Images and captions by the young David Evans
The Woodemen were again on stonking form on Saturday last (30th December 2017) as they travelled down the road to Lichfield City to show the Lichfeldians a clean set of heels for the second time in recent weeks – it’s not often we get to best Ye Olde City.
Bill Shaw was there, and enjoyed a great match – and happy new year to him and all at Walsall Wood Football Club!
Three festive games, nine big points, 16 goals scored and only one conceded – all in all a job well done. With leaders Leicester Road dropping another 2 points at home to lowly Uttoxeter Town things really are looking good.
It’s Paget Rangers on the Boldmere synthetic pitch next for Wood on Saturday 6th January.
On the health front I’ve finally had my funding agreed, all I have to do now is wait for the serum to arrive, then liaise with a nurse to make the first injection before I hopefully can stop looking like a Red Indian. I’m really looking forwards to more than 2 hours sleep a night, so watch this space.
Have a great 2018 everyone, I hope you all get everything you’ve wished for.
Lichfield City 1 v 5 Walsall Wood
A second hat-trick in four days by Sam Agar saw Wood end the year on a high, once again they were given a surprise present with lowly Uttoxeter Town coming back from 3-1 down to steal a point at leaders Leicester Road.
Wood took the game to City from the off and it was no surprise when they opened the scoring after just five minutes, Peter Till dancing inside from wide left, fading across the face of the box before firing in a low drive that gave keeper Conor McCarthy no chance.
On 10 minutes a long ball out wide right was superbly read by Dan Griffiths, his far post cross inches in front of the late arriving Tom Green.
5 minutes later Lee Butler wide right ran at the City defence, played a neat little 1-2 with Sam Agar before hitting a low near post drive that was blocked.
Against the run of play Griffiths won a right wing corner, the ball delivered to the far post for Kyle Bache to climb highest and rocket a header into the roof of the net. Three minutes later clever play wide right by Tom Howard saw his ball inside pick out Griffiths whose first time low drive was well held by keeper Lloyd Ransome.
Great, professional match footage as created by the superlative Russell Smith at The-Wood.tv
On 25 minutes a ball inside from Jordan Fitzpatrick was hit first time by Agar, McCarthy blocked the shot that fell at the feet of Craig Deakin, somehow completely wrong footing him. Two minutes later a lovely ball forward by Jake Humphries found Paul Sullivan his peach of a through ball was collected at pace by Agar through the centre, he rounded the stranded keeper and calmly slotted home number two.
Virtually from the restart a neat move through the middle ended with Griffiths firing in a low drive that was well held at full stretch by Ransome. On 30 minutes a right wing far post cross was bulleted goalwards off the head of Griffiths, the ball bouncing down off the underside of the bar and away to safety.
On 34 minutes Deakin fired in a low cross from wide left, Howard getting in the way, the ball deflecting goalwards, McCarthy with a fine save to spare the defenders blushes. Three minutes later Nathan Walker intercepted a pass in the centre, he released Agar into the middle of the box who ran on to calmly slot home Woods’ third. On 41 minutes a lovely one touch move from halfway ended with Agar being brought down in the D, Fitzpatrick firing the resultant free kick just wide.
City then lost Griffiths to a nasty knee injury and with him went their hopes of a comeback.
In the first 10 minutes of the second half Agar had 3 chances to complete his treble, McCarthy pushed over a drive from the edge of the box, then heading over a Butler cross before racing through the centre and firing just wide. Two minutes later he turned provider setting up Fitzpatrick to hit a first time effort that was deflected wide. On 60 minutes a ball forward by Callum MacFarlane was flicked on by Agar to put Humphries in on goal, his rising drive touched over by McCarthy.
Four minutes later a lovely through ball by Dan Thurstance released Dan Shepherd into the left of the box, his vicious near post drive well held by Ransome.
On 70 minutes a ball over the top of a tiring City defence was collected at pace by Stan Mugisha who raced for goal only to be taken out on the edge of the box by McCarthy who was red carded for the challenge. The replacement keepers’ first job was to pick the ball out of the net from Butlers top left hand corner free kick. Seven minutes later a great run by Mugisha into the left of the box saw him make the byeline, pull the ball back low into the centre for Agar to calmly complete his hat-trick.
Nine points from there games over the festive season, the gap to leaders Leicester Road down to three points, still with four games in hand, all in all 2018 doesn’t look too daunting.
Happy New Year from everyone at the Wood.
Lichfield City – McCarthy, Howard, Hunt, Bache, McLeod (captain), Juxon, Lund, Thurstance, Green, Griffiths, Shepherd, Lewis, Norris, Speck, Clough, Tolley.
Walsall Wood – Ransome, Butler, Deakin, Walker, McFarlane, Tolley (captain), Till, Humphries, Sullivan, Agar, Fitzpatrick, Mugisha, Clarke, Rowley, Hayden, Hurren.
As ever, thanks to Bill for the report. Happy new year mate and glad your health issues are being sorted out. For The Good of the Wood!