Thursday 14th August 2014 @ Jaffray Road
Phoenix United 7 – 2 Erdington and Saltley
Scorers: Kruize and Tierry
Team 1: Kai, Shaun, Kye, Kruize, Dylan P, Sam, Jermiane, Tion, Ryaq and Dylan
Team 2: Kai, Jamie, Brandon, Harvey, Oakley, Cameron, Daniel, Hayden, Elijah and Jacob
This was a big night for The Ton, with six lads out due to academy commitments, it was an opportunity for the remaining members of the squad to stake a claim for a starting place ahead of the season opener in September. If that wasn’t challenging enough, the fact that we were playing an under 12 team made it that little bit trickier. Then add to this a few Aston district players from last season in the opposition starting 9 and factor in the fact that half of our team were under 10s and you’ve got a huge challenge!
Before the game Tonn and I asked the lads to do two things for us during the game:
1. find space when in possession and pass the ball on the floor
2. don’t use the fact that Phoenix were two years older than half of our team as an excuse for giving up
I’m pleased to say that the lads did both of these things, along with much more! Both teams found themselves under immense pressure during their respective first halves. We spent large parts of the early exchanges defending and trying to get the ball back. We had two options – fight or flight.
Both teams came out for their second halves and fought to the final whistle. The stripes scored a wonderful goal via the left boot of Kruize. Playing on the right, the nippy wing wizard cut in and smashed the ball home from outside of the area. Then in the second game Tierry scored from close range, following a classic goal mouth scramble. This goal came with the final kick of the game and acted as a perfect illustration of how both teams refused to give up.
Despite losing the game to an aggregate score of 7-2 (I think!?) the boys should all hold their head up high. Some of our attacking play was breath taking, with both Kruize and Jermiane causing them all sorts of headaches down the wings. In defence we played with heart and commitment, diving in front of shots and wrestling with players sometimes twice our size. We attacked with flair and intelligence and Kai in goal made a number of great saves. I am 100% certain that if we were two years older and matching them in years, we would have won tonight. We couldn’t have asked for more. You couldn’t have done anything else.
Well done lads. See you all next week.
Man of the Match: Jermaine
Up The Ton!