Saturday 17th January 2015 @ Four Dwellings Academy
Harborne 0 – 2 Erdington and Saltley
Team: Harvey, Kane, Shaun, Brandon, Tristan, Tyrese, Kruize, Troy, Shilo, Sam, Cameron and Jermaine
Scorer: Kruize x 2
It was a strange week in the run-up to this match, with the threat of snow hanging a shadow over the game right up to the last minute. Plus there were a couple of issues regarding international clearance, with Jermaine only arriving back from three weeks in Jamaica a matter of hours ago and Shilo originally set to be in Germany, but as it was both boys pinned their names on the team sheet in added time!
The game couldn’t have started any better for the Ton, with birthday boy Kruize cutting in from the right to unleash a great left-footed cracker. With the ball destined to reach the back of the net, it clipped the head of a Harborne defender, although the Dubious Goals Panel have since confirmed that the goal goes down as a Kruize special! Next was the turn of the three Year 5 attackers, with Troy, Kane and Cameron all linking up down the left to produce a breath taking passage of play that led to a corner. With Shilo and Ty bossing the centre of the park it seemed like we were in control of the game. However, Harborne are a talented team, as they demonstrated when winning the Birmingham Districts’ 7-a-side in October. They came back at us and if it wasn’t for a couple of outstanding Harvey (another birthday boy!) saves, they would have been leading 2-1. Then they also had a penalty, following an uncharacteristic error from Brandon who handled in the area. This was the only mistake that the towering centre back made, in a match that was arguably his best in the black and white hoops of The Ton. Luck was very much on our side as the Harborne penalty smashed off the right hand post and the follow-up was put wide of the net.
They say (I’m not sure who ‘they’ are!) that fortune favours the brave and with seconds left on the clock and half time rapidly approaching, Kruize, now on the left, once again cut inside to unleash an unstoppable shot. This time there was no doubt whatsoever who the goal belonged to, with the birthday boy netting his second goal of the game.
At half time we discussed the need to make the right pass at the right time, rather than holding onto the ball for too long. This area of our game improved considerably during the second half and we created a number of goal scoring chances as a result of this. Cameron rifled a shot off the left hand post, whilst Jermaine missed from close range late on. One of the most pleasing aspects about the second half was the way in which the Year 5 lads acquitted themselves. Cameron’s link-up play was great up front, whilst Kane and Troy were enterprising and probing in midfield. Plus debutant Sam was commanding at the back, winning a series of crucial tackles and headers. Whilst we’re on the subject of the defence, it was great to collect our second consecutive clean sheet, which is the first time that we’ve done this all season. As a unit, Kane, Brandon, Shaun and Harvey (and then Sam in the second half) were super, and fully deserving of their clean sheet.
Well done boys! It was great to finally play a game after four weeks of inactivity and it was even better to return to action in style! Some of our attacking play was exquisite at times and our defending was composed and brave. A thoroughly pleasing morning all round!
Man of the Match – Both birthday boys, Harvey and Kruize, made vital contributions to the game and were key to us collecting three points. However it’s in defence where our Man of the Match comes from today with Shaun demonstrating exactly why he is known as ‘Biggy’, with a great game at right back, constantly sweeping up any sign of danger. But Brandon wins the award for his best district game ever! Strong. Brave. Composed. Well done Brandon! Well done The Ton!
Up The Ton!