Yesterday afternoon (Saturday, 29th December 2018), Walsall Wood F.C. entertained Long Eaton United at home – and the visitors left defeated by some margin.
David Evans was there to enjoy the match, and wrote:
Images and captions kindly supplied by David Evans
Walsall Wood FC vs Long Eaton, 29 December 2018
Walsall Wood 3 v 0 Long Eaton
This was a game that I looked forward to with eager interest. I like the positive, fair-minded manner in which the visiting team play football, and the courteous, respectful manner in which their managers carry out their touchline duties. For this reason and for the joy of seeing the resurgent home team take on their opponents I was keen to arrive at the Oak Park ground early.
I had been told there was a special, historically important photo for me to view. A welcome pot of tea awaited me and I took a few moments to savour the 1922 team photo, with the magnificent Walsall Senior Cup there in the centre of the photo.
The first half of today’s match was captivating. Accurate passing, fast running, all the skills that make up the game were on display. The time flashed by for me – a true indication of the enthralling nature of the contest. But, no breakthrough by either side despite varied approaches and attacking moves.
One moment of consternation, when frustration at being out-played brought a yellow card…And sadly, later a red card for one hapless player, leaving the visitors ten men left.
The first half ended and there was a very welcome break for all the players, who, up to that point, had played a very fast flowing game.
The second half brought new tactics, and a few substitutions by both sides in their endeavour to take the lead. This came for Walsall Wood from a superbly accurate long-range free kick. Bang. Straight over the goalkeeper and in to the back of the sproutbag. Elation for home supporters. Mutterings from friendly but worried visiting supporters.
Now the visitors took on their challenge with added zeal, but, in pressing forward, their defences were left, erm… Thin, and Captain Marvellous, Mitch Tolley fired a Pele-quality long range shot from near half way to lob over the goal keeper. Bang. Two nil. How would Long Eaton respond?
With fluid play and clever moves the visitors put the home side under pressure. The game had plenty of life left in it, then!
However, the Wood’s fleet-of-foot lads dazzled and shone… And a third goal was scored to bring the final score to three goals to nil for Walsall Wood
Long Eaton again earned the respect and admiration of the home supporters, who applauded players being substituted, joining with the visiting supporters. But, that is Nottingham and Derbyshire spirit, so welcome to see here at Walsall Wood, evidenced by respect for the officials, accepting decisions without question , complaint or inappropriate language.
Thanks to David for the report and pictures – much appreciated. For The Good of the Wood!