Saturday 14th December 2019 @ Vale Stadium, Castle Vale
Birmingham Primary Schools’ FA Under 11s League
Erdington and Saltley 3-1 Sutton Coldfield
Team: Danny, Hughey, Josh, Ethan, Reo, Jahkadi, Oscar, Markie, Lennon, Jason, Ebrima, Kortney, Chase, Keon and Kayden
Goals: Lennon x 2 and Markie
Man of the Match: Lennon – midfield dynamo continues his rich vein of form!
2019 has been a great year for the boys of Erdington and Saltley. Some of the highlights include:
- 7 a side national final
- 9 a side national final (third overall)
- Birmingham Primary Schools’ FA League winners
- West Midlands County Schools’ FA Cup winners
- Birmingham Primary Schools’ FA Summer Cup under 10s winners
- Birmingham Primary Schools’ FA 7-a-side under 11s winners
- Birmingham Primary Schools’ FA 7-a-side under 10s winners
- West Midlands County Schools FA 7-a-side
- Markie – broke scoring record for boys
- Toby – broke appearance record for boys
- Reo and Ebrima signed for Birmingham City FC
Yet despite all of the above, the first half of this season is rivals all of these achievements. To go 15 games unbeaten at the start of a season is an incredible achievement. To win all 15 games is even more amazing. None of this would have been possible if it wasn’t for the great spirit that has developed over the past few months.
There have been games and times when we have had to dig deep and claw ourselves back into contention, yet we have managed to do so. There have been times when victory has seemed anything but possible, yet the boys have simply dug in and refused to give up. With a squad of 17 players, we have never started with the same squad two games in succession. This is testament to the depth and quality of the whole squad. The boys have been a credit to Erdington and Saltley and Saturday was no different.
With the league campaign now past the half-way mark, the boys knew the Sutton game represented a pivotal Birmingham Primary Schools’ FA 7-a-side under 10s winners moment in their quest to claim the 2019/20 title. Sutton Coldfield, as always, are a quality outfit. The boys knew they would have to bring their A game on Saturday.
With 15 minutes on the clock and following a formidable start from The Ton, Sutton struck first after converting a wind-swept corner past Danny. In previous seasons, this might have proved a blow from which we wouldn’t have recovered. This team is different though. They regrouped and equalised before the first break when Lennon slammed home from a Jason right wing cross.
At 1-1 and now playing with the wind in their favour, the boys extended their lead when Lennon once again slotted home from distance, this time from a Chase layoff. Had luck been on their side, they might have led by more after Jason stuck the post and Chase was a hair’s width from sliding in and connecting with a Jason cross.
Nevertheless, as the third and final period started, the boys were in the lead and determined to add more goals. Our final goal came from talisman Markie who continued his remarkable record of scoring every weekend of the season. With 68 goals to his name so far this campaign, our captain will be the first to admit that he would be nowhere near that figure if it wasn’t for the creativity of his peers. With Josh, Keon, Lennon and Jason creating chances aplenty for The Ton, it was only a matter of time before Markie capitalised.
Moments before his goal, Markie watched in dismay as his shot trickled wide of the keeper’s left hand post. Thankfully, a matter of seconds latter, he found the net when he smashed home from an Oscar pass.
More shots on goal were to come, especially as Sutton attacked us in great numbers and inevitably left gaps as they gallantly went in search of a share of the points. Alas, no further goals were forthcoming and this sensational game ended 3-1 to The Ton. although a huge amount of respect must go to Sutton who more than played their part in a great game.
At this point it would be fitting to mention each and every one of the 16 players, but I simply don’t have the space! From Ethan heading every areal raid to Danny making a smart starfish save at his near post with the scoreline poised at 2-1. The boys were sensational and a credit to us all.
As 2019 draws to a close, we are running out of superlatives for this group of boys. I think we better ask Santa for a thesaurus.
Well done boys!
Up The Ton!