Wednesday 1st June 2016 @ Derby County FC, Moor Farm Training Ground
Derby County 3 – 2 Erdington and Saltley
Team: Pharrelle, Sam, Kye, Taylor, Cian T, Tion, Diago, Rio, Samim, Ilani, Cameron P and Troy
Scorers: Cameron and Troy
There’s no doubt about it, the class of 2016 has put Erdington and Saltley on the national map. Throughout the season this set of boys have continued to break records, turn heads, win admirers and make new friends the length and breadth of the country.
After hearing about our exploits, Derby County FC invited the boys along to their plush Moor Farm training complex for a half-term friendly match. It was a great honour to be invited and one that the Derby County coaching team are glad they made, after describing our lads as “class” following a brilliant game.
The format of the game was different to what we are used to, with the first two quarters being played at 7-a-side and the final two quarters at 8-a-side. In effect it was two games rolled up into one. The 7-a-side game ended 1-1, with Debry County edging the bigger format 2-1. Personally I think a draw would have been a fair result as our lads were fantastic but lets not take anything away from our hosts who were excellent!
After Cameron was brought down in the box following a stunning run down the left, captain Troy was left to slot the penalty away to give us a 1-0 lead. Unfortunately the Derby County boys struck back almost instantly following a fine team move.
Half way through the game and the scores were level. The Ton were very much still in the game!
The third quarter saw Cameron pushed upfront, a move which proved profitable when the Gunter finisher finished expertly past the onrushing Derby County shot stopper. Once again we found ourselves in the lead. However once again Derby County struck back quickly to level the game at two goals apiece.
With the clock ticking down in the final quarter, Derby County took the lead for the first time in the game; once again it was a beautiful goal that fully deserved the applause it received.
No matter how hard we tried, we just couldn’t find the equaliser and the game ended 3-2 to the hosts.
Despite the loss, it was once of the most enjoyable games of an amazing season. Both sets of boys played with heart, whilst managing to find the right balance between physical football and free-flowing football. It was a joy to watch and yet another reason why the lads should be immensely proud of themselves.
As this mammoth season draws to a close, we’re all left wanting it to go on just that little bit longer!
Man of the match: All of the boys did themselves justice and no one looked out of place out there yesterday. All over the pitch, boys played like men. From goalkeeper through to striker. However Rio just nicks the man of the match accolade after impressing equally in defence and midfield.
Well done all of you! You’re a bunch of stars!
Up The Ton!