|Sutton Coldfield District||4|
|Kings Norton District FC||2|
After our superb performance in the semi final against Harborne at the weekend, it was off to Bodymoor Heath for the District Final against Sutton Coldfield. A typically busy network of motorways meant a few nerves (mainly mine!) on the journey to the game. Everyone arrived in good time though and we got straight down to a thorough warm up.
Only one enforced change from the weekend side, with Terrel starting in midfield in place of the unfortunate Brendan (who had an ear operation earlier in the week) This meant Finley dropped to right back and Kai moved over to partner Patrick at the heart of defence.
The referee got the game underway on the perfect playing surface and the battle commenced. Kings Norton started strongly and were looking to impose themselves on the game. Playing some lovely football through midfield, we were unlucky to be caught by the linesman’s flag several times in the first ten minutes, on one occasion denying us the lead after our goal was chalked off after a shot came back off the Sutton keeper. We kept pressing though and when Terrel jinked his way into the penalty area he was upended by the defender and the referee pointed straight to the spot. Luke calmly stepped up to take the penalty and coolly sent the keeper the wrong way. 1-0 and a fantastic start. Kings Norton were not content with a one goal lead though and pushed for the second. They thought they had it when Harrison cleverly lobbed the keeper only for the ball to bounce agonisingly wide. Had it gone in the game would surely have taken a different course. Sutton however seemed invigorated that they were still in the game and with their first attack of the game the centre forward broke clear and toe poked the ball past the on rushing Ben and into the net.
1-1 and it was game on. Now Sutton were dominating possession and Kings Norton looked nervous for the first time in the match. Then came a moment of magic from the Sutton midfielder, as he arrowed a shot from fully 25yards into the top corner. Ben made a valiant effort to claw it out but it was simply too good. 1-2 and Sutton went into halftime in front.
Andrew and I encouraged the boys to keep their heads up during the halftime teamtalk. The next goal in the game would be crucial and should we get it then the game could go either way.
The second half started and in all fairness was a little scrappy, with us desperate to get back into the game and Sutton keen to hold what they had. With ten minutes gone of the second period, we decided to gamble and go for broke. Ellis came on up front and we adopted a 3-4-3 formation. The change did unbalance us slightly but we really needed to find a second goal. Nick and Harrison were running at the Sutton defenders at every opportunity and the only thing missing was the run of the ball at crucial times. At the other end Sutton always looked dangerous and when the midfielder found himself on the edge of the area he didn’t hesitate in toe poking the ball towards goal. It was actually a great contact and the ball flew into the roof of the net. 1-3
Understandably our heads dropped a little and with only ten minutes left it was a tall order to find two let alone three goals. We did not give up though and when Luke found himself through on goal there was surely only one outcome as he finished clinically. 2-3 and could we do it?
As sometimes happens in football though a very cruel twist followed seconds later. A shot from distance squirmed through Ben’s grasp and found the back of the net. 2-4 and hearts went out for the Kings Norton keeper who has been the best District keeper by a county mile all season. He will learn from this and go on to bigger and better things I’m sure.
Their fourth goal flattened us and we couldn’t lift ourselves again as Sutton held on to be crowned District Cup Champions.
Congratulations to Sutton who fully deserved their victory tonight and have a very talented squad of players. Mr Day should be extremely proud of his hard work and how his boys have played for him this season.
As for Kings Norton, it too has been a very successful season. We got to the Finals of both the indoor 5aside competition as well as tonight’s 11aside cup competition. Added to that was second place in the highly competitive District league.
All 17 boys should be extremely proud of their achievements and should treasure the memory of representing their school and District for years to come.
Good luck to all the boys in their future football careers and please keep in touch, especially when you are rich and famous Premier League players :-)
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