Photos from the wonderful Russell Smith of The-Wood.tv.
On Saturday afternoon (18th November 2017), Walsall Wood FC took the short stroll up the road to Five Ways at Heath Hayes to comfortably beat Heath Hayes, continuing the Woodmen’s somewhat astonishing performance so far this season.
Bill Shaw submitted the following match report, and is cautious about the future:
Another three points and a win that takes us back to the top on goal difference, still with three games in hand. It’s the big test so far when we visit Atherstone, so keep the faith everyone, this is a real trial for the lads.
Heath Hayes 2 v 5 Walsall Wood
Two goals for the home side in the last 12 minutes made the scoreline rather flattering for the hosts who never looked more than second best as the Wood juggernaut reached top spot, still with three games in hand over deposed leaders Studley.
It took Wood just eight minutes to go ahead, great approach play opening up the defence before Paul Sullivan slipped the ball past subsequent man of the match, former Wood keeper Mark Wiggins. Eight minutes later great awareness from Craig Deakin as he raced into the left of the box saw him set up Andrew Westwood to fire in number two. Wood were now threatening to run riot, Deakin and Peter Till won a corner on the left, the flag kick powered inches too high off the head of Sam Agar. The keeper then made a superb full length save to deny a Sullivan rising drive into the top corner. He was beaten a few minutes later by a clever lob from Agar that was cleared off the line.
Yes more great match footage from the very professional Russell Smith of The_Wood.tv
Just to remind Wood there was another team involved a quick counter attack saw Regan Smith fire an effort just wide.
Back came Wood, Till racing into the box and causing panic but the ball was scrambled clear. Right on the stroke of half time Agar deservedly tucked home Woods third.
It was straight back onto the attack for Wood at the start of the second half, Westwood working a sharp one-two with Agar only to fire over. Till then crossed from wide left, Agar only just off target with an acrobatic scissor kick. On 67 minutes Sullivan popped up in the box, his shot beat Wiggins, bounced off the post and Westwood pounced to make it four. Till fired a rising drive just over as Wood again looked ominous.
Against the run of play Jake Humphries pulled a goal back, the first conceded in more than 6 hours by the Wood.
Skipper Wiggins then made another superb save to deny Jordan Fitzpatrick, then on 87 minutes a determined left wing run by Till saw his cross bulleted homed from the head of Agar.
To their credit Hayes kept trying to take the game to the Wood and a minute from time Regan Smith pulled one back to give the scoreline a hint of respectability.
Another superb three points for Wood, but three of the next four games could shape their season, Tuesday sees them in league cup action at Stourport Swifts, Saturday it’s a visit to very strong Atherstone Town for a league game. Tuesday 28th it’s home to Wednesfield Town in the Walsall Senior Cup before it’s back to Stourport on Saturday 2nd December, this time for a Third Round ound FA Vase clash.
Thanks to Bill for the report – always appreciated. For the good of The Wood!