Saturday 6th October 2018 @ Vale Stadium, Castle Vale
Birmingham Primary Schools’ FA League and West Midlands County Schools’ FA League
Erdington and Saltley Black 3 – 6 South Birmingham Blue
Team: Sean, Wiktor, Toby, Jeval, Daniel, Markie, Josh, Romaeo and Tavani
Goals: Toby, Romaeo and Markie
Man of the Match: All of them for giving their best in testing circumstances
Matters away from the pitch ruined what could have been a great day for The Ton on the pitch. A win against South Birmingham Blue would have cemented our place at the top of both league tables and sent out a signal to the whole of the West Midlands. As it was, a number of very late withdrawals left us in tatters. With five mins to go before kick off and players still withdrawing so close to the ref signalling the start of the game, the boys only had six players and were on the brink of forfeiting the game.
Fortunately for us, three members of the Gold team turned up 45 mins early to cheer on the Black team, such is their commitment to The Ton. With the team patched up and out on the pitch, the lads started the game like a team possessed. They dominated much of the first third, creating chance after chance and controlling the game from the opening whistle. They took a deserved lead through Romaeo but failed to add the goals that their dominance warranted. With the rain pouring down, South Birmingham equalised shortly before the break to end the first 20 minutes one apiece.
The boys were told to forget about holding a high line although they failed to action this instruction and were repeatedly punished during the second and third periods with long balls over the top. South Birmingham played this tactic superbly and punished us time and time again, utilising the blistering pace that they had up front to race into a 3-1 lead after 40 mins.
With nothing left to lose, The Ton threw caution to the wind and pushed Daniel and Toby further up field in hope of levelling the game. Alas, South did what South were doing very well by hitting us on the break and hurting us with pace.
Despite creating a wealth of further chances and scoring through Markie and Toby, the boys succumbed to a 6-3 defeat and were left frustrated by matters away from the field.
Regardless of the result, the nine boys who battled their hearts out all game did us proud and gave us hope throughout a rain soaked morning. We will bounce back stronger in the future and everything is still to play for. However in order to do so, we all need to show the hunger and commitment demonstrated by the nine lads on Saturday morning.
Well done boys!
Up The Ton!