Saturday 13th November, 2021 @ Vale Stadium, Castle Vale
Aston 1 – 3 Erdington and Saltley
Team: Jack, Cairo, Oliver, Shae, Pharrell, Ovander, Rio, Mathaar, Endri, Zacchaeus, Yassin and Ben
Goals: Mathaar x 3
Man of the Match: Ovander – dragged the team forward kicking and screaming
With 58 minutes played, Aston were leading 1-0. Two minutes later, as the ref’s whistle echoed around Vale Stadium, The Ton boys celebrated a remarkable 3-1 victory. Football is cruel and the Aston boys deserved so much more. However, the Erdington and Saltley boys showed great spirit and fight to continue going until the final whistle, just as they had done earlier in the season against East Birmingham.
The first half saw Aston take an early lead following a defensive mix-up in the Erdington back line. That set the tine for what was an uncharacteristically below par performance from the boys. Aston were hungrier and first to every ball. We simply could not get going in the opening period and the boys from B7 dominated proceedings.
Following the half-time break, a few changes were made, most notably with Rio slotting into the heart of defence and Cairo stepping up into centre midfield. While these changes brought stability to proceedings, we still couldn’t find that all important spark.
With time ticking, we laid siege on the Aston goal, only to find our shooting boots awry and the woodwork impenetrable. But then it all changed. Then Mathaar stepped up to take a free kick wide on the right. At that point, there was two minutes left on the clock. Boom! A thunderous left-footed strike flew past the Aston keeper and into the top right of the net. Pandemonium.
We then profited from a piece of Aston misfortune as the game turned on its head. As Mathaar’s equalising shot rocketed past the Aston keeper, he took a blow to the head and had to sit out the final two minutes. Spurred on by the goal, the boys went for the win. Immediately from the Aston kick off, Ovander regained possession, as he had done on countless occasions all game, and burst forward. With the stand-in Aston keeper closing down the angle, Mathaar managed to round him to slot the ball away. More pandemonium. Then with the final kick of the game, Mathaar claimed his first hat-trick of the season with a stinging strike from the left of the Aston area to make it 3-1 to The Ton.
While Aston did not deserve to lose and were by far the better team for most of the game, we showed a brilliant spirit as illustrated by the joyful scenes that greeted each Ton goal. These boys are made of stern stuff. They are real friends. They’re a proper team.
Well done boys!
Up The Ton!