Last Saturday, 21st September 2018), Walsall Wood F.C. entertained Derbyshire club South Normanton Athletic at Oak Park, and in an entertaining, gripping match the Woodmen sent the visitors home roundly defeated five nil.
David Evans was there to enjoy the match, and wrote:
Images and captions kindly supplied by David Evans
Walsall Wood 5 v 0 South Normanton Athletic
On perhaps the last fine day of this balmy Indian summer the fans saw the beautifully trimmed fresh real grass, the bright red paintwork around the stadium and the welcoming open door to the clubs new bar. We breathed in the heart warming aroma of onions, burgers and hotdogs sizzling in the Refreshment Van. We saw the smiling faces of supporters from home and far away. We heard the friendly banter, met the enthusiastic Groundhopper gentleman who has driven all the way from Essex to enjoy the experience that is our local soccer.
This, this is Oak Park , Walsall Wood.
Neat white lines, crisp goal nets, starched corner flags – all was set to herald the two teams and the Three Men in Black on to the hallowed ground, this blessed land, this stadium of sunlight.
Unlike those matches in other places, we the people have a close-up view of the game. We thrill at the precision, speed, determination and accuracy of the footballers. We proffer advice and opinions, all freely and largely in good grace as befits the occasion.
The match was played out before our eyes, and unlike some games, the play by both teams settled very quickly to well worked and practised moves and tactics. I appreciate positive open soccer in every match. Like a diamond, each facet if properly cut and polished, brings light and lustre to the game. Today we saw some uncut facets which risked marring the precious nature of this game. We see this in other matches, of course.
More highly professional match highlights from the match from Russell Smith of the wonderful TheWood.TV.
The Wood scored their first goal in the first few minutes followed by another goal a few minutes later. Now we saw frustration and some less polished play by the visitors, which at times seemed to detract from their erstwhile positive sportsmanship. Yet, surprisingly, adjudged misdemeanours by the home side attracted the greater share of the referee’s attention, almost to the exclusion of others.
Two thunderous shots on target by the visitors put paid to any possible complacency by the Wood and brought all the fans to their feet. Real soccer , winning out in the end.
It was , then, a relief for all, when half time arrived. Time for spectators to chew the fat, lubricate their throats and delight in the gourmet beefburgers and chips .
The second half is best characterised as the Wood keeping the momentum and testing South Normanton’s defences without mercy. The Wood frequently had almost total possession of the ball, and made a variety of passes to the cheers of the home fans.
The team seemingly dared, invited, their opponents to come from the defensive lines; and then they scored another two beautifully crafted and expertly executed goals to achieve a fine and thoroughly well deserved victory.
South Normanton, who had started the game in a vociferous tone were to leave to ground at the end of the game subdued and tired. I hope they were aware of the sustained applause that rang out around the ground. It was for all the players and was a sincere mark of the appreciation of all the skilful soccer displayed by all the players of both sides.
The final result, a five-nilwin for Walsall Wood is a very fair result, ultimately.
Thanks to David a for the reports and pictures – much appreciated – for The Good of the Wood!