Saturday 21st November 2015 @ Heartlands Academy
Erdington and Saltley 1 – 1 Sutton Coldfield
Team: Rob, Sam, Kye, Ilani, Kane, Rio, Samim, Cameron, Troy, Taylor and Oakley
We’ve been here before. Déjà vu can be cruel! Very cruel! In 2013/14 we missed out on the title after losing once all season, although that loss came against eventual champions South Birmingham. Then in 2014/15 we faced-off against Kings Norton on the final day of the league season, knowing a win would give us the title. We dominated that game but lost 1-0. Finally to today, knowing a win would guarantee us the league for the first time in our history, we went into the game looking to reverse the 1-0 scoreline that we achieved when we met Sutton Coldfield in the final of the WMSFA 7 side a few weeks ago.
In Arctic conditions and with Hurricane Barney swirling around Heartlands, we started the game brightly, with Troy a menace up front. However it was Sutton who went closest, hitting the woodwork twice during the first twenty minutes.
With our nerves settled, the boys took control of the game and exerted their dominance during the second twenty. Despite being in control of the game, The Ton fell behind to Sutton’s only shot of the second third. With Sutton defending like warriors, we knew we were going to have to find some magic to break them down. With his back to goal and the ball in the air, Troy did just that when he spun and unleashed a half volley oozing with class. Thundering off the post, the Marsh Hill striker’s shot bounced down but just wouldn’t cross the line! Moments later, captain Kane dropped his shoulder in the centre of the pitch and found an opening, before slotting his partner in crime, Troy, through on goal. As we all know, Troy doesn’t miss often and he smashed home, shooting across the Sutton keeper and into the bottom right hand corner of the net.
Re-energised by their goal, The Ton threw everything that they had at the Royalists, only to see their shots blocked by diving defenders, saved by Gabriel in the Sutton net or go wide of the goal. With time running out, the lads just couldn’t get that one clear cut chance that would have given the the league title.
As we approach the half way mark of the season, it’s worth remembering that we’ve entered four competitions this season, winning two of them and finishing as runners-up in the other two. That’s not too shabby!
Well done Sutton Coldfield on lifting your first title since the 2007/8 season. Your players have been a credit to The Rose all season and I imagine that’ll continue to be the case for a long while still. The Big Man will no doubt be looking down and smiling. We’re thoroughly enjoying what’s becoming an epic battle between our two great districts! We’ll see you on December 12th when we’ll lock horns for the BPSFA Winter Cup.
At the end of the game there were understandably a lot of disappointed Ton players. However we finished the league season unbeaten, conceded only two goals and extended our 9-a-side unbeaten run to 11 games. They’re pretty tasty statistics! Well done boys, we couldn’t be prouder of you!
Man of the Match –
Up The Ton!