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Birmingham City 2018

Our Birmingham City games have the habit of throwing up great entertainment and this year’s contest was certainly no different, with brilliant goals, fantastic saves and plenty of end to end action for the fans in the stands to enjoy. The Home team ran out 4-1 winners in the end, however the Away team pushed them all the way and both teams could be hugely proud of their excellent efforts on the night.

Date: Wednesday 9th May 2018
Venue: St Andrew’s
Birmingham City (Home) vs Birmingham City (Away)
Kick Off: 19:00 pm
Legends & Managers: Darren Carter & Nicky Eaden
Match Officials: Philip Taylor, Josh Cattell, Bradley Holland & Daniel Hodgkiss

The Birmingham City teams walked proudly onto the hallowed St Andrew’s turf alongside Blues Legends Darren Carter and Nicky Eaden, and the players were certainly inspired by their heroes as both sides started the game on the front foot, playing the ball about well on the excellent playing surface. 

Chances were at a premium in the early stages though, with both defences coping well with the opposition’s attacking threat. Pascual Ciampi’s orange boots certainly made him stand out from the crowd, the Away centre mid looked bright in the opening stages and even tried his luck from distance, however his well struck effort was just too high. 

Back came the Home team and when Frank Ward collected a pass on the edge of the area and turned and curled a shot high towards goal, he looked odds on to open the scoring, however Away keeper Sam Godsall somehow tipped the dipping effort onto the top of the crossbar for a corner. What save by the White team’s No 1!

The Home team were on top now and Darren Carter was causing problems down the left hand side, however the Away centre back pairing of Andrew Allen and Scott Jordan were marshalling their defence well and their team withstood the spell of pressure. The Blues came close when Frank Ward raced clear on the left side of the box and squared the ball to strike partner Marios Zachariou, however the No 9’s effort was just too high. Ward’s pace was causing problems for the Away defence and he sprinted clear of the defence again on 25mins before side footing an effort goalwards, however the Away goalkeeper Godsall did brilliantly again to save the low shot with his left foot.     

However the goal was coming and on 28mins the Home team took a deserved lead. Legend Darren Carter collected a long pass from defence on the left hand side and drove infield, he tried to play in Marios Zachariou and when the ball rebounded straight back to him he made no mistake, curling a left foot shot from 20 yards just inside the near post (1-0).

The Away team responded well and their No 2 Tyrone Dawes almost scored with a high cross come shot from 25 yards out, however Home keeper Neil Heath did well to claw the ball away for a corner. Back came the Home team and the lively Frank Ward almost got on the end of a cut back from Carter, however he couldn’t quite stretch his leg far enough to side-foot it home. The Home No 7 Ryan Aspley also went close soon afterwards, however his powerful header flashed narrowly wide of the near post.  

At the other end Pascual Ciampi raced onto a through ball and rounded the keeper, however from a tight angle he could only find the side-netting. With only minutes to go until half-time the Home team had another great opportunity when Darren Carter teed up their Captain Lee McGuinness in the centre of the penalty area, however the No 10 pulled his shot narrowly wide of the left hand post.   

That was to be the last real action of the half and the Home side went into the break with a single goal advantage. The Away team had done very well to keep themselves in the game though and it was all to play for in the 2nd half. 

Half-Time: Birmingham (Home) 1 - 0 Birmingham (Away)

The Whites came out after the break determined to get back on level terms and their striker Chris Francis tried his luck from distance early on, however his powerful right foot effort was just too high. Substitute Steven Foreman then played in Francisco Centeno on the left side of the area, however the man from Florida, USA was unfortunate to see his low shot well saved by the feet of Neil Heath.  

The Blues broke clear at the other end and Marios Zachariou’s low shot looked destined for the far corner, however Sam Godsall just did enough to deflect the ball past the post with his left boot. Back came the Away team and with 62mins on the clock they found an equaliser. Steve Foreman collected a pass from Legend Nicky Eaden on the edge of the box, turned and fired a shot on goal, Home keeper Neil Heath couldn’t hold onto Foreman’s effort and the ball fell to Chris Francis who controlled the ball expertly with his thigh and poked it home with the outside of his right boot (1-1).

However the White’s joy was short lived and the Blues were back in front on 68mins. Tony Sewell started the move, intercepting the ball and playing it to his Legend, Darren Carter then drove infield and set up Frank Ward on the edge of the area, the striker smashed a shot goalwards which Godsall brilliantly saved. However the ball fell straight to Marios Zachariou, who unselfishly laid the ball sideways to Ryan Aspley and the No 7 fired the ball into the net with his left foot! (2-1)      

The Away team were starting to tire now and a brilliant finish from Marios Zachariou looked to have put the game to bed on 73mins. Darren Carter floated a perfect ball over the top of the defence and Zachariou controlled it with his head on the run, then curled a fantastic shot into the far corner with his deadly left foot (3-1). It was a stunning strike and deservedly won Marios the Moment of the Match trophy, a fitting way to celebrate his 10th Football Aid appearance at St Andrew’s! 

The Home team were buoyed by Zachariou’s goal and his strike Frank Ward got the goal his excellent performance deserved less than 3mins later. Darren Carter was again heavily involved, strolling forward and playing the ball wide to Aidan Peaty, the midfielder fired in a dangerous low cross which Godsall did well to get a hand to, however the ball fell to Ward and the No 11 showed fantastic determination to get to the ball before the defender and smash it home from 6 yards out (4-1).

Away keeper Sam Godsall had been desperately unlucky with his last two attempts to keep the Home side out and the impressive stopper was called into action soon afterwards when Home captain Lee McGuinness waltzed through the defence and found himself in on goal, however Godsall narrowed the angle well and made a fine save to deny the midfielder.

The Away team weren’t giving up yet and when Steve Foreman ran onto a long clearance from Godsall he looked a fair bet to narrow the deficit, however Home keeper Neil Heath did well to get a hand to the ball and deny the No 17. The Home No 1 had been the quieter of the two keepers, however with the Away team desperate to gain a late consolation they threw everything at the Home defence and Heath was called into action twice in succession. However the keeper stood firm and made a couple of excellent saves to deny Foreman and Ciampi. 

The referee’s whistle blew soon afterwards, with the clinical Blues team earning a hard fought win by 4 goals to 1. The game had been fantastic entertainment throughout though and the White team could also be proud of their excellent efforts.

A massive thanks again to Birmingham City FC, BCFC Community Trust and our Legends Darren Carter and Nicky Eaden. 

Full-Time: Birmingham (Home) 4 - 1 Birmingham (Away)

Man of the Match Home: Frank Ward
Man of the Match Away: Andrew Allen
Moment of the Match: Marios Zachariou

Home Team: Neil Heath, Richard Summerfield, Darren Carter, Tony Sewell, Lewis Hobbs, Aidan Peaty, Ryan Aspley, Geoff Smith, Marios Zachariou, Lee McGuinness (C), Frank Ward, Keith Howe, Charley Smith
Home Mascot: Lilly Hodgkinson

Away Team: Sam Godsall, Tyrone Dawes (C), Nicky Eaden, Andrew Allen, Scott Jordan, Alvaro Sanchez, Gonzalo Rioja, Luis Vasconez, Chris Francis, Pascual Ciampi, Francisco Centeno, Chris Kiely, Steven Foreman
Away Mascot: Florence Godsall 

Match Report written by Simon Farnan

Official photographs are available to order from Matt Nuttall’s website here >> www.footballaidphotos.com. You can also contact Matt on Tel: 07793 818021 or Email: info@mattnuttallphotography.co.uk

If you'd like to order a DVD of the match please contact – Chillpics' Shane Wilkinson, Freelance Cameraman & Photographer on Tel: 07789 500569 or E-mail: swchillpics@gmail.com

"Thanks again for the whole experience at St Andrew’s again. I've been doing it a few years now as you know and it never gets boring, each time is so amazing to live out the dream playing on my team’s pitch which I never thought I would be able to but thanks to Football Aid I have. It's not only living out my dream but the money raised to goes to some amazing causes which is important too. The whole day is so well organised and made easy for us players and just to let you know I appreciate it all the effort you and your team put in so thank you."
Aidan Peaty 

"I thoroughly enjoyed the experience, and I will definitely be playing again next year!"
Frank Ward                                    

"Another great Football Aid event achieved & nice to be on a 4-1 winning side.
Living the dream."
Tony Sewell 

"Great game as always @FootballAid Birmingham City yesterday. I will stop you from scoring one day @coach_carts"
Sam Godsall