Woodmen take swift Lye down

Images kindly supplied by David Evans

Last Tuesday evening (29th September 2020) Walsall Wood F.C. entertained Lye Town at Walsall Wood. An more even match than the final score belied, this fine game has very much impressed the young David Evans, who sent the following report:

Walsall Wood F.C. 2 v 0 Lye Town F.C.
Tuesday 29th September 2020

A beautiful  languid autumnal day had seen the sun gently set into the milky glow of evening. Oak Park’s presidential trees stood tall and proud with their naturally tanned leaves. The real grass, finely manicured playing surface of the football field gleamed to grace and welcome the visiting team from Lye.

Paying spectators waited patiently by the Narrow Door to be admitted… They signed in the Book of Names, then sprinkled precious holy water on their hands and, faces covered in reverence, passed through the Hall of Temptation to emerge, blessed and thankful in the Cloisters of Contentment.

A blurred full moon rose slowly above the Bowling Green trees to add reverence and distant mystical glow to the wonders that would unfold.

The two teams emerged in loose formation. These are Covid Times. This evening’s Man in Black, with a short sound from his Acme Thunderer signalled the start of what turned out to be a totally enthralling and heart-warming game of football .

A superb display of bright, positive and naturally exuberant play graced the evening. Lye and Walsall Wood  clearly enjoyed the contest and their joy was self-evident throughout the game. The referee’s presence was thus allowed to be more to observe than to correct, which  gave the game the quality that was so much appreciated by spectators. But that is always how Lye play the game- with good heart and fine spirit. Perhaps other visiting teams will take note this season.

Excellent ground passes from both teams, with well-worked and executed tactical approach moves  – and an evenness in both teams skills produced a captivating and thrilling game for spectators. The minutes passed quickly – always an indication of the quality and endeavour of the players – and half time arrived with neither side yet scoring a goal.

The half-time break gave spectators in the stand the chance to get their breath back, if not to get refreshments. Covid times indeed… And to reflect on the game so far enjoyed.

It was in the second half that the Wood achieved  that much- anticipated breakthrough , at last gaining the first and vital goal. This brought some fans to their feet , of course. But the game so far had been finely balanced and there were times when both goalkeepers’ skills had been  tested.

Several substitutions were made by both teams as the pace of play had been relentless and the emphasis now was to accurate short range passing following initial penetrating long kicks.   Lye had a complement of long-legged players in their side and their prowess when faced with the smart and shorter Wood players produced some entertaining moments that brought applause from spectators.

The Wood scored the second, and ultimately final goal of this evening’s floodlit match  in the latter part of the game, making the task even more difficult for Lye to draw level. But to their eternal credit, they strived hard and correctly, with very little or no frustration in their endeavour and the game remained finely balanced until the concluding sound from the man in black’s whistle.  There was instantaneous  sustained loud applause from all the spectators, and deservedly so.

Walsall Wood and Lye put on a display of excellent football this evening to gladden the hearts of home spectators and to fly the flag of honest sporting endeavour high and proud.

The final score was Walsall Wood 2, Lye Town 0 but, let there be no mistake, Black Country football and footballers have also been the winners.

David Evans

My thanks to David for a great report – and for all those he selflessly writes and sends to me after every match. They really are popular, and a credit to David and the club.

Walsall Wood have a reputation for being a great, community spirited group of people and these reports demonstrate that – it’s an honour and joy to feature them here.

For the good of the Wood!

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