Team Men’s 2nd Team
Opponent Old Wulfrunians 4
Date January 20, 2024
Result Win
Score 2 – 0

Old Wulfrunians Men’s 4s 0-2 CoB Men’s 2ndXI

Goalscorers: Sean Brookes and Noah Jarvis

City of Birmingham’s  second team only had 9 available players for various reasons and decided to set about a plan to restrict the opposition’s goal attempts. The targets  set by the Captain were to keep a clean sheet and at the very least not to concede more than 5 goals ( a prerequisite if the team failed to play due to short fall in numbers)

The first half was a pretty-even affair with both teams trying to control the midfield. Ben and Stan held firm in the middle and won nearly all their tackles giving possession to the visitors. The home team eventually made use of their extra players (and the 3 subs on the side-lines)  and got a few shots at goal. Jack in goal made four or five brilliant saves kicking the ball to safety. Pressure started to build and Edan playing a critical role as centre back getting strong challenges on the final attackers keeping the defensive line solid. Isa helped the team as right back with Paul as left back, they marked and guided the attacking wingers safely down the channels. Pressure eventually eased for the visitors and Noah and Ben made telling runs into the home teams “D” getting shots away. The loan striker Sean stayed high to be a release option for the midfield finding space for pass options through the first half. Anthony helping the team came back from his usual striker’s role to be a defensive left winger, he pressed the home team’s counterpart and got great tackles restricting drives down our left. As the half came to an end at 0-0 the visitors were the happier of the two sides.

Buoyed by the performance in the first half and surprised by the score line, the team decided to do the same tactics realising we could get something from this game after all!. Jack’s saves definitely kept the visitors in the game but the whole team playing accurate passes and trying to be less expansive gave them a glimmer of a chance.

As the second half started Noah got a second wind and he continuously ran at his markers driving past players with speed and skill and attacked the “D” either with great crosses or shots at goal.  He was ably supported by Sean who gradually worked off his injuries and made some great runs with the ball and also pressed the home side’s back line. Gradually, the visitors began to control the midfield and used the wide players to better effect. The visitors were stringing sets of passes together building in confidence with every second. Ben and Stan were bossing the midfield and were getting the ball to Noah who ran deeper and deeper at the defensive line. The pressure eventually told and Noah drifted across the “D” and put a tomahawk shot at the back post, Sean waiting at the back post stopped the ball and made sure of the goal, giving the visitors the lead. Isa was pushing high with this one goal cushion and he too drove forward with the ball to support the midfield attacks. During this half the COBHC defence stayed controlled and marked all of Old Wulfs’ attacking options. Jack didn’t have a save to make this half.

As the game wore on both teams became tired and spaces opened up for both sides and the game became end to end stuff with the home team getting excellent crosses into the “D” but their attackers couldn’t  latch onto the powerful drives. During this period the visitors won three penalty corners but unfortunately Stan couldn’t get space to power the ball home. The home team keeper was getting tested a few times but he saved well. Eventually Noah got the second COBHC goal which gave the team a cushion and took the pressure off the back four who then pressed higher than throughout the rest of the game to support the midfield more. This didn’t cause any problems and the visitors ended up looking like they had 11 on the pitch not 9.

The midfield power house of Ben and Stan combining was a joy to watch against very tough conditions. A fantastic victory with everyone getting the man of the match award as the whole team’s effort was immense.

Categories: Match Reports