The Lockmen suffered a shocking home defeat when every mistake they made resulted in a goal being conceded, mainly to Kevin Nickle whose own personal haul was seven goals.
The game was only 100 seconds old when Ashley Stewart played a blind back-pass straight into the path of Nickle and he raced in on goal to net easily. Fabian Facey then volleyed over for Casuals on four minutes before another shocker saw Casuals double their lead on seven minutes. There seemed no danger when a long ball forward looked meat and drink to Town goalkeeper Jake Smith. For some reason, however, he failed to move to collect the ball quickly enough, allowing Nickle to beat him to the ball and lob over him perfectly when he really shouldn’t have got within ten yards of the ball. On eleven minutes and Willenhall appeared to have grabbed an early lifeline. Good play on the left hand side saw Corey Pearce set up Chadd Birch, and he rolled his effort perfectly under visiting keeper Vitor Pineiro to halve the deficit. However on 23 minutes Casuals scored again when ex-Red Ian Boswell stepped up to fire home a free-kick which deflected under Smith and was later credited to Nickle for his hat-trick. On 23 minutes Kyle Thompson did well to control a difficult pass and then play the ball into the box, unfortunately, the visiting keeper was off his line quickly to gather ahead of any Willenhall player. However it went from bad to worse on 24 minutes as a ball forward saw Reds skipper Ben perks out-muscled and Nickle raced on to score a fourth. On the half hour the home side had a corner which was half cleared as far as Pearce who saw his snapshot fly just wide. Despite the score, Willenhall continued to pose a threat of sorts, Chadd Birch doing brilliantly to turn his full-back inside-out before a superb cross flew across the face of goal. Eight minutes before the break and it was 5-1 when a simple free-kick was drifted to the far post where Dan Stokes was in acres of space barely a yard out and he simply couldn’t miss. On 40 minutes more good work from Chadd Birch saw him again set up Pearce, this time his fierce effort flew at Pineiro. Pineiro then excelled himself when player-boss mark Habbershaw hit a superb shot towards the top corner and the keeper athletically tipped the ball around his right hand post at full stretch. From the resulting corner, Clayton Peddie was unlucky to see his fierce header fly just wide.
HT WILLENHALL TOWN 1-5 WOLVERHAMPTON CASUALS
The home side threatened first after the break on 47 minutes when Chadd Birch combined with Pearce on the left and from Pearce’s first-time cross, Chadd Birch saw his flicked effort fly at Pineiro. Two minutes later and a first time cross from jamal Pinnock on the opposite flank saw Habbershaw’s header whizz just wide. However, it was six on 59 minutes when Nickle was left unmarked and he turned and fired swiftly to make his own tally a nap. The Lockmen were still fighting and on the hour substitute Remie Birch powered down the left hand side, got almost to the bye line before blasting a cross-shot into the opposite top corner from the tightest of angles. However, it was 7-2 to the visitors on 62 minutes when an unmarked Liam Hughes was found with a high cross. He had plenty of work to do but he brilliantly brought the ball down, controlled with his back to goals then swiveled and lifted a delicate chip over the keeper and into the net. The Lockmen forced a couple of corners on 72 minutes before another enticing cross was just beyond the reach of Chadd Birch. Greens sub Joscelyn Allen then hit the bar with a lob after 74 minutes before the home side wasted a couple of corners and a couple of dangerous free-kicks. On 84 minutes Hughes fired wide when well placed before a laughable penalty was awarded to the visitors with five minutes remaining. Nickle saw a challenge coming in and threw himself to the ground squealing, unbelievably, the official was hoodwinked and he calmly netted his double hat-trick. Pearce was then denied by a fine Pineiro stop before the assistant got in on the Aprl Fools decisions. With Nickle and a team mate both stood at least ten yards off-side when the ball was played to Nickle he ran on and scored, the assistant somehow deciding that an offside player scoring a goal wasn’t classed as interfering with play and therefore not off-side.
The result was a magnificent seven for Nickle and 9-2 to the visitors. there was still time for him to hit the post deep into stoppage-time, but it finished shortly after.