top of page

Hard Wood

I'm trying to think of how I can start this blog, and how I can sum up exactly what happened yesterday.

After a week without reporting, the plan was to go to Aggborough to watch Kidderminster Harriers in the FA Cup, who have had plenty of Cup runs over the years. However, an opportunity came up that, for many different reasons, was too good to refuse. I was on media duties again, as NPL Midlands side Walsall Wood were at home to Hinckley LR in the league.

I was there early, but guess what? That's right, folks. Those of you who have read the blogs from the start will be aware of how I seem to struggle to get into football grounds at the first time of asking. At Carlton and Alfreton, there were issues with the card machine. At Chesterfield I couldn't scan the barcode properly, and this time I did not get in first time round, for various logistical issues that are quite long and complicated to explain. I think I'm just going to have to accept that this might happen at every game I go to from now on.

There were 90 minutes before the match started, so what else was there to do other than head to the bar? No alcohol when I'm reporting, though. Call me boring, if you like, but all I had was a Pepsi Max. While we touch on that topic, can someone explain to me the difference between Diet Coke and Pepsi Max, because I cannot tell the difference at all? There must be.


I spoke to a few media people about the game, and the media in general (I've probably made that sound boring, but it was quite interesting, I promise), and before we knew it, it was time to get in position for kick off.

The seating area, as you can see from the picture, is a relatively large sheltered area, but I use the term 'seating' loosely. It's a few rows of harden wooden blocks that have outlined seating positions, and was where the majority of people were sat.

The first ten minutes were the less than ideal viewing. There was about as much happening as a disco in a morgue.. Strange analogy, I know. Nothing happened for the first ten minutes, and then, somehow, the game fired into life from nowhere.

Hinckley's striker, Daire, found the net three times in seven minutes with two goals from open play, and one from the spot after Nuttall was fouled by the keeper. The opening 20 minutes looked as if it would end about 6 or 7 to Hinckley with the way it was going. Walsall Wood did not start well at all.

They did have two free kicks in ten minutes though. Both taken by Lycett, one hit the post, and one found Joey Butlin who headed the ball in at the back post. Game on, maybe?

I said to a fellow reporter sat next to me "Imagine if they go on and win this from here, 4-3." They couldn't could they?

Half time came with some free food, an offer I would never turn down. I stuffed my face and missed the first three minutes of the second half as I was still eating.

Luckily, I was there when the next goal went in, which is the crucial bit. Alex Bradley knocked a cross in at the back post five minutes later to bring Walsall Wood to within one. Game on? Probably! They couldn't could they?

An interesting part of the game came a few moments later when Hinckley inexplicably changed their goalkeepers. He didn't seem to be struggling with anything, and by the looks of what happened, quite frustrated to be subbed off. By that I mean, it looked like he got in a bit of a temper and seemed to punch the side of the dugout. Fiesty.

The back post worked well for Walsall Wood. With five minutes to go, Monteiro was found by Lycett who knocked it in to level the scores from three behind? Game on? Absolutely! They couldn't could they?

I couldn't quite believe what I was seeing.

Then came Joey Butlin. I'd seen him play before at Chasetown so I knew quite a bit about him, and he made sure loads of people knew about him as he capitalised on a mistake from the keeper to drill it into the back of the net and win the game from behind. The limbs of the 167 people in the ground were pretty damn good.

What a turnaround. What a game. What an experience.

Kidderminster ended up winning in the FA Cup, so no upset there. I ended up falling into the right game purely by accident, but that's football, folks. Now it's time for a cider, I think. Not beer. I can't stand the stuff.


bottom of page