Wednesday 13th March 2013 @ Braemar Road
Erdington and Saltley 1 – 3 South Birmingham
The Ton went into their first midweek fixture of the season on the back of three straight victories, all of which came against opposition positioned higher in the table. With Treymaine and Karter absent, Callum was pushed back up front following his recent spell at the heart of The Ton’s midfield. The back-four was made up of Jayden, Michael, Sam and Wiliiam, whilst the midfield five welcomed back Ross, with Josh S and Sahib making it a centre three. Out on the wings were Ellis Jay, looking to score for the fourth game in a row and Ethan.
The first half was a very scrappy affair with South Birmingham perhaps edging proceedings. However, there was very little to separate the two teams, with The Ton determined to spoil South’s potential championship winning party by denying them the win they so craved. In terms of chances, The Ton’s best effort came from a Jayden free kick on the edge of the area. His curling effort looked destined to hit the back of the net, only for the South defender to clear.
At half time the players were asked to up their intensity levels and to ensure that they were the first to every 50/50 ball, as well as winning more of the ariel battles. Five minutes into the second period, The Ton were awarded their second direct free kick of the game and this time Jayden did what he does best. Curling the ball over the wall and into the top corner, the South keeper was left with no chance and The Ton had a lead to defend. They did this heroically until the final ten minutes when South stepped up their pursuit of an equaliser. After levelling the scores at 1-1, South looked to snatch a late victory and threw men forward at every opportunity. However, the next meaningful opportunity fell to The Ton, with Sahib firing on the turn, only for his effort to go straight to the keeper. This was a glorious chance to regain the lead but it wasn’t meant to be. Moments later, South whipped in a free kick and with The Ton sitting too deep, it squirmed it’s way past Alex. With only minutes remaining, The Ton pushed on in hope of grabbing an equaliser. This meant the defence was left exposed to a break and break is exactly what South did. Scoring late on, South gained a 3-1 victory and with it the league title.
There is no denying that the scoreline does not do us justice and on another day we would have got something out of the match. We certainly deserved something from it. Nevertheless, I am still exceptionally proud of my boys and their efforts. They gave a team who remained unbeaten for six months one hell of a game! We need to learn to concentrate for a full 50 minutes but I am confident that we will do just that over the coming games. With a double header against East Birmingham and a midweek game against Kings Norton, all is still to play for. The more points we can get, the more favourable draw we can get for the quarter final (or at least that is the theory!).
Special mention to Alex who pulled off a number of great saves, deservedly earning himself his second consecutive M.O.M.
The final word should go to South Birmingham – congratulations to everyone involved with the team. Deserved league champions. Also well done to their captain Mikey who despite the joyous nature of the occasion still found time to come straight over to The Ton to offer his praise – true sportsman.
Team: Alex; Sam, William, Jayden, Michael; Josh S, Ross, Sahib, Ethan (Bailey), Ellis-Jay; Callum
Up The Ton!