Saturday 11th March 2017 @ Heartlands Academy
West Midlands County Schools’ FA League
Erdington and Saltley 5 – 1 Solihull
Team: Gerard, Taylor, Danny, Tiarno, Cian, Cameron, Che, Blessing, Ilani, William and Liam
Goals: Ilani x 3, Cian and Che
Man of the Match: Cian – After a performance like that, it doesn’t seem right signalling out one player. Every single one of the lads contributed to that stunning victory, regardless of whether they started or finished the game. All over the pitch there were warriors. In the centre of the park, Cian was a whirlwind of energy and determination. He shielded the back three brilliantly and supported the attackers at every opportunity.
Following our return to form against Wolverhampton last weekend, the boys continued where they left off by piling the pressure on the unbeaten Solihull from the first whistle. Prior to the game we talked about starting brightly and trying to kill the game off before the end of the first twenty.
Seconds after the game kicked off and following the first attack of the match, we were one goal to the good, after Ilani scored by striking low and hard into the far corner. We couldn’t have asked for a better start! Refusing to sit back, the lads went for it again and were soon 2-0 up when Ilani scored his second of the game. Despite this being his first game for a couple of weeks, the Ton captain was determined to lead his teammates into battle and gave a stunning performance of sheer grit and determination to lead his boys from the front. With Solihull unable to build any real attacks, the lads bagged their third of the opening 20 minutes when Cian scored his third goal in two games. Stalking the back post, the midfielder schemer connected perfectly with a Che far-post corner to leave the lads 3-0 up and in a commanding position. Further chances came and went and it is no exaggeration to say the 3-0 scoreline could have feasibly been doubled.
Being the quality team that they are, we fully expected Solihull to bounce back during the second twenty and they did just that, although only after Ilani completed his hat-trick to make it 4-0 to The Ton. With Liam now up front, the year five finisher ran at the Solihull defence before being taken down and earning a penalty, which Ilani duly dispatched.
This was the catalyst for Solihull to bounce back, which they did through their incredibly talented striker Frankie who caused our defence a number of problems throughout the game. Although it should be said how resolute Tiarno, Danny and Taylor were – another solid performance from the boys.
However no sooner had we conceded to make it 4-1 than we restored our four goal lead when Che turned expertly on the left before unleashing a screamer from far out which nestled into the top left corner of the goal! With Che working hard down the left and creating chances, Blessing was doing exactly the same down the right. For the second successive game, both wingers caused problems for the opposition.
The final third saw William come on and add some fresh impetus, with the Abbey midfielder creating a number of openings for the team. One of these attacks resulted in a Cameron shot that came crashing back off the inside of the post before being cleared by the Solihull defence. A goal would have been just reward for a Cemeron performance of energy and creativity.
With The Ton lads tiring following their incredible effort, it was left to Gerard to expertly come off his line on several occasions to prevent Solihull from adding to their single goal.
As stated at the outset, this was a brilliant team performance and arguably our best of the season. Solihull are a talented team but we simply didn’t allow them to get into their stride.
Well done lads!
Up The Ton!