Saturday 7th March @ Odd Down Playing Fields, Bath
Cardiff 1 – 2 Erdington and Saltley U11s
Plymouth 3 – 2 Erdington and Saltley U11s
Bath 0 – 3 Erdington and Saltley U11s
Bath 0 – 5 Erdington and Saltley U10s
Bath 3 – 2 Erdington and Saltley U10s
Cardiff 1 – 0 Erdington and Saltley U10s
Under 11s – Harvey, Shaun, Brandon, Teon, Hayden, Kane, Tyrese, Troy, Kruize, Jermaine, Tristan, Shilo
Under 10s – Jacob, Kye, Ilani, Sam, Oakley, Tion, William, Kian, Samim, Cameron, Pharelle, Eddie
Scorers: Kane x 2, Troy, Hayden, Cameron x 3, Tion x 2, Pharelle, Eddie
6:00am on a Saturday morning. There should be a law against that sort of thing! However the early start was well worth it in my opinion! It was great to see the lads up against the very best that southern England and Wales have to offer. More importantly I belive both teams matched Plymouth, Bath and Cardiff for skill, ability and desire.
The under 10s kicked off first, racing into a 3-0 half time lead against Bath, before adding a further two goals without reply in the second half. Cameron bagged himself a hat trick, with further goals coming from Eddie and Pharelle. Lamar was incredibly proud of the opening performance and full of praise for effort shown by every player.
The second under 10s game saw them up against a second Bath team and despite their hard work; they found themselves 2-0 at half time. Following a rally cry from myself and Lamar, the lads stepped it up during the second half to play the best football that I’ve ever seen them play as a team. It’s no exaggeration to say it was one sided! We had the best part of 10 shots on target during the second 20 mins, with the Bath keeper pulling off a number of stunning saves. Once again football proved that it could be cruel, when we conceded a late goal despite our clear dominance. Ah well, such is life. The lads had nothing to be downhearted about as they worked their socks off!
The final Under 10s match saw them square up to Cardiff in a close, competitive game. As predicted, Cardiff were not short on talent and edged this close encounter 1-0. Once again the lads gave their all and Lamar couldn’t fault them for their application and desire. Well done lads!
Not far from the 3G pitch, the Under 11s started their day by taking on their Welsh counterparts. The first half was a brilliant illustration of teamwork, skill and work rate. I honestly think it was the hardest that we’ve worked all season and only bad luck prevented us from securing more than the 1-0 half time lead that we had. The second half was a little more scrapper, with Cardiff equalising. However, once again the lads proved that they’re made of stern stuff and retook the lead through Kane, who added to the goal that fellow Year 5 player Troy had netted during the first 20 minutes. The day had got off to a good start with a fully deserved 2-1 win.
Next up was Plymouth. In the 20 minutes between the Cardiff and Plymouth game, the wind decided to join the party, making the second half particularly difficult. After a disjointed opening, we eventually settled to take a 1-0 lead thanks to a screamer from Haydn. Only a few moments later, Plymouth equalised after their striker burst through our defence to slot the ball away. Undaunted, the lads retook the lead through an own goal, following a tantalising cross from Kruize. With seconds left on the clock, Plymouth equalised for a second time via an unfortunate goal. However these things happen in football and it’s about picking yourself up and getting on with things. Harvey did this in style, pulling off a number of stunning saves during the remainder of the day. The second half saw the wind make it difficult for The Ton, with the Plymouth winner floating in after being carried by the wind.
The third and final game saw The Ton rediscover their Va Va Voom. Jermaine, Kane and an own goal gave us a 3-0 victory, but it was the way that we passed the ball and attacked as a team that was most pleasing. Had the game been longer I’m certain we would have added to our goal tally.
Overall we should all be very proud of the effort put in by the lads, the manners that they showed and energy that they brought to the day. For many of our boys, this was the first time that they’d been to the south of England. Experiences such as this are more important than anything that takes place on the football pitch.
I would like to thank Bath for their hospitality and can’t wait to return next year, only next time we’ll get a coach with a toilet!
Man of the Match:
Under 11s – Kane: a true captains performance, despite technically being an under 10s player.
Under 10s – Kye: worked his socks off from the first to the last whistle
Well done boys! Thank you parents!
Up The Ton!