Images and captions Kindly supplied by the young David Evans
Another win for the Woodmen again yesterday (Saturday 2nd September 2017) consolidating their current good fortune as they hammered Littleton 4-1 at Oak Park.
Bill Shaw was there, and seems … unusually content:
A comfortable win, some superb football in the September sunshine, what more could you want.
A point off the top of the league with 2 games in hand and a diversion next Saturday with the FA Vase game, pity about the venue but you can’t have everything your own way.
Walsall Wood 4 v 1 Littleton
Win 6 out of 6 in the league for Wood, 3-0 up at the break they took their foot off the pedal in the second half but still won comfortably.
It was a bright opening by both sides with Wood probably just shading the first 15 minutes. Then on 16 minutes Paul Sullivan waltzed into the left of the box, his low drive bouncing off the foot of the left hand post, Andrew Westwood pouncing onto the loose ball to fire into the roof of the net. Within a minute it was 2, that man Sullivan again running at the defence only to be fouled just left of the D, up stepped Joey Butlin to fire a peach of a free kick into the top left hand corner. On 21 minutes Skipper Darren Campion went on a strong left wing run, his far post cross headed into the grateful hands of keeper Connor McArthy by Butlin. A minute later Sullivan was again hacked down on the left of the D, McArthy making a stunning save to keep out Butlin’s free kick. 2 minutes later Sullivan raced through the centre of the defence, his low drive pushed away by McArthy, Butlin firing the rebound just wide. 2 minutes later it was Mitch Tolley on a rampaging run through the middle, his rising drive inches too high.
Great professional footage of the match by the wonderful Russell Smith which posted on the wonderful WoodTV channel!
On 29 minutes Kevin Ingram released Dan Carter down the visitor’s right, he cut inside to hit a rising drive to the near post that was well saved by keeper Lloyd Ransome. On 33 minutes a right wing corner was only half cleared to Ingram who hit a first time cross shot wide of the left hand post.
Thirty-six minutes saw a Sullivan run left of centre, he cleverly released Peter Till into the centre of the box only for him to pull his shot wide. From a right wing corner on 42 minutes Campion’s downward header was deflected just wide. Right on the break Butlin chased a ball into the right hand corner, beat two defenders, crossed low into the centre to find Sullivan who calmly sidestepped his marker and played the ball into the net past the stranded McArthy.
On 55 minutes a ball over the top of the Wood defence found the hard working Carter to cleverly turn and shoot, the ball deflecting off Chris Slater into the air, Ransome stretching to save.
Three minutes later Campion’s ball down the left side of the box was collected at pace by Butlin, his ball inside set up Till to hit a cross shot narrowly wide.
On 60 minutes having had a rest Sullivan raced into the left of the box, cut back inside to fire a low drive just wide. 6 minutes later Campion hit a ball wide left, Sullivan outpaced his marker as he raced into the box, McArthy standing tall to hold his rising drive. On 75 minutes substitute Lewis Taylor Boyce hit a lovely crossfield ball to pick out Till wide left, he cut inside to hit a rising drive narrowly over. 5 minutes later Till crossed from wide left to the far post, Sullivan controlling the ball before sliding home number 4.
A minute later with Wood still celebrating a long ball forward saw Carter race into the right of the box only to go down under a clumsy challenge – penalty, that Carter took himself to make it 4-1.
Wood finished on top, on 85 minutes from a left wing corner Danny Okojie saw his low drive blocked on the line, Taylor Boyce hitting the rebound wide. On the final whistle Jordan Fitzpatrick played a clever diagonal ball into the box, Sullivan cleverly let it run on to Tony Clarke, McArthy out quickly and bravely to save at his feet.
Another superb footballing performance that kept the pressure on leaders Studley, a rare lack of concentration in defence gave Littleton a consolation goal late on, but there was only ever going to be one winner after the early 1-2.
Woods next league game is on September 16th when they visit Leicester Road sandwiched in between is next Saturday’s FA Vase fixture at Division 2 Barnt Green Spartak who play at Highgate’s ground.
Walsall Wood – Ransome, Deakin, Campion (captain), Slater, McFarlane, Tolley, Till, Westwood, Sullivan, Butlin, Okojie, Clarke, Birch, Fitzpatrick, Taylor Boyce, Faultless.
Littleton – McArthy, Ager, Edwards, Ingram (captain), Clarke Xavier, Palmer, Grubb, Hall, Carter, Westwood, Knight, Nowaczyk, Jervis, Sweetman, Hartopp
Thanks for the report and wonderful pictures are due to Bill and David – thanks lads for great coverage as ever. For the good of tThe Wood!
Second half and one of many paired sprint races