Saturday 9th March 2019 @ Nottingham University
English Schools’ FA Midlands 7-a-side Finals
Team: Danny, Kian S, Ethan, Rhys, Markie, Kyran, Daniel, Toby, Tavani and Callam
Goals: Tavani, Toby, Daniel and Callam
Man of the Match: Kian and Tavani – two performances of concentration, determination and desire. The two lads gave everything for the team in its quest for victory and a place in the national finals.
On a day better suited for the Midlands Kite Flying Finals, the boys travelled to a blustery Nottingham to compete in the regional stages of the ESFA inter-district u11s 7-a-side for the first time in the history of Erdington and Saltley. Having already reached the national finals of the 9-a-side game, the boys were determined to do the same in the smaller format of the beautiful game.
In their opening game against Nottingham, the lads had the better of the match, although couldn’t capitalise and finished with a 0-0 draw. This would turn out to be a great result against a very talented Nottingham team.
Next up was East Riding, the winners of the Humberside tournament. This was a historic match as it represented the first ever game between the two associations! After taking the lead through the right boot of Toby, the boys found their groove as they dominated the game despite failing to convert any more of their many chances.
Their third game was far less smooth, as the boys’ play became more disjointed and edgy. Nevertheless, despite being below their best, the boys snatched all three points late on when Daniel converted an Ethan cross with seconds left on the clock.
These three point left us in a great position to qualify, with the top two teams earning a place in the national finals. However, just when everything seemed to be going our way, we capitulated against South Derbyshire to give them their only points of the day.
That meant we had to win our last game against Leicester, although the boys knew they had to play much better if they were going to progress. Thankfully they saved their best football of the day for their final game of the day and played as a united team to dispatch the East Midlands side. Goals from Tavani and Callam saw us finish the day on 10 points, one behind winners Nottingham, and progress to the national finals for the first time ever!
Well done boys! It wasn’t easy or pretty at times but you did it!
Up The Ton!