Dynamo disappointing in Dovecote defeat
Despite taking an early lead, Shepshed Dynamo’s wait for a first home win of the season goes on after they suffered a 2-1 defeat to newly promoted Walsall Wood on Tuesday night.
Goals from Tony Clarke and Mitchell Tolley were enough to secure all three points for the visitors after Karl Whymark had given Shepshed the lead with a well-struck free kick.
Dynamo boss Damion Beckford-Quailey made several changes to the lineup that won 1-0 away to AFC Wulfrunians last time out. Captain Jake Betts returned to the team, whilst Chris Acott came in for the injured Pearson Mwanyongo. Sam Moore, scorer of the decisive goal last weekend, partnered Jordan Smith in attack, relegating Celson Patrocino to the bench.
The hosts started the match in fine fashion - albeit after being let off the hook by their opponents.
Paul Sullivan’s energetic run up the right saw him cross for Javia Roberts, who could only chest the ball over the crossbar from a few yards out.
And Walsall Wood were soon made to rue that miss just two minutes later - after Sam Moore was carelessly felled as he made inroads into their half.
Karl Whymark stepped up to take the free kick and smashed a scorching shot from distance past visiting ‘keeper Reiss Wagstaff to put Shepshed on course for that crucial first home win.
But Dynamo’s campaign has thus far been punctuated by glaring defensive errors, and they were soon pegged back two minutes after going in front when Kyle Rowley flicked on a corner for Tony Clarke, who directed a deft header beyond Brandon Ganley.
Shepshed tried to regain the advantage. A wonderful switch of play from Whymark saw Liam Hurst embark upon a good run before passing inside for Moore, but his poor touch allowed the Wood defence to clear.
This match was proving to be an even contest, and when Walsall’s Clarke raced onto a long ball, outmuscled Joe Pheasant and chanced his arm at goal, Ganley had to be alert to keep the score level.
Moore then played a splitting through ball in behind the visiting defence which was seized upon by Chris Acott, whose rasping strike drew a fine save from Wagstaff, who parried the ball behind.
With half-time fast approaching, Dynamo had their clearest opening of the half when Whymark’s set-piece delivery was only parried half-clear by Wagstaff, before Hurst fired wide.
After an even first-half, that the sides went in level was no travesty of events, and the second would see a frenetic start.
Slick combination play between Sullivan and Keenan Meakin-Richards culminated in the former eliciting a low save from Ganley, before Moore’s attempt at a lofted shot was foiled by Wagstaff just two minutes into the half.
Sullivan then blasted wide from range and Joe Ballinger headed over from Meakin-Richards’ cross as the Wood pressed for a second goal.
Shepshed responded on 63 minutes when Moore turned and fired wide, but were struggling to pose a potent attacking threat, which prompted the introduction of Matt Melbourne in place of Hurst.
But the substitution did not pay dividends. Just five minutes later, it was Dynamo who found themselves behind.
The ball bounced serendipitously for Mitchell Tolley, who rifled home an excellent shot volley that left Ganley with no chance.
That goal had been on the cards for some time with Shepshed seemingly being outworked by their assiduous opponents, who saw another goal chalked off on 79 minutes owing to Tolley’s being offside.
The hosts were then dealt a further blow on 84 minutes when Zach Hill was forced off with an injury; Ryan Foster replaced him.
Dynamo were unable to fashion a single clear-cut opportunity for the remainder of the match - their main threat being Acott on the left channel - as the workmanlike Wood held firm for a deserved victory.
Shepshed will hope to atone for this defeat, in what was a match of few chances, when they travel to Whitchurch Alport, currently 17th in the North West League Counties Premier Division, in the FA Vase on Saturday.
Dynamo: Ganley, Doy (Patrocinio), Pheasant, Wakeling, Betts, Hurst (Melbourne 63’), Whymark, Hill (Foster 84’), Alcott, Moore, Smith.
Unused subs: Day, Prenderville.
Walsall Wood: Wagstaff, Okojie, Ballinger, Rowley (Northwood 89’), Wood, Tolley, Till, Meakin-Richards, Sullivan (Butlin 90+3’), Clarke, Roberts.
Unused subs: Ransome, McFarlane, Rathbone.
Booked: Wakeling (Shepshed), Ballinger, Meakin-Richards (Walsall Wood).
By Lucas Monk