Thursday 16th July 2015 @ Heartlands Academy
Erdington and Saltley Under 11s 1 – 3 Bromford Lions Under 12s
Team: Brad, Daniel, Igor, Matty, Ilani, Kane, Shaun, Diago, Samim, Oakley, Kye, Harvey, Bradley and Sam
Weddings, holidays, training, illness and proms had meant the squad was down to the bare bones for this pre-season encounter against long time friends, Bromford Lions. This, coupled with the fact that Bromford are a year older than us, meant the lads had no choice but to step up their game if they were going to get anything out of the match. A 3-1 scoreline suggests we were comfortably beaten by Bromford, although that couldn’t be any further from the truth. If it wasn’t for a couple of late pieces of Gio magic, we would have got something from the game, something that we fully deserved.
Starting the game as the better of the two teams, we passed the ball around with confidence and it was pleasing to see the lads playing as a unit and a team. It was clear that the boys were prepared to work hard and support each other and also that they trusted one another to look after the ball. The ball was constantly given to the player in the best position rather than being held on to for personal glory. For me this was perhaps the most pleasing thing to take away from the game.
After falling a goal behind, we bounced back in quick style, scoring through the lively Kye, who was called into midfield duty following the late withdrawal of several players. In fact, the St. Barnabas’ whiz, had a cracking game down the right hand side, swinging in a number of dangerous balls.
At the back, Diago (like Igor, Matty and Daniel) who was playing as a trialist, showed glimpses of his strength and composure, matching up to the physical threat posed by Bromford Lions. However it was Ilani (two years the junior of Bromford Lions) who stood out at the back, particularly when it came to a 1 on 1 scrap with the intimidating Giovani. The young Yenton rock should be incredibly proud of his performance and the way that he matched up to his older opponent.
As the game wore on and changes disrupted the shape and balance of the team, Bromford capitalised through their talisman Gio. His two goals illustrating the talent that we all know he has, but still coming as a difficult pill to swallow, following our sterling efforts.
As mentioned above, the manner in which we played the ball around on the floor was the most pleasing thing about the game and something that we should be very happy about. If we can continue to play in this manner during the remainder of pre-season, it’ll only be a matter of time until everything falls into place.
Well done lads and thank you, as ever, to Wayne and his Bromford boys. It’s always a pleasure and we wish you the very best for the 2015/16 season.
Man of the Match: Ilani
Up The Ton!