|Date||5 January 2019|
|Venue||Small Heath Leisure Centre|
|Result||L 0 - 1|
Yardley Badgers 0 V 1 West Bromwich
Yardley started with 8 players as four players fell ill on Saturday morning so West Bromwich kindly offered us a loan player. It was a strange 24hrs as on Friday night West Bromwich contacted us that they may be short of a few. At that time Yardley had 12 players so both teams agreed the game should go ahead and we would loan a player or make it 10 V 10.
Coming up to push back on Saturday at 2:30 it soon materialised that our home team would be short of four players. Both Captains agreed pitch side to even the teams up and therefore make it a competitive game.
As the game started Yardley had the better of the possession and made good passes to their team mates. No rusty cobwebs from the Christmas break. West Bromwich defended well and turned defence into attack on many occasions.
Our back two of Dawood and Thomas were solid and kept any danger from our keeper. Henry in midfield wanted to be up front but with the bit between his teeth controlled the middle strongly and drove into the attacking half many times, causing problems for the West Brom defenders. Our wingers of Evie and Samuel ran their hearts out up and down the pitch finding space out wide and our midfield found them nearly every time. Zak the other midfield player supported Henry and made lots a dribbling runs into attacking areas. Soon the home team defenders pushed high to support the midfield and Yardley dominated for a good twenty minutes. Islam our second adult covered the defenders and used his pace to run the length of the pitch at every opportunity. His strength and support certainly put Yardley in a strong position.
Dawood and Thomas were pushing even higher towards the end of the half and broke up a lot of the West Brom's midfield play with great tackles.
A few players from the first team arrived just before half time and due to some confusion tried to join our 9 players on the pitch. This unsettled the opposition and promptly put an adult player in defence to bolster this sudden change of tactic by the home team. After lengthy discussion between coaches it was clarified that each team can only field two adults on the pitch at any given time. The two first teamers promptly left the field of play and helped John Ballard and Mr Dean coach and support the young team for the test of the game.
Unfortunately for Yardley the visitors kept the adult defender at the rear and he blocked 90% of our attacks in and around his "D".
At half time the talk was about going for the win, which in all fairness the home team deserved playing with 9 against 11. The decision to push on in the final 35minutes for a victory left the back unprotected for long periods. The plan to push high and outnumber the visitors back line and midfield looked to be working with many attacks. But they just kept getting blocked by the steadfast adult defender. To his credit he didn't push high and remained calm making good flat stick tackles numerous times. (The Yardley Badgers must learn to dribble away from these adult defenders or pass around them).
Unfortunately our tactic left only one defender protecting the keeper and West Bromwich breakaway attacks looked dangerous but Islam and then Zak did great work running back and making tackles when it was 4 v 1 (plus keeper) every time. Unperturbed Yardley kept attacking then disastrously the soul defender got entangled with the opposite number adult and the break by the visitors was 4 v the keeper with the tracking back midfield to far away to help and the West Bromwich team scored as Anthony in goal was totally outnumbered. In the final five minutes the home team swapped adult players in midfield and passed the ball from the attacking 23 into the "D" looking to equalise. Some chances went close but alas time was not on the team side.