Team Men’s 2nd Team
Opponent Worcester 7
Date March 2, 2024
Result Win
Score 2 – 1

CoB Men’s 2ndXI 2-1 Worcester Men’s 7s

Goalscorers: Ezekiel Bell and Robin Stanley

With heavy traffic and cold weather around Small Heath the home team struggled to get fully warmed up and get set up their full game strategy. Starting late on a cold Saturday afternoon was not ideal and the team struggled for most of the first half.

The visitors started with a high line and a high tempo and strong press. This put COBHC on the back foot almost immediately and the backline and keeper were exposed minutes into the game. The young players on the visitors’ team played with confidence. The Worcester defence played the ball to the midfield young players who controlled the ball turned and run at the midfielders then passed the ball to willing runners up front. The diagonal runs behind the home defence were fast and towards the back posts. The pressure was almost constant for ten minutes. Worcester were winning lots of penalty corners and getting shots away in open play, This eventually resulted in a deserved goal. Startled, shocked and shaken, the home team reset, the Captain Edan encouraged more confident play with more short passing and runs off the ball.

James in the middle alongside Ben and Zee began to get the better of the visitors’ youthful midfield. They put strong but fair tackles in to win the ball and began to link more attacking plays against Worcester. The defence guided by Ian started to get through balls past the high line of the visitors. The game settled into a more even affair with the home team gaining more possession. All the players in the home team started to get better and Stan upfront started to get more of the ball from the midfielder trio and the wide players of Kamran, Anthony, Ethen and Andre.( rotating subs )

 All the work rate soon enough resulted in a deserved equaliser, a through ball by Ian was flicked on by Ben to Zee at the top of the “D”. Zee dribbled towards goal past a defender then dribbled straight towards goal passing it to the right of the keeper, it was as though he was “walking it into the goal” as the keeper stayed stationary. Going into half-time on level terms was lucky for the home team as Worcester had started so strongly, but credit to the home team who battled back into the game.

As snow fell during the second half, both teams wondered if the game would be cancelled before the end, but the heavy snow fall was short lived. The cold weather did impact on the home team’s youngsters whose  hands were struggling to feel their sticks as their hands got more numb. The Worcester high press and strong physicality again proved problematic for the home defence and Jack again made some great saves. Two saves were one on one affairs as the fast breakaway forwards charged onto through balls. But Jack timed his charge out towards the striker perfectly closing all the angles and making the saves look simple and easy, (which they weren’t )

The home team enjoyed more of the possession this half as they tried more short passing and better control on the ball. This resulted in Stan (the target man upfront) getting chances left, right and centre. The keeper was stopping the shots on target but Stan didn’t get frustrated but battled away. Eventually all his efforts  paid off with the winning goal. Unlike all the powerful shots before which were stopped, this goal was a dribbling skirmish through three defenders whose feet hit the ball a number of times but with good advantage from the umpire, Stan continued forward towards goal and reverse jabbed his shot guiding it wide of the keeper.

Worcester pressed harder, but Ian was breaking up the play in the middle with strong tackles and set off with forward attacks. The home team started to win more penalty corners, as Ben and Zee made driving runs at goal. The wide players were used more and spaces started to appear as the home team stretched the visitors. To the Captain’s disapproval, COBHC started to look for a third goal with five minutes remaining as the team clicked with a good formation and style, pushing high. Soon the sideline coach was screaming for the team to be solid and shore up the defence and hold on to the three points.

The start of the game was so different from the end with a complete turnaround in fortunes. I could only put this down to a team determination which is stubborn along with tremendous hard work. Every player put a shift in for the game. Every player worked their socks off to get the result against the team struggling at the bottom of the division. How Worc7’s in each fixture home and away put in such great performances just shows how hard this division 10SW is and how proud this City of Birmingham 2s should be to confirm a solid fourth place and still be pushing for third in the last league game next week 4pm at Stourport. Friendly fixtures are booked for March after the last league game so don’t hang up your boots until Easter COBHC 2s!


Categories: Match Reports