Tuesday 7th November
Walsall Senior Cup Round 1
Brocton 1 Walsall Wood 4
With a big FA Vase tie coming up on Saturday, Brocton manager, Alex Curtis, rang the changes with seven regulars not in the starting XI for one reason or another. Walsall Wood, with new manager Ian Long in charge for the first time, were at full strength and started the game as firm favourites due to the two league difference between the sides.
Both sides began at a high tempo with Walsall Wood using the width to their advantage. The first chance of the night went to Brocton, Tom Vaughan firing wide after a customary mazy run through the heart of the opposition midfield. In the 10th minute, Jai Verma’s shot was easily dealt with by Tony Allsopp. The visitors thought they had broken the deadlock in the 15th minute. A header from Alex Bradley trickled into the far post, bounced back, and was somehow hacked away by the Brocton defence. A minute later, the Brocton defence had to be on top form to keep them out. Allsopp made a fine save to keep out Verma. The rebound came back to Hayden Reeves and his goal bound effort was brilliantly cleared off the line by Henry Smith. Carter Lycett forced another excellent save from Allsopp, creating the opportunity for himself after a fine run. In the 20th minute, a header from Joey Butlin was cleared off the line by Vaughan. Walsall Wood continued to dominate. On the half-hour mark, Sam Unitt beat Christian Blanchette and Henry Smith with his final effort deflected for a corner. Four minutes later, a through ball picked out Unitt in the area. He attempted to round Allsopp, but the Brocton keeper pulled out a good save to deflect the ball away from goal. Very little had been seen from a Brocton attacking point of view and from a rare foray forward, Jake Thomas blasted high and wide of Will Counsell’s goal. In the 42nd minute, a free kick from Cam Osborne was straight at Counsell who saved comfortably. Brocton were almost gifted a goal on the stroke of half-time. Counsell’s clearance cannoned off Declan Arber and with the ball headed for the net, Tyreace Brown cleared the ball off the line. A minute later, Walsall Wood took the lead. Unitt again raced into the area and this time he was brought down by Allsopp. Bradley took the spot kick and gave Allsopp no chance.
Half-time: Brocton 0 Walsall Wood 1
Brocton started the second half well and had a chance to draw level two minutes into the half. Blanchette won a header, it was gathered by Arber and Reeves made a superb challenge to take the ball away from the Brocton striker. Two minutes later, Dan Gyasi broke through on goal, but Allsopp stayed firm and blocked his effort. The game was now end to end, and Osborne teed up Ben Haddaway whose 25 yard effort hit the top of the cross bar. The game turned on a mad two minutes for Brocton. In the 56th minute, Walsall Wood substitute Owen Watkins, wriggled clear of the Brocton defence. He played the ball to Verma, who in turn picked out Butlin, who needed no second invitation to find the net. A minute later, Walsall Wood grabbed their third of the night. Josh Mansell played the ball into the path of Watkins, who ran into the area, and passed the ball into the net, off the inside of the post, the ball crossing the line in slow motion. Brocton pushed hard to get back into the game and it came via a rare mistake by Counsell. A wayward backpass was picked up by the Walsall Wood keeper, the referee awarding an indirect free kick. Arber touched the ball to Blanchette, and his low shot wrong footed the keeper and found the bottom corner. The balance of the game had now changed with Brocton on the front foot. Osborne found space down the left and his shot flew across the face of the goal. In the 71st minute, a shot on the turn from Reg Smith was saved by Counsell. Will Whieldon almost made the perfect start, hitting a shot straight at Counsell seconds after his introduction from the bench. Reg Smith had another try, volleying wide after creating the opening for himself. In the 78th minute, Connor Haddaway dragged a shot wide from a decent position. Counsell made a good save from Blanchette as Brocton searched for a second. In the 88th minute, Charlie King played the ball into the path of Reg Smith, but his finish was too high. Down the other end, Walsall Wood were awarded a second penalty. Watkins skipped into the area and ran into Allsopp. The challenge was 50/50 at worst but the referee deemed that it was a penalty. Bradley again took the spot kick and the goal confirmed Walsall Wood’s progress. Brocton still had opportunities to close the gap. In the 3rd minute of stoppage time, a shot from Reg Smith hit the hand of Liam Riley-Stewart, the referee awarding a third penalty of the night. This time, Reg Smith failed to match Bradley, clearing the bar with the spot Kick. Into the final minute, Thomas hit the perfect shot only to be foiled by a wonderful save from Counsell, tipping the ball over the bar.
Full-Time; Brocton 1 Walsall Wood 4 Attendance:124
Brocton: Tony Allsopp, Ryan Douglas (Will Whieldon 72), Charlie Marshall, Henry Smith, Tom Vaughan, Ben Haddaway (Connor Haddaway 56), Christian Blanchette, Jake Thomas, Declan Arber (Reg Smith 65), Charlie King, Cam Osborne. Subs (Not Used): Lucas Green-Birch, Morgan Payne
Walsall Wood: Will Counsell, Josh Mansell, Carter Lycett, Tyreace Brown (Kieran Boucher 76), Hayden Reeves, Joe Fitzpatrick, Alex Bradley, Sam Unitt (Owen Watkins 55), Joey Butlin, Jai Verma, Daniel Gyasi (Liam Riley-Stewart). Subs (Not Used): Asa Charlton, Lewis Riley-Stewart
Yellow Cards: Henry Smith (Brocton); Lycett, Butlin (Walsall Wood)