Saturday 5th March 2016 @ Heartlands Academy
Erdington and Saltley 6 – 1 Brierley Hill and Dudley
Team: Rob, Sam, Kye, Diago, Tion, Oakley, Ilani, Kane, Rio, Cameron, William and Troy
Goals: Troy x 3, Kane, Rio and Ilani
Man of the Match: Ilani
Following last week’s stunning revival, the boys were asked to start the Dudley game as they’d finished the Solihull game. Ten minutes in they were two goals up, having smashed the woodwork twice and forced the keeper into another three saves, the lads certainly started the game as requested!
Straight from the kick-off, Cameron chased a lost cause, muscled his opponent off the ball and crossed for Rio to finish. One up within one minute. The second followed soon after when our newly crowned long distance sharp shooter Ilani rifled in from afar. Rocking and on the ropes, Dudley steadied themselves when they converted a penalty. All of this and there was only ten minutes on the clock!
The remainder of the first third was a little scrappier, as Dudley upped their work rate and frustrated us whenever we tried to attack. In defence we were solid and composed, as our rivals were prevented from threatening Rob’s goal.
The second twenty was a similar story. Rob had little to do thanks to his solid defence, whilst in attack we lacked our usual fluidity and were tense. Balls went astray and first-touches were heavy. However the effort of the lads could not be brought into question, as they continued to run themselves into the ground. Despite the scrappy nature of the game, we were still in control.
Before the final period we told the lads to relax and to loosen up. They were giving it 100% and if they relaxed on the ball and started to play with a smile, the goals would come. This is exactly what happened as four goals in the final twenty minutes earned us another three points. The goals came through the lethal pairing of Kane and Troy, but it was Ilani in midfield who gave them the platform from which to attack. Patrolling the centre of the park, the Yenton midfield general broke up play superbly before releasing his attacking team mates with accuracy and pace. He coupled the defensive solidity shown by the back three, with the work rate shown by the wide boys Rio and Cameron, to earn himself a much deserved first under 11s Man of the Match award.
A special well done to William who made his debut for the under 11s following some eye-catching performance for the under 10s. Keep up the hard work Will and they’ll be more where that came from!
This game might have been scrappy at times, but that was very much down to Dudley’s work rate. To be walking away with six goals, having only conceded a penalty, and still not be entirely happy that we were at our very best says something special about this great set of lads. They set themselves the highest of standards and this is something that will take them far in life should they continue to do so!
Well done lads! A job well done!
Up The Ton!