Saturday 29th March 2014
Solihull 1 – 1 Erdington and Saltley
Team: Alex; Ethan, Leyton, George; Amari, Ramello, Kruize, Michael; Tyrese Sub: Mudassar
Football…I love it as much as I hate it! It can be the greatest of sports one minute and then the cruelest of sports the next! Yesterday was a perfect example of that!
Once again the squad was stretched with Dermot, Callum, Shilo and Marc all absent. With four key, talented players missing, the rest of the squad knew they would have to pull their sleeves up and battle, just like they did last week against Dudley. For the first ten minutes of the game we were probably second best to a talented Solihull team and our goal came courtesy of our first shot on target. After being played through by Amari, Kruize sprinted clear and smashed the ball into the roof of the net. That proved our wake-up call, as the lads spent large parts of the match on top after taking the lead. Tyrese was causing all sorts of problems up front with his strength and ability to play others into the game. Tonn and I were exceptionally proud of the towering Blues striker and we can’t recall him giving the ball away all game.
The second half brought much of the same. Despite Solihull’s undoubted class, we looked like scoring with every attack. On another day we would have score four or five. Ramello repeatedly broke down the right and Tyrese was once again causing havoc in and around the opposition area. Little Kruize was a menace down the left and with Michael busy in midfield and Amari pulling the strings box-to-box, we looked a major threat going forward. In defence, Ethan captained the team with composure and Leyton read the game like it was a book. At left-back George had the best game of his season and made a number of last ditch, crucial sliding tackles. The Shard End player was making a mockery of the fact that he was a midfielder playing out of position. Alex was once again stepping into the huge boots of Dermot, who was playing for United, and he once again did Mr Mee proud with a number of agile saves. Attack after attack came and went (but in fairness, Solihull had one or two of their own) and with the score finely balanced at 1-0 and with the ref checking his watch for one final time, Solihull grabbed a gut wrenching equaliser at the death.
Football can be a cruel game. However, we have nothing to be down about. The way we’ve played over the past few games – drawing with Nottingham, winning the Birmingham 5-a-side, beating Harborne and getting past Dudley in the West Midlands FA Cup – should fill us with immense pride and optimism as we enter the business end of the season.
Everyone of our remaining games is a one-off knock out game and if we replicate how we played in the games mentioned above, we’ll be just fine! Tonn and I couldn’t be prouder lads. Keep up the hard work and the rewards will come your way.
Next week we’re at home (that’s Braemar Road if you’ve forgotten!) against East Birmingham in the quarter final of the Birmingham Cup and it’ll be great to have the whole squad back together again. At the very least it’ll mean I can sleep easily on Friday for the first time in weeks!
Man of the Match – Tyrese and George – we just couldn’t separate them!
Up The Ton!