Tuesday last (17th January 2016), the Woodmen faced AFC Wulfrunians at Oak Park, and sadly, were met with another resounding defeat.It’s all change down at Walsall Wood FC’s Oak Park ground, where there’s a new team manager in Darren Byfield, and the faithful yesterday (Saturday, 6th October 2018) were hoping for a win – but it was not to be.
The young David Evans braved the cold in stoic optimism, and came home afterwards not entirely amused:
Walsall Wood FC 0 v 1 AFC Wulfrunians
A bitingly cold afternoon and a fresh start for Walsall Wood as Darren Byfield was welcomed into the furnace room of management here at Oak Park.
AFC Wulfrunians and the Wood played some determined accurate football despite the fresh wind that blew the whole length of the pitch. An early vicious tackle on a Wood player risked turning this fine contest sour, which would have been highly regretable for the visitors and for the home side in equal measure. However, this and some unwelcome petulance was dealt with and then spectators were able to enjoy a positive game of soccer.
There was a definite spring in the step of the home side, still weakened by ongoing injury, and with a side chosen by the manager to showcase and introduce new players. This gave today’s contest a new and captivating facet for all the spectators. How would these players fare?
The first half brought speedy through passing, running, some superb headers, and very little slack play by both sides. The game sparkled from start to finish of this half.
Half time break, piping hot soup or tea for the flash chilled spectators; steaming hot broth with wholemeal croutons for the players, served with accompanying gentle small-talk by their respective managers.
Thus revived, refreshed and reinvigorated the players emerged from the comfort of the changing rooms to play out the second half. Spectators shuffled back to their stations, throats lubricated, mufflers tightly re-knotted and dentures defrosted. Now this hotly contested game took on a newness and a gritted determination all of its own. Now another side took its enforced turn to play into the polar wind.
There was some interesting audible vocality in the visitors’ play at times and apparent increasing frustration as again and again they found themselves confronted by the stalwart resolute defensive thin Red Line. The Wood now took on a more openly proactive, sweepingly broad approach to their attacks, but were met by a pack of Wulfrunians in close order defence.
The Wood today lacked the attacking formation and rapid counter-attack’s finishing moves that the Wulfrunians performed to good effect.
A penalty was awarded by the referee, following vocal encouragement by the visitors, for, well, to be honest, I cannot say. A Wood player was sent off and following the inevitable goal to the visitors, the depleted home side had to play their hearts out to contain and hold the line.
AFC Wulfrunians will be pleased with today’s fortuitous victory. A draw would have been a more fitting result, all things considered.
Cheers to David for a great report and pictures, as ever.
Walsall Wood are a good team and an excellent, community-spirited club. They need our support – please do attend the coming games if you can.
For The Good of the Wood!