Images and captions by the young David Evans
Boxing Day (Tuesday 26th December 2017) Walsall Wood again continued their renewed upward trajectory with a competent and hearty 6-0 victory at Oak Park over visitors Stafford Town.
Bill Shaw was there, and kindly submitted the following match report:
That’s Christmas over for another year, Santa has been good to us this time but we could have done without the injury to Peter Till just before half time, let’s hope it’s nothing serious.
It’s three mid-table teams next for Wood with away games at Lichfield City and Paget Rangers on the next two Saturdays before Tuesday 9th sees Heath Hayes visit the Wood. Saturday 13th when Studley visit and the 20th when it’s Ilkeston Town are now massive games and remember the home game against Leicester Road has still to be arranged.
Keep up the support everyone, it’s very much appreciated, if you want to see goals folks the ML Safety Stadium at Oak Park is the place to be.
Keep the faith.
Walsall Wood 6 v 0 Stafford Town
Wood’s second stroll in the park in four days, another six goals without reply as they moved smoothly up to second place, helped by a Sam Agar hat-trick.
Wood had the better of a lively opening few minutes taking just eight minutes to go ahead. Jake Humphries in the centre circle playing a ball out wide right for Lee Butler to run onto, he crossed to the far post and Sam Agar scored with a header back across keeper Josh Moreton. Four minutes later Peter Till crossed from wide left, Agar bulleting a header home. On 15 minutes a move left of centre ended with a cross from Humphries that was scythed over his own bar by Tom Wright. Five minutes later Jordan Fitzpatrick in the centre fed Agar wide right, he ran on and his low cross was put behind by Wright to deny Paul Sullivan. Three minutes later a scramble developed from a right wing corner, Sullivan firing in a close range effort that was saved at point blank range by the alert, hard-working Moreton.
On 26 minutes Ryan Pace won the ball on halfway, ran on and released Jordan Dodd into the box, Callum McFarlane deflecting his low drive just wide.
Great match footage from the professional and wonderfully talented Russell Smith for The-Wood.tv
With 32 minutes gone Till made space wide left, crossed to the far post, livewire Humphries played the ball back across the goal, Fitzpatrick firing home at the left hand post. From the restart McFarlane won the ball back, swept the ball out wide right to find Sullivan, he raced clear crossed low into the centre for Agar to score on the half volley to complete his hat-trick with a superb strike on the counter attack.
On 39 minutes a free kick just over halfway by Pace was headed just wide of the right hand post by Wright. The last action of the half saw Godwill Moraka head just wide from a left wing corner as Town tried to at least get something from the first half.
Four minutes into the second half Stan Mugisha (on for the injured Till) made space wide left, cut inside and found Sullivan in the centre of the box, he went down under a clumsy challenge, penalty – Sullivan, 5-0.
On 53 minutes Pace ran at the Wood defence after winning the ball on halfway before being crowded out on the penalty spot.
Two minutes later Agar came out of defence with the ball and released Sullivan to race clear, calmly slotting the ball past the advancing Moreton.
67 minutes gone and a neat Town move right of centre ended with Jake Partridge crossing from wide right, Mitch Tolley putting the ball behind to deny Dodd.
4 minutes later Lewis Hayden crossed from wide right, Sullivan glancing a diving header wide.
On 76 minutes a move through the centre ended with Dodd racing onto a through ball, keeper Lloyd Ransome making a brave save to deflect the ball over the bar.
The last goalmouth action of the game came on 85 minutes, Hayden wide right fed the ball inside to Agar, his ball left picked out Mugisha wide left to cut inside and fire in a rising drive that brought a superb full length save from Moreton.
With 11 goals, six points from two games over the festive period moved Wood up from 6th to 2nd. The gap to leaders Leicester Road is five points but with four games still in hand. Leicester Road host free falling Uttoxeter Town on Saturday whilst Wood travel to mid-table Lichfield City there shouldn’t be any change on the last but one day of 2017.
Walsall Wood – Ransome, Butler, Deakin, Walker, McFarlane, Tolley (captain), Fitzpatrick, Humphries, Sullivan, Agar, Till, Clarke, Mugisha, Rowley, Hayden, Hurren.
Stafford Town – Moreton, Butler, MacPherson, Vundla, Wright, Partridge, Moraka, Downing, Dodd, Pace (captain), Hall, Manase, Whordley.
Walsall Wood are a good team and an excellent, community-spirited club. They deserve our support.
Please do get out and support the Woodmen – with footy this great on your doorstep for such a small ticket price, you’d be mad not to go see them and experience the fantastic atmosphere at this historic club.
As ever, thanks to Bill, David, Russell and all at the club for the report – always appreciated – for The Good of the Wood!