.
So four weeks of the season left to go and still eight clubs fighting against those last two relegation places after Tividale’s drop was confirmed with today’s defeat.
Long Eaton at the Wood next Saturday, no room for error now.
Walsall Wood 1 v 4 Highgate United
Wood started as if it was a practice game, Highgate couldn’t believe their luck and with 15 minutes on the clock lead three-nil. Wood came into the game, pulled one back 11 minutes later but a fourth goal just before the break killed off any hope of a comeback and but for a superb goalkeeping performance by Adam Jenkins it could have been much worse.
The visitors had the better of the opening exchanges, after six
minutes 17 year old Romario Martin collected the ball from a left wing throw, raced into the left of the box through a static Wood defence and calmly slotted home past the advancing Adam Jenkins.
Just three minutes later a first time effort from Lei Brown from the left edge of the box deflected off Adam Wood for a corner. The ball played into the middle for skipper Josh Hawker to power a header into the roof of the net.
Wood briefly came to life on 13 minutes, Joey Butlin fired in a right wing free kick to beyond the far post, Richard Gregory and Wood appeared to get in each other’s way and an off balance Wood fired over the far angle.
Two minutes later it was three-nil, Hawker collecting a ball into the left of the box to hit a low first time drive into the net. On 25 minutes a left wing cross to the far post was hit first time by Lei Brown, Wood making a brave block.
A minute later Rikki Bains brought the ball out of defence and played a lovely ball through the centre, Josh Mansell collecting the ball at pace before running into the box, playing the ball to the left of keeper Brendan Bunn as he went past him on the left to collect the ball and fire into an empty net.
Four minutes later a move left of centre saw Martin’s diagonal ball set up Hawker, his first time low drive saved by the right foot of Jenkins. A minute later it was Martin firing in a shot from the left of the box, Jenkins again saving with that trusty right boot. Six minutes later a superb diagonal ball from wide right by Orrin Pendley found Lei Brown left of the box, his first time drive deflecting up and looping over the bar with Jenkins beaten. On 42 minutes the game was sewn up, Hawker this time setting up Martin on the left of the box, the youngster calmly tucking home number four.
On 44 minutes Bunn collided with a defender on the right of the six yard box, Shaquille McDonald putting a snap shot into the side netting.
On 52 minutes Lei Brown powered into the right of the box, he beat the advancing Jenkins, Sam Brooks calmly clearing the ball off the line.
A minute later Martin raced onto a ball into the left of the box, his rising drive superbly touched over by Jenkins. Five minutes later McCauley Manning twisted and turned in right midfield, ran for goal and his rising 20 yard drive brought a superb save from Jenkins. A minute later Lei Brown raced into the right of the box, his cross beyond the far post acrobatically headed over the near angle by Hawker.
To their credit Wood kept chasing shadows as the visitors gave them the run-around, the defence however held firm thanks in no small part to the brilliant performance by Jenkins.
Highgate banished any lingering worries of relegation while Wood because of the point gained against Coleshill by AFC Wulfs see themselves just four points clear with six games to go. Next Saturday’s game against Long Eaton United now massively important in the fight for survival.
Walsall Wood – Jenkins, Adams, Deakin, Brooks, Bains, Wood, Juxon, Mansell, Butlin (captain), Gregory, McDonald, L. Harris, Molesworth, Henry Harris, Aiton, Taylor Boyce.
Highgate Utd. – Bunn, Pendley, Pulisciano, R. Brown, Turner, T. Edwards, Manning, Hawker (captain), Addaggio, Martin, L. Brown, Hylton, D. Edwards, Wooley, Mason, Rolfe.
I know many of you lot love the match reports and news from Oak Park, and it’s great to be able to share them: I thank Bill Shaw profusely – he’s a top bloke.
Walsall Wood Football Club are a top local side with a big-hearted faithful who know how to have a great time supporting their lads, and welcome all comers to come enjoy great local soccer. The boys from The Wood have been at the heart of the local community for a century or more, so please do go check out a match or two if you’re curious.
I guarantee you’ll have more fun cheering on the local chaps than you ever will watching the over-priced prima donnas on TV…
For the good of The Wood!