Friday 21st February 2014 @ WBA
Team A: Dermot, Marc, George, Shilo, Ethan and Amari
Team B: Alex, Leyton, Michael, Callum, Tyrese, Kruize and Ramello
Myself and Tonn are a little short of details from the whole day! The excitement beat us and many of the finer details have been lost! However, one thing we both remember is the quality of the football that both teams played when up against the finest footballers that the second city has to offer. We never gave in to the easy option of lumping the ball forward. Both Alex and Dermot looked to roll the ball out at every opportunity and we played the ball on the floor, constantly looking to attack through a series of tasty passes!
As well as this great passing play, the lads also worked their socks off! We attacked as a team and defended as a team. Every one of the lads gave it 100% and should be incredibly proud of their efforts. One particular piece of play sticks in the mind and illustrates this perfectly. Against Aston, Tyrese (playing as a striker) ran all the way back into defence to win the ball back before sprinting straight back up front in anticipation of a pass. There were countless examples of this type of commitment. Another was when Marc cleared two goals off the line in the space of two minutes. Both clearances were of the highest calibre and even Rio Ferdinand would have been proud of them!
A special mention must also go to Alex, who stepped between the posts and out of his comfort zone. Alex normally plays in defence but you couldn’t tell that from his performance yesterday! He kept four clean sheets in five group games.
Finally, lets look at the stats for the group stage:
Edrington and Saltley – Played 10 games; won 8; drew 2; scored the most goals and conceded the least; both teams won their league…they are some great stats!
Erdington and Saltley B 1 – 3 South Birmingham B
Erdington and Saltley A 2 – 1 South Birmingham A
Both semi-finals were close affairs and on another day we could have had an all Ton final. However football can be cruel sometimes.
The B team found themselves trailing 2-0 when Alex made a save in goal, only to clear the ball to safety. At least that’s what he thought he had done! Seconds later the ball went sailing over the head of the South keeper and The Ton were back in the game. With their spirits lifted and with enough time left to get back in the game, The Ton suffered the cruellest of blows when South scored almost immediately after Alex’s goal. Nevertheless, the lads can hold their heads up high because they were a credit to their schools, clubs and parents. What a team! Barcelona eat your heart out!
In the second semi final , The Ton found themselves 1-0 down after Dermot conceded his first goal of the tournament in the sixth game. There was nothing he could do about the goal though as it was a Worldy! The lads refused to lie down and accept defeat and equalised on the stroke of half time. Following a quick turnaround they went straight back out and continued where they had left off, by playing attractive, intelligent attacking football. They got the reward that their efforts deserved when they scored to win the semi-final 2-1.
Erdington and Saltley vs. South Birmingham finals is becoming something of a common occurrence this season. Once again it was a game full of drama. Just like in the final of the Birmingham 7-a-side, it was Erdington who claimed the cup with a late goal.
Winning 1-0 with about 45 seconds to go, South launched the ball forward and The Ton were unable to deal with the direct South approach on this occasion. The South striker calmly slotted his shot away to send the South support into raptures. Both Tonn and I told the lads to keep their heads up and play their own game. In scenes reminiscent of Manchester United vs. Bayern Munich in the 1999 Champions League final, The Ton won a set piece in the dying seconds of the match. Dermot came charging out of goal and screamed at every one of his team mates to “get in the box”, before pinging the free kick into the centre of the opposition area. South won it back and for a moment I thought they were going to lob Dermot from distance as he raced back into his goal. However, Ethan (who had won everything in the air during the final) won the ball back on the edge of the South box and rifled home with his magic wand of a left foot. It was now the turn of The Ton Army to go wild and with that the ref blew for full time.
What a team! What a day! What a great bunch of parents! It is a pleasure for Tonn and I to run this team. Well done boys! Keep it up!
We had 13 warriors out there yesterday!
Well done to the South Birmingham boys and all of the players from every other district for their extraordinary efforts yesterday. Birmingham is blessed with some truly amazing footballers! What a city!
Man of the Match: Everyone of you!
Up The Ton!