Saturday 26th April @ Longlevens Junior School, Gloucester
Game 1: Gloucester 3 – 1 Erdington and Saltley
Game 2: South Birmingham 0 – 4 Erdington and Saltley
Squad: Dermot, George, Leyton, Michael, Alex, Callum, Amari, Ramello, Ethan, Tyrese, Shilo, Kruize,
Scorers: Amari x 2; Ethan x 2; Alex x 1
Man of the Match/Morning: Alex – Not only did he show desire, hunger, commitment, discipline and skill during the 4-0 victory over South, but he also showed these qualities in abundance during the Gloucester defeat. The whole squad can be proud of their performance against South Birmingham but only a few players did themselves proud (if they’re being honest) during the Gloucester game, one of which was Alex.
Game One: Gloucester
We arrived in Gloucester knowing that we had to collect two wins if we were going to have a chance of lifting the trophy. With the whole squad there in good time, we warmed up vigorously and had a calm team talk, constantly reinforcing the need for the lads to be disciplined and to work hard. Nothing but 110% was required.
As the game started it was clear to Tonn and myself that too many of the lads were not ‘up for it’. Alex was defending valiantly, throwing himself in front of every pass and shot. Dermot was as alert and commanding as ever, rushing out to make a number of clearances. Whilst Michael returned to the kind of form that he showed at the start of the season – full of running and guts. However, after Gloucester scored an early goal we simply fell apart. A number of players dropped their heads, argued with each other, moaned at the ref and sulked about the jobs they were being asked to do. In the end Gloucester got exactly what they deserved and for every one of our faults, they matched us with a touch of class and bucket full of desire. The Gloucester boys should be immensely proud of the fact that they stood up to two teams (South Birmingham as well) who had inflicted heavy defeats on them during the season. They showed no fear and were a credit to the Gloucester badge. Well done boys.
As for The Ton…we will not dwell on this performance but we must not forget it. Valuable lessons can be learned and carried forward to future matches, as well as anything that we do in school or life. At the end of the day no one will ever give us anything for free. We have to work hard for anything and everything that we want.
Game Two: South Birmingham
Where to start? At the beginning I suppose! Following the final whistle at the end of the Gloucester defeat, the lads had just under ten minutes to pick themselves up, dust themselves down and get on with things. This is exactly what they did and more! The way they played against South, particularly during the first half, was breath taking. What a way to answer your doubters! What a way to shut me and Tonn up! We couldn’t be prouder of the way everyone of the lads played in this game.
The team was shuffled around slightly, with Michael and Alex moving into centre midfield in a bid to bring some much needed shape and discipline to the team. Ethan came back into the team and was shifted up front, whilst George and Leyton brought stability to the backline.
The first goal was a thunderbolt of a strike from the left boot of Alex. Picking the ball up in centre midfield, the goalkeeper/defender/midfielder pushed forward before unleashing an unstoppable strike from the edge of the area into the top corner of the net, off the underside of the bar. Boom! What a goal! No keeper in the world could have saved that shot! The second goal came shortly after. This time it was Amari’s turn to strike from the edge of the area, his daisy cutter of a strike nestling in the side of the net. With The Ton truly invigorated and on top of their game, Ethan scored another blistering goal, once again from outside of the area! Three-nil to The Ton! Only ten minutes of the first half had passed and The Ton Army wanted more goals! Kruize picked the ball up on the left and skipped past two South players before crossing for Ethan to tuck away from close range. It was now 4-0 and there was still time for more! The Ton came very close on another couple of occasions and could easily have led 6-0 at half time. However, the South keeper pulled off a couple of great saves to keep the score at 4-0. The second half brought an improved South performance, yet The Ton could have still scored another goal or two. Alas it wasn’t to be and we had to settle for a fine 4-0 victory.
What a performance! What a way to bounce back in style! Now let’s make sure that we finish the season in the same way that we played against South. If we do that, then we’ll give ourselves a great chance of winning the Birmingham FA Cup and the West Midlands FA Cup.
Thank you Gloucester for being the host with the most! It’s always a pleasure to visit Longlevens and we look forward to returning next season. Hopefully next time we’ll return home with the Midland Challenge Cup. Also, well done to South who won the cup after securing the point that they needed in their second game against Gloucester.
A huge thank you to all of the parents who sacrificed their Saturday and petrol to travel to Gloucester. Without you there would be no district football. Up The Ton Army!
Roll on Aston!
Up the Ton!