The Lockmen finally started their season but they suffered a disappointing defeat at Telford.
It had started well for The Lockmen when Connor Fellows fed Tom Lawton whose first time cross saw Ben Browne head just wide on nine minutes. However, they deservedly took the lead on 14 minutes when a free-kick into the penalty area saw a header cleared off the line, a Browne header was scrambled clear before Lewis Gill hammered into the roof of the net from close range. Willenhall won a corner on 16 minutes but a foul was given. However, within three minutes the home side were level when Jeff Watkins fired home. Deon Holdesworth then headed against the bar a minute later before Numaan Haidar fired the rebound wide. Browne then headed to the keeper on 22 minutes from another Lawton cross before Danny Hickling in the home goal managed to punch another Lawton cross clear with 28 minutes played.
The home side wasted a corner on 31 minutes before play swung to the other end and Damian Wood shot high and wide two minutes later. On 35 minutes another Lockmen free-kick was dropped by Hickling, only for him to fall on the loose ball. Daniel Jones then fired high and wide seven minutes before the break before he then fired a long range lob just off target two minutes later.
The visitors had several near misses before on 41 minutes they surprisingly went behind. A Matt Bird throw-in near to The Lockmen’s own goal-line was quickly taken, but somehow Dion Graham got a foot to the ball and managed to deflect it past a luckless Tom Parsons.
Half Time: Telford Juniors 2-1 Willenhall Town
Brown again was wide with a header on 48 minutes before Cory Ensor saw an overhead kick drop to the keeper a minute later. On 52 minutes a Reds free-kick was cleared before Holdesworth hit the Willenhall bar before seeing the ball headed clear. Browne forced a corner on 57 minutes with some more hard work after Ensor had set him free. Unfortunately, the official, who had spent the afternoon letting a succession of late and foul tackles pass by somehow spotted an infringement in the area. Willenhall then forced another flag-kick, this time off Ebrima Jallow, probably the home side’s man of the match, again, their luck was out as the dead ball landed on the roof of the net.
The home side sealed the game when Brandon Harrison broke down the left and his cross picked out an unmarked Holdesworth who headed home on 62 minutes. The home side comfortably saw the game out apart from substitute Liam Hickman winning yet another corner on 80 minutes before seeing a header fly over a minute later, as Willenhall had one of those days when the ball just didn’t run for them in both boxes.