Team Men’s 2nd Team
Opponent Stourport 6
Date March 9, 2024
Result Draw
Score 2 – 2

Stourport Men’s 6s 2-2 CoB Men’s 2ndXI

Goalscorer: Robin Stanley x2

A long hour’s drive for a 4pm pushback over to Stourport was not what the doctor ordered for the final league game of the season! At least the weather was drier and warmer than last week’s game.

The Captain Edan rallied the troops and persuaded the team to make this long excursion to finish on a high.

 A positive note was that both first team and second team had 12 in their squads at the later stages of the season, usually through injuries and work both teams struggle as the season comes the final weeks.

It was a top of the league clash today with fourth (COBHC) playing second. The visitors were still pushing for third place whilst Stourport had guaranteed second spot and the promotion slot.

The home team started with a positive forward thrust and the visitors sat deep to soak up the early pressure as a few players were a little late arriving (distance/time etc). The City midfield combined with the defenders to hold the attacks at bay but couldn’t push into the home team half. The build up of pressure from Stourport led to a few shots which Jack saved. The visitors panicked a little under the pressure and couldn’t get the passing under control. Against the run of play, Paul intercepted a ball going to the winger and charged from his own half along the wing to the base line and cracked in a cross which won a short corner, (the highest up the pitch all season!). Unfortunately, no rewards from the short but it inspired other players to take the game up a level. Stan drove through the midfield getting past five defenders going towards the “D” but his final pass was wide. Eventually the team was up to full strength but positionally they were out of shape. The young wide player on Stourport’s right was causing lots of trouble for the visitors and was dribbling at will into the heart of the defence. Eventually the pressure told and through a poor clearance they struck the first goal. Unusually, the game then became more even and Ben, Zee and Kamran in midfield got more of the ball and supplied Ian going upfront. He got two shots away testing the home team’s keeper. Tired legs in the home team opened up spaces for our willing runners and the wide players got more of the ball. Ethen was playing one of the wide roles and his effort and skill shone through and he won man of the match awards after the game. In this half he played a cracking cross field pass to the other wide player spreading the play with a powerful hit cross. Eventually the visitors settled into a steady rhythm and began to take control of the game with the home team trying to thread passes through a congested midfield. Worcester eventually held onto the lead going into half time. ‘

Finally, all together, the team reset the formation and game plan. Focus on using the width and calm the passing down when under pressure. Within minutes of the start a through ball from defence (Paul) found Zee who threaded it to Stan who blasted the ball through the keeper’s pads. 1-1.

Each team was in attack mode and it became end to end stuff with the visitors’ defence stretched, but luckily the long ball passes failed to get through to the players in space behind the back line. The coaches on the side voiced their concerns and the back line covered the danger. Tired legs again in Stourport’s midfield gave the five midfielders space to pass or run into clear areas. Great passing and movement developed, moving higher up the pitch. Stan’s next goal was a full-on team passing affair all around the “D”. Zee found Ethen who passed to Ben who passed to Zee again, eventually Stan shouted “I’m standing at the top of the D”…Zee passed the ball to Stan and he powered his shot in the bottom left corner. 2-1 with fifteen minutes to go. The visitors kept the high pressure looking for the third and did have more shots at goal. The use of the wide players meant lots of crosses kept going in with scrambled shots at goal. Ethen got a pass in the far-right corner and he moved into the “D” and powered a reverse tomahawk on target making the keeper saving at the near post. Possibly the visitors could have tactically gone defensive and passed the ball back to keep possession but the team spurred on pushed hard for a third with minutes to go. Then a quick breakaway got Stourport off the back foot and they won five short corners in a row. Eventually they got their eye in and shot a powerful low drive under the keeper’s out-stretched foot hitting the side board. 2-2 and as City took the restart the final whistle blew. To be so disappointed with a draw is an understatement. To go to second in the league, who have only lost once all season and nearly get the three points shows the City of Birmingham Second team’s improvements since the season began.


Categories: Match Reports