The Birmingham City Shield Tournament for Under 8s was held at Bishops Cleave Football Ground on Saturday 10 May. Ashleworth entered a squad of 7 for this six a side fixture which involved 8 other local Teams and a Team from the Birmingham City Academy. Ashleworth’s squad was made up of:
Ashleworth were drawn in Group 2, played 4 games and ended in 3rd place in the Group, which consisted of 5 Teams. The results were as follows:
Ashleworth 1 (Ashley Davis) YMCA 7s 0
Ashleworth 2 (Patrick Hopper 2) Wanswell Wanderers 0
Ashleworth 0 Nailsworth 1
Ashleworth 0 Rodborough Y.F.C. 1
Ashleworth made a strong start and were very unlucky not to make the semi-finals, which second place would have achieved. In the first game the one nil score-line doesn’t reflect the fact that Ashleworth dominated the match. Edward Goulden who played in goal for all of the games was rarely troubled and emulated Fabian Bartez by running out of the box to clear any balls that came into the Ashleworth Half. Ashleworth dominated the midfield with YMCA, from Cheltenham, packing their defence when under pressure from Ashleworth. Ashleworth struck mid-way through the first half with a fine goal from Ashley Davis. Further shots on goal from Oliver Mansfield and Chase Parslow went just wide or were saved by the crowded YMCA defence.
In the second game Ashleworth’s confidence grew as they quickly took control of the game. Jake Michaels took the ball forward on several occasions and was unlucky not to break through the Wanderer’s defence. At the other end Thomas Butler remained resolute in defence intercepting all the Wanderer’s forward balls. The combination of Thomas and Edward in goal gave the rest of the Team the confidence to move forward as an attacking unit. Ashley Davis continued to make incisive moves forward. Patrick Hopper moved forward from his midfield position in the first game to attack. He scored his first goal towards the end of the first half with a shot through a crowded goal-mouth area, following an accurate pass from Chase Parslow. He scored another goal in the second half coolly beating the keeperon a one on one, with the key pass having been provided by Jake Michaels. Oliver Mansfield battled in the midfield and Ashleworth were unlucky not to score more goals.
The third game saw stiffer opposition in the form of Nailsworth Town. The Teams were evenly matched and the first half ended without either side scoring. The rolling substitution meant that it was Thomas Butler’s turn to sit a half out. This left Ashleworth exposed at the back and after a period of sustained pressure Nailsworth got a goal. Ashleworth kept at the task and had attempts at goal, but unfortunately the ball did not go in the net.
The fourth game was against Rodborough YFC who looked a strong side and this proved to be the case. Ashleworth were not phased by this and battled well, but had to spend much of the time defending. Edward Goulden made some fine saves, but eventually the Rodborough pressure paid off and they took the lead. Ashleworth new they had to win so went entirely on the attack for the remaining few minutes. The tactic paid off with Rodborough forced to defend their lead. They proved difficult to break down and despite a valiant effort Ashleworth were unable to draw level.