Saturday 20th June 2015 @ Wednesfield High School
Burton Shield Final
Erdington and Saltley 0 – 0 (AET) Redditch
Team: Harvey, Tyrese, Brandon, Jermaine, Haydn, Kruize, Shilo, Kane, Troy, Marc and Shaun
Almost one year on from the disappointment of losing a closely contested Burton Shield final with Wolverhampton, the boys (including three from that day last June – Shilo, Tyrese and Kruize) ended the season battling it out for the West Midlands Schools’ FA Cup yet again. With the athletics and cricket pitches marked out, it was once again played very late in the season. However, as the saying goes: Save the best until last!
We hadn’t come up against Redditch prior to yesterday morning, so knew very little about them. All that we knew was that they were a quality team, exceptionally well organised and with no shortage of talent.
The first half, if truth be told, wasn’t our best. Redditch seemed to be more organised and better at retrieving the ball when not in possession. The Ton were second best, although it wasn’t for a lack of effort. The lads tried their very best and put in a shift, although we lacked composure once we had the ball at our feet. Nevertheless we dug deep and made it through to half time all square at 0-0.
The half time message was simple – calm down when you have the ball and play your natural game. As soon as the second half started, there was more bite and purpose about the lads’ play. We looked to build attacks as a team and were far less wasteful when we had the ball. Consequently we created far more chances. Shilo went agonisingly wide of the post after rifling in a low free kick, whilst Kane place a shot to the keeper’s left from distance, only to see the Redditch shot-stopper somehow tip it wide. The midfield was being marshalled by Marc, who as we all know by now, won every ball in the air! Out wide, Kruize and Troy were a constant threat. Plus Troy’s aerial ability came in useful on a number of occasions when he won several dangerous balls in our own box. Speaking of the defence, Ty and Brandon put in very composed performances at the centre of the back three, with Biggy, Haydn and Jermaine utilising their pace to great effect out wide. In fact Jermaine had the game of his life. Which is no mean feat considering it was his first ever game at right back! A tactical master stoke or total fluke from Tonn?!
With neither team able to break the other down, the ref had no option but to send the match into extra time! During these ten (long) minutes, both teams created chances to take the lead but once again were unable to penetrate each other’s resolute defence, with Harvey earning a great clean sheet. With penalties not an option, all that was left to do was crown both teams Burton Shield winners. A fitting end to a great game!
Man of the Match – Jermaine
This has been a long but brilliant season. Daniel Sturridge Cup winners. Midland Challenge Trophy winners. Burton Shield winners. Birmingham league runners-up. Birmingham FA Cup runners-up. The list goes on but for now I’ll leave it on this note:
Thank you boys and parents for a wonderful year. It really has been our pleasure.
Up The Ton!