In what I think is the last bit of football reportage for a few days, yesterday (Saturday 30th September 2017) saw the boys from the Wood travel all the way to Warwick to square off against Racing Warwick FC – comfortably beating the home side.
In case you missed it, there’s some really important news about Pelsall Villa and their future in the previous post here.
Bill Shaw was at Warwick, and was content with proceedings:
Three more points with an easy victory over one of the clubs who are looking to finish in the top five.
Last weeks two-nil win at Cradley Town in the FA Vase saw Wood into the first round proper and they have a home draw against Atherstone Town on Saturday 21st October.
Two home games in the league now for Wood as they look to take over at the top for the first time under Gary Birch.
Racing Club Warwick 0 v 4 Walsall Wood
Another comfortable four goal victory for Wood, with Heather taking a point at Studley from a two-two draw. Wood have now closed the gap at the top of the table to two points, still with two games in hand.
Wood had the better of the opening exchanges in a tight start. On 20 minutes Peter Till collected a ball left of the box and hit a low ball square to pick out Tony Clarke to turn and shoot, the ball deflected wide. Two minutes later from a right wing corner Mitch Tolley saw his powerful header hit a defender and drop into the path of Paul Sullivan who fired the ball into the roof of the net. Within another two minutes Wood doubled their lead, Andrew Westwood won the ball in centre midfield before playing a measured through ball forward, Clarke was strong as he held off two defenders and neatly chipped the advancing Tom Cross as he came out to meet him. Six minutes later Clarke held the ball up wide left, his ball inside was collected by Sullivan who came inside and fired over the far angle. On 37 minutes Wood wrapped the game up, a long ball forward found Sullivan who took the ball down, ran away from his marker and gave the advancing Cross no chance as he slotted home his second and Wood’s third.
The Racers should have reduced the deficit on 43 minutes, Alex Price fired in a left wing corner, Wood keeper Lloyd Ransome coming off his line to punch the ball back to Price who crossed first time to the far post, Adam Wright ghosting in only to lose his bearings completely and head wide of the far post.
Wood’s reply was instant, an intricate left wing move ending with a Sullivan snap shot bouncing off the inside of the left hand post, flying across goal and Clarke off balance fired wide of an empty net.
Wood exerted almost constant pressure at the start of the second half and just three minutes gone a sloppy pass let in Clarke left of centre, Cross saved bravely at his feet, the ball squirmed away to be collected by Sullivan who unselfishly rolled the ball across the box for Jordan Fitzpatrick to nonchalantly tap home number four. Wood then throttled back a couple of gears until on 60 minutes a run inside from wide left by Peter Till saw his low drive deflected just wide.
On 63 minutes a ball out of defence was collected at pace by Racers substitute Luke Church who was shepherded away from goal wide left by Callum McFarlane, he did manage to fire in a low cross to the near post that Ransome held to deny Luke Cole.
On 73 minutes a low drive from the centre of the D by Fitzpatrick was pushed away at full stretch by Cross who was up quickly to hold Joey Butlin’s cross shot. Four minutes later Butlin crossed beyond the far post from wide left, Fitzpatrick planting a header back across goal that Cross pushed onto the roof of the net. Two minutes later Clarke won the ball on halfway and raced for goal chased by a posse of defenders, one of whom brought him down on the right of the D, Butlin firing the free kick over. Four minutes later Butlin saw his close range effort bravely blocked by Cross, the rebound collected by Butlin to hit the foot of the post.
Another comfortable four goal win for Wood as they ended Racing Club’s four match unbeaten run, the win keeping up the pressure on leaders Studley.
It’s two home games now for Wood with Uttoxeter visiting on Tuesday night and Pershore on Saturday by which time they could top the league for the first time this season with Studley facing an examination by Ilkeston Town at home on Saturday.
Racing Club Warwick – Cross, Taylor, Billington, Hitchcox, Passey, Price (captain), Slevin Ellis, Wright, Cole Kavanagh, Vadasz, Church, Powell, Stephens, Birdle.
Walsall Wood – Ransome, Hayden, Deakin, Meekin-Richards, McFarlane, Tolley (captain), Till, Westwood, Sullivan, Clarke, Fitzpatrick, Butlin, Birch, Harris, Taylor Boyce, Jones.
Thanks to Bill for a great report, and it’s good to see the Woodmen apparently having a better season this time around than last. I will say this, for a retired man, Bill doesn’t half work hard to bring us these reports – but it’s all For the Good of The Wood!