It’s been a little while since I updated the blog, so though it was time to bring you up-to-speed on events that have been taking place since the last instalment.
During that time, we played Leicester in the League and got a respectable 3-3 draw from the game. A week later, we beat Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 to take all 3 points.
This brought us into the recent local derby game against Aston Villa in good form and positive mood to go to Bodymoor Heath and get something from the game. Even though I’m not from the area, there is always something a bit special about a game against your biggest local rivals and this game was no exception.
We took an early lead in the first half through our captain Callum Reilly who has been in fine form of late. In the second half, we managed to build on this by increasing our lead. Mitchell Hancox showed great desire to put their goalkeeper under pressure after a sloppy back-pass from a Villa defender and managed to block the goalkeeper’s clearance which found its way into the net.
Villa did manage to claw a goal back late on in the game to put us under a bit of pressure and leave us disappointed that we hadn’t kept a clean sheet. But we hung on for the victory, a first away to Villa in recent memory.
The under-17 squad travelled to Chelsea a few days later, which I was also involved in. We played with a mixed under 16 and under-17 team on the day, so I was one of the more senior players in the side. We came away having been beaten 4-1 and it was a disappointing result. Nevertheless, it was a respectable performance for a young team playing away at a very good Chelsea team.
Things took a more positive turn in the evening. The entire Youth team all met up at the training ground to be taken for a trip up to St. Andrews for our first team league fixture at home to Burnley. We managed to snatch a dramatic late winner through Chris Burke to take all 3-points.
With no Academy league game on the following Saturday, a game had been arranged for us to take place at Solihull Moors FC against Cheltenham Town. The game was a warm-up for our upcoming FA Youth Cup game against Swindon Town. If we are drawn at home in the Cup, our early games would be played at Solihull, so the idea was to get us some valuable practice in under the floodlights and get used to the venue.
We fielded 2 different teams for each set of 45 minutes. At half-time, we were trailing by 2 goals to 0. We showed a much more spirited performance second half and managed to turn things around. Callum Reilly continued his good form by coming off the bench to score twice. Amari’I Bell added another and one of our Under 15 boys, George O’Neill took his goal superbly. Well, they do say it’s a game of two halves!
We were back in training on Monday morning ahead of our weekend clash away at Cardiff. We were beaten 2-1 in one of our worst performances for a while which meant we were in on the Sunday for extra training.
Our schedule for this week (w/c 5th December) is slightly different than usual as we gear up to our FA Youth Cup fixture away at Swindon Town next Monday. In my next instalment, I’ll fill you in on how the week went and, more importantly, how we get on in what is sure to be a tough game at The County Ground where we can hopefully progress through to the next round.
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