Saturday 12th October 2013 @ Maidstine Bridge Primary School
Brierley Hill 1 – 0 Erdington and Saltley
Team: Dermot; Mark, Michael; Amari, Ramello, Ethan, George, Tyrese; Shilo Subs: Callum, Leyton
After a long 50 minute drive, the lads arrived in good spirits and buoyant from their great start to the season. After hearing good things about our hosts, the lads knew exactly what to expect and went into the game fully prepared for a battle.
The Ton started the game in a surprisingly subdued mood and allowed the Dudley boys to take control of the game. After 10-15 minutes, The Ton conceded a goal and found themselves behind in a 9-a-side game for the first time in five outings. If anyone was unsure about Dudley at the start of the match, they were now fully aware of their opponents credentials. Every time we got the ball, two or three Dudley players closed us down and prevented us from building up any decent attacks. It was a real lesson in how to defend as a team and how to win the ball back. The lads were restricted to trying to catch Dudley on the break and Shilo worked tirelessly up front on his own, chasing down every through ball that was played his way. However the wet conditions meant that many of these through-balls skidded off the surface and raced away from young Mr Waldo.
Half time came and went, with the message of work harder to win the ball back being the theme of the team talk, as well as holding our shape. The second half saw an improvement in The Ton’s play but we were still second to many balls. In a bid to try and drag ourselves back into the game, players were jiggled around and asked to play in different positions. Amari came in from the wing, with Ethan deployed out wide, whilst Shilo and Ramello swapped positions, with Shilo’s battling qualities used in midfield and Ramello’s pace upfront. Despite making positive changes and finishing the game with two strikers, The Ton had to accept that it simply wasn’t going to be their day.
After an amazing preseason and a blistering start to the district season, we have to pick ourselves up and simply put today down to a learning experience. Out of every negative comes an opportunity to learn and improve. At the end of the day we are a group of 9-11 year olds and if you can’t have a bad day as a kid, when can you?
Man of the match – This was tough, because despite the result, several of the lads stood out. Firstly, Dermot pulled off several saves that would have been shown on Match of the Day again and again if Joe Hart had made them. One particular triple save left me speechless. Then there was Mark, who despite being smaller and younger than many of his opponents, was a colossal at the heart of defence. Fearless and composed. Perfect characteristics for a centre back.
Well done boys, both of you were MOM for today.
Final Word – The message that the lads were left with was simple: One bad day doesn’t make a bad team,
Up The Ton!