Saturday 14th November 2015 @ Heartlands Academy
Erdington and Saltley 2 – 1 Solihull
Team: Harvey, Sam, Kye, Taylor, Samim, Rio, Troy, Tion, Cameron P, Blessing, Harvey, Cameron E, Diago and Oakley
Goals: Cameron P and Rio
“There’s nothing prettier than winning ugly.”
This is the fourth year in succession that we’ve taken on Solihull and prior to this morning we’ve never beaten them. The district from the south of the city are traditionally strong and always brimming with talent, whilst today was no different. However as we’ve said on many an occasion this season, we’re blessed with a great bunch of kids this season. A group of lads who take nothing for granted and work their socks off in every game. A group of kids that are going from strength to strength each week.
The first twenty minutes was very much about The Ton, with the boys having most of the ball and creating a number of chances. The opening goal came after Rio won the ball on the half way line, sprinted to the byline and crossed, just as the ball was about to go out for a goal kick. After the ball was cut back by Rio, Troy smartly back heeled the ball across the face of the goal for Cameron P to side foot home from close range. It was the Gunter finisher’s first goal of the season following an extended absence through injury.
During the second twenty minutes Solihull came back into the game and took control of proceedings shortly after the start of the second third. After making a number of changes, we looked very shaky and it didn’t take Solihull long to capitalise. After Solihull deservedly equalised, we shifted a few players around and now had Rio and Cameron P in the centre of midfield, with Troy upfront. These changes saw The Ton come back into the game and settle down. The hard work of Cameron P in the middle of the pitch was a huge reason why we managed to stem the Solihull onslaught. Whilst a special mention should be given to Rio and Troy who were pulling the strings and linking up well, Oakley who was creating chances down the right and Sam who was a rock at the back.
Back to the game…Attacking down the left following a corner, Rio’s cross come shot looped over the head of the outstanding Bradley Mayo in the Solihull Goal. However they all count!
The final third of the match brought a couple more Ton chances, with Troy going close with a couple of chances, first through a free kick and then via a goal mouth scramble. However on both occasions he was expertly thwarted by his Blues team mate Bradley, who was on form all morning and responsible for keeping us to two goals.
After the game we talked to the lads about there being more than one way to skin a cat and today was a perfect example of that. It wasn’t our prettiest of performances but it was possibly the hardest we’ve scrapped and fought all season. Time and time again we won 50/50 balls and put our heads’ on the line.
Finally the atmosphere of the game should be commended. There were no arguments between the boys from both sides, no moaning and no questioning of the ref. Afterwards we (managers) all commented at the end of the game about how much we all enjoyed it. Well done to both sets of boys for a highly enjoyable morning.
Man of the Match – Rio: at the heart of everything all morning
Next up is Sutton Coldfield with a win giving us the league title for the first time in our history. Big game!