Erdington and Saltley 1 – 1 Nottingham
Saturday 11th January 2014 @ Braemar Road
Team: Dermot; Leyton, Callum, Alex; Ramello, Ethan, Michael, Kruize; Tyrese; Subs: George; Rayhaan, Daniel
My morning started with me walking around Braemar Road at 7am with a torch, trying to decide if the pitch was fit for play and ended with an immense feeling of pride. Fortunately for me, the Villa were not playing so my day couldn’t be ruined! Despite being without Amari (injured) and Shilo (playing for Villa) who between them have scored over 30 goals this season, as well as Marc (playing for Villa) who is composure personified when it comes to defending, The Ton stood up to everything that Nottingham had and gave them a great game. In fact the Nottingham manager said it was the toughest game that his team had encountered all season. This is high praise indeed when you consider that they play against huge districts such as Leeds, Derby, Hull and Barnsley. (It’s also worth pointing out that Nottingham are the toughest challenge that we’ve faced all season; all credit to their lads). All of this only reinforces how proud Ton and I are with the effort and application of the lads. What a team!
Very early into the first half it became clear how strong a team Nottingham were, with some very strong (but 100% fair) tackles flying in. The Ton knew they were in a game and increased their levels of effort, matching their opponents in the tackling stakes. The Half was evenly poised when The Ton were awarded a free-kick a couple of meters from the Nottingham goal following a back pass. Tyrese laid the ball off to Ramello who smashed the ball home, only for the ref to order a retake as he hadn’t blown for the free kick to be taken. Next time around, Tyrese laid the ball off to Alex, but unfortunately his exceptionally powerful effort went over. Easy come, easy go. Before the end of the first half, the lads carved out another opportunity, only for that to also be disallowed. With Tyrese constantly pushing the Nottingham defence back and playing on the shoulder of the last defender, a sublime ball was played through, only to rebound off a Nottingham defender. Nevertheless, Tyrese (who had a great game) steamrolled through and buried the ball. The goal was given offside, despite the ball coming off a Nottingham defender.
With the game evenly balanced at 0-0, Erdington and Saltley started the second half the better team, constantly looking to attack their rivals. However it was Nottingham who took the lead through a great finish, although the player was given far too much space and time to control the ball in our area, before picking out his spot. The Ton bounced back in style when Ethan collected the ball in midfield and drove into the space ahead of him. Smashing the ball with his wand of a left foot, the midfielder stood and watched as it crashed into the top left hand corner, leaving the keeper with no chance. As the half wore on, the commitment of both teams was there for all to see and it would have been harsh on both teams had a winner been scored.
It is worth noting that the match squad contained three young players in Kruize, Rayhaan and Daniel who had taken the places of Shilo, Marc and Amari. These three lads stepped into the firing line with great courage and effort and did not look out-of-place against their older, more experienced counterparts.
All over the pitch boys stood up and were counted. At full-time we could see how tired every player was, after all this was our first game in a month! We now need to carry this effort into the Wolverhampton game next Saturday when we return to league action.
Well done boys, you’ve made your two managers exceptionally proud! Have a great game on Sunday and a top week at school!
Up the Ton!