It’s getting better – Wood fortunes improve with wins away

A belated Walsall Wood football roundup here for the Wood faithful -Tuesday last (16th October 2018) Walsall Wood FC’s fortunes continued to improve when they beat Boldmere at Sutton following a three-nil win at Smethwick Rangers FC the Saturday before – here are reports from both matches by the father and son team of David and Simon Evans.

There’s also footage below of Walsall Wood v AFC Wulfrunians on 6th October, a match that the Woodmen sadly lost one nil as reported here – the footage arrived later in the week from the wonderful Russell Smith at The-Wood.TV:

Anyway, on with the reports:

Images kindly supplied by Simon Evans

Simon Evans wrote:

Smethwick Rangers 0 v 3 Walsall Wood

Saturday 13th October 2018

Wood kicked off in blustery conditions, and were the first to adapt to the weather, Jordan Fitzpatrick with the first effort which went straight to the keeper, Paul Sullivan then made half a yard his effort was also direct to the goalie.

A minute later a cross by Paul Sullivan was headed from under his own crossbar by the Smethwick defender. Smethwick then enjoyed a bit of possession, a freekick into the Wood box was claimed well by Lloyd Ransome in the Wood goal. Another freekick found Paul Sullivan, in turn he found Jordan Nadat, but the keeper was equal to it.

The first goal soon came, Javia Roberts was fouled just outside the box, the freekick was swept home by Joey Butlin.

Wood nearly scored again, the Smethwick defender hitting his own post. Wood were dominant now, Paul Sullivan  forced another corner which was defended.

Half time: Smeththwick 0 v 1 Walsall Wood 

The second half started as the first ended with Wood on top and soon they had doubled there lead. A Gavin Hurren free kick from fully 50 yards out resulted in the Smethwick keeper tipping the ball over the bar for a corner. From the corner, the ball found Paul Sullivan, he made half a yard and swept home the second goal.

It was soon 3-0, with Jordan Nadat finishing off a slick Wood move.

The match was then held up due to a nasty collision between Gavin Hurren and the Smethwick defender. Gavin was carried off and also red carded. A Peter Till corner then clipped the crossbar. Soon after the ref blew the final whistle. Wood won 0-3.

Simon Evans

Images and captions kindly supplied by David Evans

David Evans wrote:

Boldmere St Micheals 0 v 1 Walsall Wood

Tuesday 16th October 2018

On a clear still evening the moon shone brightly from afar, peeping through the clouds to catch a glimpse of the much – anticipated contest between two local rival teams. The bright green of the synthetic grass surface heralded a fine contest to grace the pitch and entertain the numerous spectators.

The Wood wore their dazzling sunshine yellow away strip as they took to the field, a distinct spring in their step. Boldmere St Michaels, the host team took their places after the customary handshake with their opponents The scene was set. A shrill blast from the referee’s little Acme Thunderer and the game commenced to a shout from the Wood’s choir of angels.

A sense of eager anticipation accompanied the players, fresh from their hard fought victory on a different surface at Smethwick. Had the team now found its rhythm, its pace, its confidence?

This evening’s match, for at least the first half, was characterised by the fast action and accurate passing that has to be played on synthetic surfaces. Long passing by both sides, well co-ordinated, rapid attacking moves, fine play especially by both goalkeepers all thrilled the spectators.

The Wood demonstrated their mature composure and team discipline early in the game and this became more and more evident throughout the course of the match, which made it a joy to spectate.

A penalty was awarded by the man in black and the Wood scored what turned out to be the only goal of the match, and at this moment, to gain the upper hand. How would Boldmere respond? Could the Wood add to their first goal?

The second half brought a more physical strategy by the home side, an approach which did not reflect the fine delicate soccer of their first half. The referee took a moment to address the unacceptable phraseology of the home bench, after even his patience had worn thin.

There were some clattering tackles by the home players, some heavy shoulder charges, and increasing frustration as they tried everything they knew to score the equalising goal. But to no avail as the strong Wood defence was impenetrable. 

Further into the second half and an event off the field of play where the referee had the most demanding of situations to deal with, marred the game for me. A red card to the home player, and the game, which was beginning to fall apart for the home side, re-started for the final moments of this match.

This match had brought to light some of the many fine sporting aspects of the Beautiful Game;  for most of the match, at least.

A fine, well- deserved win for Walsall Wood FC, whose joy rang out from the changing rooms after the match. The Wood came marching home this evening. Superb.

David Evans
 

Cheers to David and Simon for great reports 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!

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