The away side arrived in good spirits with a strong line up as manager Paul Ryder was able to recall Adam Rooke and Danny Charlton from the midweek trip to Redditch. Smithswood lined up with the following team;
Duffy, Leek, Rooke (Capt.), Donaghey
Wall, Thomas, Weeks, Anderson
Subs: Sayer, Reece, Powers, Cottrill
It was a frustrating afternoon for Smithswood Firs as a poor first half defending set pieces cost them in the first half. The away side came out attacking and were almost ahead within the first four minutes through Ash Weeks. Aaron Anderson worked the ball down the right into Anthony Short who held the defender off and slid a short pass to the advancing Weeks but he fired agonisingly over the bar.
Shortly after, Perrywood won a corner out of nothing as Smithswood tried to run the ball out but battling Perrywood managed to keep it in and force a corner from which they would have been surprised to find that they had a free header in the box to give them a 1-0 lead against the play.
Despite the goal Smithswood continued to attack and play the ball around nicely. They were getting a lot of joy in behind Perrywood as Adam Rooke, Nathan Leek and Curtis Thomas spread balls around from the middle of the pitch while Ash Weeks mopped everything up and started the attacks. Danny Charlton was lively up top while his new strike partner Anthony Short was dropping into space in front of the back four and was creating chances for both him and his strike partner. Jack Duffy and Harry Donaghey were able to push on wide and were heavily involved early on as they tried to balance defence and attack.
The game changed slightly on fourteen minutes when Daniel Wall tracked back to defend and shepherd the ball out but he fell on his shoulder and appeared to have dislocated it again, an injury that unfortunately for Wall keeps recurring. Adam Reece replaced him in the centre and Curtis Thomas moved wide where he struggled early on to get enough of the ball which looked to be frustrating him.
Jack Duffy was having a great game and went close from a Thomas corner but he couldn't direct his header away from the keeper and it went straight to him as they pushed on for the equaliser. It came a few minutes later as Nathan Leek stepped out of the defence to intercept a through ball. He didn't panic and picked out Curtis Thomas who had moved inside to try and get on the ball. Thomas controlled it first time and dinked a fantastic pass over the defence for Danny Charlton who outpaced the defender and passed the ball across the keeper into the back of the net.
Confidence was high for the away side as they were playing the better football and creating plenty of chances but a crazy four minutes before the end of the first half sent them in trailing 3-1.
A 30 yard free kick was the first one as Perrywood lined it up. Smithswood had no wall inviting the shot which when it came was a bullet that moved left, right and left again deceiving Jake Woodward in goal to give the home side the lead again.
Shortly after Perrywood won a free-kick on the right. The cross picked out a man in the box who controlled the ball, turned the defender and buried his shot past Woodward.
Smithswood knew they had contributed to their own downfall but there was still confidence that the team were good enough to get back into the game and come out with the win. A change of formation from the Manager was made for the second half as they went 4-3-3 with Weeks staying in midfield and being joined by Anthony Short and Curtis Thomas leaving Adam Reece and Aaron Anderson to push on and support Danny Charlton.
The change certainly worked as it gave Thomas a chance to get on the ball more and with Short and Weeks in there too winning it back, Smithswood went on the attack looking for the goals they needed to get back into the game. It took them four minutes and came from Thomas sliding an inch perfect ball between the centre backs for Aaron Anderson who placed his shot past the keeper.
The comeback was completed with twenty five minutes to go as Jack Duffy rifled a 40 yard cross-field pass to Danny Charlton who controlled it perfectly, pushed it past the defender and directed the ball past the oncoming keeper. Smithswood were on fire and pushed on for the winner as they penned Perrywood back in their own half.
Lee Sayer replaced Aaron Anderson to freshen up the attack as they looked for goal they needed.
Three minutes from time they got the goal their hard work deserved. It was tight on the edge of the area as Adam Reece worked hard to keep the ball for his team. He laid it to Ash Weeks who fed Jack Duffy on the overlap and Duffy finished the move with a bullet shot past the keeper. The comeback was completed and well deserved for Smithswood but they lost concentration straight away as Perrywood went down the other end within two minutes, getting in behind the defence to dink the ball over Woodward in goal.
It finished 4-4 and was a great game for the spectators but Smithswood will feel they have thrown two points away with the goals they conceded and will need to do better in the run in.
The games come thick and fast now and they face Northfield Town on Wednesday at the Mackadown, a team who punished them 4-0 in the Cup the other week so they will need to be better if they want to take the three points.