Images and captions kindly supplied by the young David Evans
Walsall Wood FC kicked off the new season on Saturday 3rd August 2019 with a decisive win over Gresley FC at Oak Park – a good start that delighted the faithful.
David Evans was there, and sent the following match report.
Walsall Wood FC 4 v 2 Gresley FC
Saturday 3rd August 2019
Walsall Wood welcomed Gresley footballers and their supporters to Oak Park to herald the beginning of the new season, a season which promises to be one where the home side will have to work hard for every point they get.
A new season and a new team here at Oak Park. New rules and regulations have been brought in to this league’s games and all paid-up members,- players, clubs and match officials – have the added dimension of a sin bin and, perhaps, a greater issue of yellow and red cards, to illuminate and grace the occasion.
There has been discussion among the followers of the noble game, of course. How will match officials implement and measure the sharpened rules? How will players respond? Who will be the first to be offered a ten-minute sideline seat? How many sinners could there be? Will the character of the game be improved for players and especially for spectators?
A mighty extra weight of responsibility has been placed on the referees, here in the Midland League.
The match this afternoon was a super game to spectate. All the players displayed new season freshness and eagerness to score the first goal. Some in-play early positioning adjustments were made by both sides, some rapid acceptance of the sharpness of decisions, and the game soon settled down to a fluid display of accurate passing, long shots and well-practiced manoeuvres, especially from the home team. By the end of the first half the Wood had scored three well taken goals.
Half time brought a time for spectators to attend to their need for vital hydration, and to fill empty tummies. It also gave the team managers the opportunity to serve their teams cups of tea and sandwiches, and engage in polite conversation in the privacy of the changing rooms.
The second half brought new tactics, mainly sporting, by the visitors and an increased sense of consternation by some home players, yet to adjust to the new game rules. Gresley took the game to the Wood and as the Wood seemed to be in some bafflement, they scored two goals, after the Wood had scored their fourth goal.
Understandable frustration, more an over enthusiasm by a few players in both teams, gave the match officials plenty to do in this match.
Corners came by the bucketful today. Players gathered in sporting proximity to each other and leapt for the sky again and again in this second half. Both goalkeepers performed well and up to standard as the tempo increased and the sharp rain fell to drench every player at one point.
The final score, a four goals to two win for the home side gives both managers plenty to consider, study and implement in the next games. This season has got off to a flying start and all those present, home and visiting supporters return to their homes with a cracker of a game to remember.
Thanks to David there – For The Good Of The Wood!
Walsall Wood Football Club are a top local side with a big-hearted faithful who know how to have a great time supporting their lads, and welcome all comers to come enjoy great local soccer.
The boys from The Wood have been at the heart of the local community for a century or more, so please do go check out a match or two if you’re curious.