You can’t keep a good team down, and yesterday (Saturday 4th November 2017) Walsall Wood FC visited Coventry Alvis and demolished the home side 7-0.
There will be a report and images from the first Pelsall Villa home match at Oak Park in the next few days, stay tuned. The Villans held Montpelier to a respectable 0-0 draw.
Also, don’t forget it’s the legendary Walsall Wood FC bonfire and fireworks event tonight – all kicks off at 5pm. See here for details.
Bill Shaw was there, and despite his ‘retired’ status (cough) and he liked what he saw, and is really getting into this season:
The game went true to form in the end with Paul Sullivan’s introduction from the bench the killer blow for the tiring basement outfit, his hat-trick coming in just 15 minutes. Four new signings on show as Birchy continues to strengthen his squad, two of them scoring on their debuts.
With Studley in league action away to Leicester Road next Saturday, (the only team to beat us in the league remember) things could get very interesting.
I’ll be watching the Wood against Holbeach United in a replay of the 2015-2016 encounter that saw Wood 4-1 winners in the FA Vase that day.
Coventry Alvis 0 v 7 Walsall Wood
Wood had to work hard for this win but four goals in the last 17 minutes gave the scoreline a more realistic look, with leading scorer Paul Sullivan coming off the bench for 30 minutes to score a hat-trick, two for Tony Clarke and a goal each for debutants Stan Mugisha and Matt Gardener.
Wood took almost complete control from the off, a right wing attack on two minutes saw Tony Clarke race into the right of the box, his rising drive beat the keeper but was hacked off the line. Eight minutes saw Peter Till fade across the face of the home box from wide left, his low drive bouncing to safety off the far post.
After 10 minutes of one way traffic Josh Dixon intercepted a poor Wood pass was allowed to run on, his vicious drive from the edge of the box blocked by skipper Mitch Tolley.
Normal service soon resumed when a minute later Stan Mugisha came inside from wide right, his low drive beat keeper Jack Tregarth only for the ball to be blocked on the line.
Just to keep Wood on their toes Ryan Isherwood intercepted a mis-placed Wood pass on halfway and went for goal, his rising drive from the edge of the box curling wide.
Four minutes later a neat one touch move through the centre ended with Tregarth saving bravely at the feet of Matt Gardener. A minute later Lewis Hayden combined wide right with Lee Butler, the square ball inside hit first time by Craig Deakin, Tregarth with a superb full length save. On 22 minutes a short left wing corner was played to Deakin whose far post cross saw Mugisha’s flicked header flash wide. A minute later a powerful header forward by Keenan Meakin-Richards was headed on by Gardener to Clarke who rounded the advancing keeper only for his shot to be blocked by fast back pedalling defenders. A minute later Gardener raced down the left side of the box, his low driven cross just in front of Clarke. On 25 minutes Hayden crossed from wide right to find Butler whose first time effort brought another full length save from Tregarth. Three minutes later a left wing corner was bulleted goal-wards by Callum McFarlane, Tregarth clawing the ball away. The opening goal finally arrived on 35 minutes, a neat move through the centre saw Gardener release Mugisha into the box, he calmly rounded the stranded keeper before rolling the ball home. Two minutes later Tregarth was back in action pushing over a rising drive from Gardener. The keeper was powerless a minute later when Gardener raced through on a ball into the centre of the box, rounded the keeper and slotted home Woods’ second.
To their credit the home side came out all guns blazing in the second half but couldn’t find a way through Woods’ solid defence.
On 49 minutes Hayden played a ball inside from wide right to find Gardener, he held the ball up well before turning and firing over. Alvis continued to deny Wood space, then on 60 minutes Paul Sullivan returned to action after a month out. He was soon in action racing onto a Mugisha ball wide left, his ball inside found Clarke whose shot was blocked. On 65 minutes Till hit a left wing cross that was headed out to Hayden who set up Jonathan Gould to turn and fire just wide. Three minutes later Hayden released Sullivan wide right, he cut inside chipped the ball over the advancing Tregarth, Aaron Cheshire hacking the ball off the line. Clarke won the ball on the left of the box, cut inside and fired the ball into the roof of the net. Five minutes later it was four, Hayden intercepted a pass on halfway and fed Sullivan through the centre, he ran on and calmly beat the advancing keeper. On 80 minutes Sullivan got clear wide left, his cross to the far post inches in front of the fast arriving Hayden. Two minutes later it was Hayden releasing Sullivan wide right, he cut inside and calmly made it 5-0.
On 86 minutes Kieron Martin intercepted a loose ball by the Wood and ran on but fired over. Two minutes later Gould raced into the left of the box, going down under a clumsy challenge, penalty – Sullivan 6-0. You had to sympathise now with Alvis, they were running on empty but right on time Clarke was put clear on the right of the box, Tregarth dived bravely at his feet but the striker came away with the ball and scored past two defenders on the line.
The basement boys worked so hard to keep the score down but the introduction of Sullivan on the hour mark was too much for them in the end. With Studley held to a draw by Atherstone the gap at the top is now cut to five points with Wood now three games in hand. With the leaders facing another big test away at Leicester Road next Saturday Wood could be in an even better position even though they will be in FA Vase action at home to Holbeach United, before that they entertain Wednesfield at home on Tuesday night in the Walsall Senior Cup.
Bill Shaw (retired).
Coventry Alvis – Tregarth, Swain, Upping Cheshire, Keller, Isherwood (captain), Dixon, Steane, Abraham, Wilson, Gobere, Wilkins, Toro, Martin, Bailleul.
Walsall Wood – Ransome, Hayden, Deakin, Meekin-Richards, McFarlane, Tolley (captain), Mugisha, Butler, Gardener, Clarke, Till, Sullivan, Slater, Westwood, Gould, Lawler.
Thanks to Bill for the report as ever – For the Good of The Wood!