Saturday 28th April 2017 @ Longlevens Junior School, Gloucester
Midland Challenge Trophy
Gloucester 1 – 4 Erdington and Saltley
Team: Gerard, Ilani, Cameron, Cian T, Che, Tiarno, Toby, Kian S, Fareed, Liam, Resharne, Jaiy, Telpher and James
Scorers: Liam x 2, Ilani and Cameron
Man of the Match: James – the next in a long line of Mee/Whitty boys to represent The Ton was a rock at the back!
Gloucester away is always one of the games I look for first when the fixtures come out at the start of the season. I just love it! The Gloucester boys make us feel like royalty and the setup at Longlevens is something for all districts to aspire to replicate.
Saturday’s game was another really good game of football, played in the true spirit of schools’ football.
The match couldn’t have started any better for The Ton when Liam found himself in space on the left hand side of the area, before slotting the ball home to give us a one goal lead. However Gloucester soon rallied and clawed their way back into the game by capitalising on a Ton defensive lapse to finish past Gerard.
At half time we demanded more passion and energy as Gloucester were arguably the better team of the opening thirty minutes.
The boys responded in style by retaking the lead two minutes into the second half. Finding himself in acres of space, captain Ilani had time to take the ball out of the air before coolly putting the ball into the bottom right hand corner.
Now in the ascendancy, the boys from B23 made sure of the victory when the lively Cameron rifled home after some trademark tenacity down the left channel. The final goal ensured Audley boy Liam bagged himself a brace of goals and bounced back to form following a few quiet weeks. However had Che’s excellent work rate up front been matched by the team’s ability, or inability, to read the offside trap, another goal or two might have come our way.
Gloucester refused to lie down and tested Gerard on a number of occasions, with the Abbey shot stopper proving particularly adept when is came to one-on-ones. The Ton defensive line was further reinforced by Tiarno who was having a cracking game, after switching from his normal left back position to the right hand side of the three man back line.
The scoreline was pleasing but the most pleasing thing about the game was the manner in which the six under 10s and two under 9s stepped up to support the under 11s who were thin on the ground. They grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck and rolled up their sleeves in true Ton style.
Furthermore the u11s boys should be given praise for the way that they looked after their younger peers. My lasting memory of the game will be the image of Ilani handing the Midland Challenge Trophy over to Resharne. The under 11s captain handing the baton to the under 10s captain in his penultimate game for the district.
Well done boys! You all did us proud!
Up The Ton!