Walsall Wood (A) 18/19
Walsall Wood FC v Coventry United FC
Midland Football League Premier Division
Date: Saturday 22nd September 2018
Venue: ML Safety Stadium
Well hello one and all. After the great victory in the FA Vase Cup last week against Atherstone Town, United today return to MFL action with an away trip to play Walsall Wood at the ML Safety Stadium.
The Wood have had a decent start to their campaign and will surely pose a serious threat to try and end United’s recent impressive unbeaten run of 5 games.
That said, United have been playing some good football of late and their confidence must be sky high at the moment. United are looking a strong unit and will have to remain so if they are to get anything out of this game.
The referee gets the game underway and it starts with both teams being a little tentative in the early minutes. It takes until the 7th minute for the first chance that fell to United. They broke forward with Scott Hammond out wide on the right who then slides a ball in for Shaquille McDonald. McDonald finds some space before seeing his low drive being well saved by the Wood keeper Lloyd Ransome.
Both teams are cancelling each other out for most parts but its United who are seeing most of the ball. They work the ball forward again with Scott Hammond in the 19th minute as he cuts in from the right before teeing up Jake Holt but sadly his shot lacked power as the Wood keeper Lloyd Ransome gathered easily.
Chances continue to be a rare occurrence but its United that are now making all the running. They break with pace in the 32nd minute and Kyle Carey gets in front of his marker and races clear into the area before his attempted lob over the keeper falls way too short and the keeper gathers it with consummate ease.
United continue to dominate without hurting Wood but their next chance comes in the 37th minute when Scott Hammond once again got things started with some good direct running and Shaquille McDonald laid the ball to Jake Holt who’s shot was once again a little on the tame side as the keeper Lloyd Ransome gathered the ball with ease.
The last chance of the first half is the Wood’s only effort of the half as they press in the 41st minute with the No10 Tony Clarke turning well before sending his shot well wide of the target. Soon after the referee blew up for half time with the deadlock unbroken.
WOOD 0 UNITED 0
The second half gets under way and the Wood have made a change during the break by taking off the No2 James Bennett-Tindall and sending on the No14 Trey Braithwaite.
Wood have come out for the second half with a bit more purpose as they look to venture forward and win a free kick on the edge of the United area in the 48th minute. It’s taken by the No4 Keenan Meakin-Richards and his direct shot at goal is easily taken by the United keeper Bradley Casswell.
The Wood create another chance when they press in the 54th minute and the No11 Javia Roberts pulls his shot wide of the target. Soon after in the 55th minute United make a change when they take off Ronee Hendricks and send on Kevin Thornton.
United seem to have weathered the early Wood storm and are starting to concert some pressure of their own. They break forward in the 62nd minute with good work between Jake Holt and Kyle Carey before Shaquille McDonald sends his shot wide of the target with his angled drive. In the same minute United decide to make another change when they take off the hard working Scott Hammond and send on Curvin Ellis.
Wood are probing more in this half and showing intent as they break forward in the 66th minute. The No10 Tony Clarke finds himself in space before sending his shot just wide of the post.
Wood soon after make another change too when they take off the No11 Javia Roberts and send on the No12 Joey Butlin in the 67th minute.
Disaster strikes for United in the 69th minute when long deep cross finds the Wood No9 Jordan Nadat free at the back and he controls it well before seeing his shot partially saved by the United keeper Bradley Casswell as the ball seems to slip out of his hands, loops up over his head before nestling into the back of the net for the opening goal of the game.
WOOD 1 UNITED 0
Now if that’s not a kick in the teeth then I don’t know what is!!!!!! United for all their pressure now find themselves a goal down with just over 20 minutes to put it right.
United seem a little rocked by that as the Wood step up the pace and create a couple of half chances that are gladly not taken in the 71st and 73rd minutes. United respond by making their final change when taking off Kyle Carey and send on debutant Daniel O’Sullivan in the 74th minute.
The 75th minute sees the first booking of the game and it goes to United’s Kyle Barnett for a foul and the resulting free kick gladly came to nothing. Like waiting for the proverbial bus, once the first one comes along comes another and another. Yes more bookings shortly follow as United go looking for
that equaliser. The Wood No3 Dan Okojie is booked in the 82nd minute for a foul on United’s Shaquille McDonald and then in the 83rd minute the No8 Kieron Northwood is booked for a foul on Kevin Thornton.
With the game now well into the final 10 minutes, United win a free kick on the edge of the area in the 84th minute. Kevin Thornton lines up to take the free kick and his curling effort looks to be heading for the top corner but somehow the Wood keeper Lloyd Ransome manages to get a hand to it and pluck it out the air for a superb save to keep his team in the lead.
United are trying hard to get back on level terms but just can’t seem to break a stern Wood defence down. With the clock ticking away more bookings are made when the Wood No4 Keenan Meakin-Richards is booked for a foul on Gift Mussa in the 86th minute. Then in the 89th minute United’s Ben Vallance is booked for his challenge on The No9 Jordan Nadat.
While the game had stopped play, Wood made their final change of the afternoon also in the 89th minute when they take off the No7 Peter Till and send on the No16 Joe Ballinger. The game is now into added time and the final act of the game is for the referee to book United’s Daniel O’Sullivan for his challenge and soon after the referee blows up for full time and the recent winning run has come to an end.
WOOD 1 UNITED 0
In summing up this game I would have to say, IT’S ALWAYS IMPERATIVE TO SCORE WHEN YOUR ON TOP. United bossed this game for long periods especially in the first half but for all their possession failed to create enough clear cut chances to complement their dominance. United in recent weeks have been gelling well together and today was no exception and once the chances start going in United’s goal tally is sure to rise dramatically.
Today’s game saw them comfortably control the first half but went into the break with the deadlock still unbroken. The second half saw the Wood come out more and started to create a few openings of their own without troubling the United keeper Bradley Casswell. That was until that unfortunate error by Casswell that gifted the home side the only goal of the game and the 3pts.
This was another keenly contested encounter with plenty of effort shown by both sides and resulted in them both just cancelling each other out for large parts of this game.
Players worthy of a mention today would have to be the Wood No4 Keenan Meakin-Richards. He was a constant thorn in the side of United today getting stuck in in the heart of the midfield battle and was no mug when it came to delivering a set piece either.
For United, they played reasonably well without causing the Wood defence too many problems. Jamal Clarke and Kyle Barnett stood up well in the heart of the defence and Ben Vallance was always on offer to assist when United went forward. Gift Mussa also put in a steady shift as usual but for me today my man of the match goes to Scott Hammond. Scott especially in the first half saw plenty of the ball and always looked to get forward with his direct style of play and created some good opportunities for his team mates so well played Scott Hammond.
Match Stats United Wood
On target (5) (2)
Off target (3) (7)
Corners (6) (4)
Free kicks (19) (14)
Yellow cards (3) (3)
Red cards (0) (0)
Offside (1) (2)