The Ton Belie Their Tender Years

Tuesday 31st March 2015 @ Four Dwellings Academy

Harborne 3 – 4 Erdington and Saltley u10s

Team: Alex, Sam, Harvey, Tion, Kye, Kane, Shaun, Samim, Cameron and Kian

Goals: Kane x 2, Cameron and Samim

After being left in limbo all day by the unpredictable nature of the British weather, we decided to play on with the game, although the torrential downpour that welcomed us had us all questioning our decision. However it did give us a laugh at the sight of Tonn fighting with his umbrella!

After the clouds parted and blue sky came out to play, it was decided to play 10 a side in order to involve everyone, without anyone having to stand on the side and freeze, or worse, get blown away. In hindsight it was a few players too many, with space at a premium. However, that in itself posed the boys with a problem from which they could learn. It meant they had to be quick with their decision making and look to pass the ball rather than dribbling with it.

No sooner had the game started, than The Ton found themselves two goals up. This would normally be an astonishing start to any game, but even more so considering the opposition were a district team, and an under 11s team at that! The goals came courtesy of Kane and Samim, with the former at the heart of both. First dropping his shoulder and jinking past a couple of defenders, before slotting Samim through to finish cooly. Then finishing superbly himself from a tight angle. The Hodge Hill captain was on fire, as were his whole team, who tackled with tenacity and refused to be bullied by their older opponents. It was great to see the manner in which they backed one another up time and time again. It was great to see the way that no player was over awed – don’t forget we had an under 9s player doing the business in there too! Well done Kian!

With Alex stepping in between the posts superbly (welcome back kid!), we entered half time with a 2-1 lead (although my memory was frozen, so it could have been 3-1 or 3-2 for all I know!). Dropping it down to 8 a side, we told the lads to make the most of the extra space, whilst ensuring that they close Harborne down in the same fashion that they did during the first half.

The second half was equally pleasing, with The Ton creating another 6 or 7 clear goal scoring opportunities. It was great to see them attack at every opportunity, although they did so safe in the knowledge that Sam was marshaling the defence at the back, ably supported by Tion or Harvey. Further goals came from the boot of Kane and Cameron, who expertly finished, shooting across the keeper and into the bottom corner. Only for the agile shot stopping of the Harborne keeper, we would have scored more, with a couple of direct Kane free-kicks coming to mind.

Overall it was a great performance and result. The conditions were tricky to say the least and the boys had to adapt to the conditions and restraints posed by the game, doing so with aplomb. Tonn, Lamar and I were talking after the game about how proud we were with the way that the lads stepped up to the challenge. It’s one thing taking on talented Sunday league teams, but an altogether different thing taking on an under 11s district team. You gave us everything that we asked for, and more! Couldn’t be prouder of every single one of you!

Well done boys!

Man of the Match – Kane for his commanding central midfield display, closely followed by Sam’s rock like performance at the back.

Up The Ton!

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