Wednesday 4th May saw the Football Aid season continue at Birmingham City’s St Andrew’s stadium, and the Blues fans certainly served up a great game with the Home team managed by Jeff Kenna, edging an action packed encounter 6-5, against Kevin Poole’s Away team.
Date: Wednesday 4th May 2016
Venue: St Andrew’s
Birmingham City (Home) vs Birmingham City (Away)
Kick Off: 19:00 pm
Legends: Jeff Kenna, Maik Taylor, Kevin Poole, Robert Hopkin & Dean Holtham
Match Officials: Jamie Lunn, James Jeavons & Daniel Conway
The Home team kicked the game off and it didn’t take long for former Blues keeper Maik Taylor to demonstrate his outfield skills, with some skilful footwork on show from the Legend when pushing forward from the left back position.
The 1st chance fell to the Home side when No 9 Mario Zachariou slid the ball through to Captain Neil Wall, who made Away No 1 Sam Godsall leap and get his right hand in the way of the shot.
The Home side dominated the early stages but just couldn’t muster any chances in the final third. However, the Away team’s 1st clear chance came when No 11 Geoff Smith raced through the defence before striking straight at the goalkeeper.
The Home team kept knocking at the door of the Away defence and were denied yet again when Away No 1 Sam Godsall brilliantly saved No 11 Tony Sewell’s double attempt.
Away No 1 Sam Godsall was certainly the busier of the two keepers in the 1st half, and Home striker Tony Sewell tried beating him at his near post, but another good save round the post kept the score 0-0.
The crossbar was rattled in the 25th min when a cross from Home No 7 Neil Wall was met by Luke Pagett, the No 8 tried curling the ball into the top corner but instead saw his shot hit the bar!
The Away team quickly countered when No 8 Joe Feehan’s mazy run was halted by Home Legend Maik Taylor’s sliding challenge, however the ball landed into the path of Away striker Geoff Smith whose shot hit the side netting.
With plenty of chances at both ends it was no surprise the deadlock was broken on 33mins. The goal came when Away No 9 Kev Wright found himself free in the box and finished excellently from close range (0-1).
However it didn’t take long for the Home team to equalise, 3 mins in fact, after No 8 Luke Pagett curled a shot from outside the box into the top right hand corner of the goal (1-1).
Just as the half-time whistle was approaching, the Home side took the lead when No 11 Tony Sewell caught the keeper off guard and scored direct from a corner to bring the game in favour of the Home team (2-1).
And that was the last piece of action in a tight 1st half in which the Home team dominated the possession but the Away team defended well.
Half Time: Birmingham City (Home) 2 - 1 Birmingham City (Away)
The Away team restarted the game and came out fighting for the equaliser; and they didn’t have long to wait, Away No 7 and Captain Adam Shakespeare with a great finish in the box in the 47th min (2-2). Game on!
Away Team Legend Manager Kevin Poole must have had a strong team talk featuring new attacking tactics, as his side were unstoppable and they made it 2-3 in the 50th min when Away No 11 Geoff Smith found himself at the back post to head home a corner (2-3).
A frantic start to the 2nd half continued when the Away team doubled their lead when Away No 10 Peter Brunton-Douglas played a quick 1-2 with fullback Matthew Bailey, leading to Craig Gill striking the ball into the net in the 52nd min (2-4).
The Home team soon responded to the Away team’s quick start though and No 9 Mario Zachariou latched on to a ball over the top of the defence and poked home in the 55th min to bring his side back to within one goal (3-4).
Home No 10 Matthew Moore then had the chance to bring the game level again when he found himself one-on-one with the Away keeper, however the ever impressive Sam Godsall got a strong left hand to the ball and pushed it over the crossbar.
Shortly after, Home No 10 Matthew Moore found himself in a similar situation but this time opted to go around the goalkeeper and scored a simple tap in to level the scores in the 60th min (4-4).
It was turning out to be a closely fought battle between the two midfields and Football Aid veteran Mark Feehan was in goal for the 2nd half of the game and he showed his talents between the sticks when he tipped the ball around the post following a one-on-one with Away No 11 Geoff Smith.
His opposite number then sent the Home team on a quick counter attack and Kev Wright showed great composure to score his 2nd of the night to put his team back in front in the 65th min (4-5).
Another goal followed but this time it was the Home team who equalised. A lovely threaded through ball through from No 6 Aidan Peaty found No 10 Matthew Moore who scrambled the ball home in the 70th min (5-5).
80 mins on the clock and the Home side took the lead again! No 10 Matthew Moore securing his hat-trick by smashing the ball home from 15 yards out after a loose ball from a corner fell to his feet (6-5).
That was to be the final goal of the game, and it meant the Home team ended up winners by the narrowest of margins against a very strong Away team. Both teams showed some great defending throughout the night, with Sam Godsall’s performance in goal for the Away team especially outstanding, and managers Jeff Kenna & Kevin Poole will be pleased the players listened to their advice. Huge thanks to all the players and spectators involved at St Andrew’s and a special thanks also to our FOUR legends, Jeff Kenna, Maik Taylor, Kevin Poole and Robert Hopkin for sharing valuable tips and experience throughout the evening for all our players.
Full Time: Birmingham City (Home) 6 - 5 Birmingham City (Away)
Man of the Match Home: Matthew Moore
Man of the Match Away: Sam Godsall
Moment of the Match: Tony Sewell
Home Team: Jack Feehan, Adam Canning, Maik Taylor, Mark Feehan, Ricky Sewell, Aidan Peaty, Neil Wall (C), Luke Pagett, Mario Zachariou, Matthew Moore, Tony Sewell, Aidan Peaty (H6), Garry Philpot, Curtis Ishmael, John Denley
Home Manager: Jeff Kenna
Home Mascot: Liam Cosgrove
Away Team: Sam Godsall, Matthew Botley, Robert Hopkin/Craig Gill, Tim Evans, Andy Botley, Dave Wheatley, Adam Shakespeare (C), Joe Feehan, Kev Wright, Peter Brunton-Douglas, Geoff Smith, Matthew Botley (A2), Jamie Madden, Joe Feehan (A8), Andy Botley (A5)
Away Manager: Kevin Poole
Away Mascot: Florence Godsall
Match Report written by Matt Annis