Wulfs slip to first defeat

AFC Wulfrunians 1-2 Walsall Wood

Midland Football League Premier

Tuesday 17th August 2021

 

Wulfrunians tasted defeat for the first time this season on Tuesday night as we went down to a narrow defeat to Walsall Wood. After a goalless first half Wood scored two quick goals midway through the second half, capitalising on defensive errors to take control of the game. The hosts responded late on and a late flourish earned a consolation however Walsall Wood held on and took the three points.

  

The match started slowly, with both teams looking to figure each other out. Due to this there was a distinct lack of clear cut chances during the opening exchanges. The Wulfs grew into the game however, creating some chances as the half went on. Down the left Adam Meecham and Jack Till were the main threat, regularly combining well to win set pieces and providing Aaron Bishop chances to attack the ball.

  

Wood had their first chance on the half hour mark, as striker Romario Martin was threaded through on goal, however he was denied by some good work from the home keeper. Wulfs went on the counter after this, with Till once again taking on his man down the left hand side, beating him for pace only to his effort denied by Ransom in the Wood goal. The game was slowly building in momentum, despite the referee’s whistle happy nature.

  

As the interval drew nearer the hosts began to build some pressure, with Bishop going on a fantastic jinking run before setting up Hill who saw his acrobatic effort saved. In all it was a very scrappy first half which was bereft of many clear cut chances, with the majority of the game being played in the middle third.

  

Half Time – AFC Wulfrunians 0-0 Walsall Wood

  

After a cagey first ten minutes following the break the game was dying out for a bit of quality, and Wood’s Romario Martin duly delivered it. He found himself with the ball just outside the box before firing it past the keeper to break the deadlock.

  

This moment gave the away side all the momentum they needed to take control of the game just eight minutes later. This time it was John Atherton for the Wood, who capitalised on a defensive calamity to double the away lead. Haywood was sold short in the Wulfs goal, allowing Atherton to nip in and tap into the empty net, a devastating blow for the hosts to concede twice in such a short space of time.

  

Mark Jones made changes in an attempt to produce a similar fightback that they had to make on Saturday at Worcester City, with Gratias Katega and Dom Dell coming on to add some energy to the forward line. Shortly after this the referee became heavily involved in the contest again, sending off a Wood defender for discent. The visitors were understandably furious as this provided the Wulfs with an opportunity to build some pressure in the later stages.

  

This pressure was amplified as Aaron Bishop gave the hosts a lifeline with five minutes left. He connected well with a sweetly struck corner at the back post to beat the keeper. It is his third goal in as many games, a great start to his season.

  

For the final few minutes everything was being thrown at the away keeper, however it seemed he had the answers to everything. The best chance came from another set piece, as the ball found its way to captain Ben Jevons at the near post. His header went on to just clip the top of the bar however, just about summing up the night for Wulfrunians, going close but just missing out on getting any points from the game.

  

Full Time – AFC Wulfrunians 1-2 Walsall Wood

  

Overall a draw would’ve probably been a fair result on the night, unfortunately the visitors were more clinical, leaving them to take all three points back to Walsall. The result leaves the Wulfs winless after two matches, sitting in thirteenth in the early table.

  

Next Up

  

On Saturday we are back in FA Cup action as we travel to The Beeches for a local derby with Tividale in what are always close, competitive encounters. We return to league action on the 28th August when we travel up the M6 to face Hanley Town, who have two wins from their first two games, so will be a very tough test for Mark Jones’ men.

  

Words – Tom Bird