Saturday 2nd February 2013 @ Braemar Road
Harborne 2 – 4 Erdington and Saltley
The sun was shining and the weather was sweet. Despite waking up late and rushing to the game, I couldn’t help but feel today was going to be a good day. How wrong was I?!? It wasn’t a good day, it was a fantastic day! With Jayden making his debut for Birmingham City against West Bromwich Albion, The Ton knew they had to step up their game to fill the gap left in Jayden’s absence. Even though I was hopeful, I never could have imagined we’d make such a great start! With little over a minute on the clock, some great link up play between Ross and Josh and a great cross from Callum was slotted home by Ellis-Jay, who has now scored two goals in his last two games! With Callum, Josh Subhan and Ross (more about him later) controlling the centre of the park, The Ton played some breathtaking attacking football and created a number of opportunities to extend their lead. The second goal came after a cross from captain Treymaine was cleared out of the area and landed at the feet of onrushing right back Sam. With nothing on his mind other than lashing the ball, Sam rifled home from 25 yards. Hitting the underside of the crossbar, it surely has to be a contender for goal of the season! Yet The Ton were not finished there! Karter, who was having a superb game up front on his own, chasing lost causes and holding up play whenever possible, deservedly got the goal that his efforts merited. Once again, Callum was involved, this time taking a short corner and playing a sweet cross right across the face of the goal. Undefendable. Karter attacked the back post to finish his second goal of the season.
Half time arrived with The Ton 3-0 against a very strong Harborne team and I certainly believe that’s the best half of football we’ve played this season! I told the lads at half time to make sure that they did not become lazy and to expect a resurgent Harborne team to pile on the pressure. Depsite Harbnorne starting the second half the better of the two teams, The Ton settled into their game and Cedric unselfishly squared a great ball to Ross, even though he could have went for goal himself. In fact, Ross was caught slightly by surprise but controlled Cedric’s cleaver pass nonetheless, only to slice his shot slightly wide. The Ton were now back on their A-Game and looking for a fourth goal. This duly came when Sam made a great interception and played a midfield slicing ball from his right back position. His 30 yard pass went through the Harborne defence like a hot knife through butter. However, the nearest player to the ball was a retreating Harborne defender and it seem inevitable that he would clear any danger. That would have been the case had Trey not decided to charge it down and despite giving the defender a huge head start, the captain for the day turned on his turbo rockets and caught the defender before muscling him off the ball. Advancing on goal, Trey lashed home a shot into the roof of the net. A perfect example of why players should close the opposition down and chase down every ball. What a great attitude!
With four goals in the bag, The Ton took their foot off the gas a little in the closing stages and Harborne scored two goals in the last two minutes. The first of which was a good goal but all of the lads were rightly disappointed with the nature of the second. Failing to clear a high ball into the box, The Ton allowed the ball to bounce before being tucked away by Harborne.
Despite conceding two late goals, I am immensely proud of our performance today and by the way in which players listened to tactics and carried out instructions. The 4 – 2 – 3 -1 worked and everyone stuck to their jobs. More importantly, some of the football that we played was intelligent and skilful. We did not simply lump the ball forward hopefully. Callum, playing centre midfield for the first time this season, was a joy to watch and every time he got on the ball the crowd held their breath in anticipation. Ellis-Jay had his best game of the season and is getting better and better with every passing week. Josh shielded the back four like a seasoned defensive midfielder. Trey caused problems all over the pitch with his strength and speed. The defence and Alex coped admirably without Jayden and were resolute and brave throughout. Karter and Cedric both offered outlets up front and both brought something different to the game. Karter was strong and robust, whilst Cedric was skilful and tricky. However, I think the final word should go to Ross Thomas. A pupil at Lea Forest Primary School (formerly known as Ridpool Primary School) and a Castle Bromwich FC teammate of Callum, he slotted into the centre of midfield with ease. You would have never known he was making his debut and playing with 9 of the other 10 players for the first time in his life. Take a bow young man! What a star!
What a game lads! What a team! Next up it’s South Birmingham who remain unbeaten and top of the table. Nevertheless, if we play like we did today, we’ll give anyone a test! Well done boys, enjoy your weekend!
Team: Alex – Sam, William, Michael, Sahib – Josh S, Ross – Callum, Trey, Ellis-Jay – Karter (Cedric)
Goals: Ellis-Jay, Karter, Sam, Treymaine
M.O.M – Callum
Up the Ton!