Date: 1st May 2016
Centre: Aldridge Airport
Stonnall Phoenix 2:2 Holly Lane
This was the last competitive match of the season for Stonnall Phoenix against a team fourth in Div2 and who, like us, won Div3 last season.
In difficult, windy conditions, an entertaining game was hard fought by both sides but an uncharacteristic mix up in the Stonnall defence in the ninth minute led to a tap in for the Holly Lane forward for 0:1.
The lads reacted well however, continuing to press forward and dealing with opposition attacks effectively. Their perseverance paid off just two minutes after falling behind when Squiggy played in a cross from the left wing. DJ collected the ball on the opposite wing and accurately crossed it back to Squiggy who hit a controlled volley into the net for 1:1.
Holly Lane then regained the lead from an excellently taken free kick in the 23rd minute and with the wind becoming increasingly gusty, Phoenix did well to contain the opposing attackers to keep the score 1:2 at half time.
With the wind behind the lads in the second half, they were able to display the passing game which has been so attractive to watch this season. More chances were falling to Stonnall players and particularly Charlie who was able to get a few shots on goal. Then, following an attack after 43 mins, the resulting corner was played in by Zac and when the ball rebounded to the edge of the area, Charlie was perfectly positioned to find the corner of the net to equalise for 2:2.
It was thoroughly deserved and the good play continued for the remainder of the match. Indeed with just a few minutes left, Harry, who along with Mac had been a second half substitute, broke down the left wing and cut the ball back to Charlie but his shot and the follow-up by Mac were brilliantly saved by the goalkeeper. Holly Lane also had chances to win the game but Pembo made a number of good saves ensuring that he and the team earned a creditable draw.
It was a frantic end to an exciting match and a fitting finale to the Spring Cup in which Stonnall Phoenix finish with seven points from five matches, and can be very proud of themselves that they have competed so well against higher division teams.
Report by Pete H.
Message from the Manager
Good battle today against a well drilled team. With the wind against us in the first half we used our pitch management well.
With a little mix up at the back which could’ve easily been sorted out we went a goal down.
We showed perseverance, with a great volley from Squiggy, we deserved the equalizer.
From going 2-1 down we still showed great team spirit to get it back 2-2 with a thunder strike from Charlie (bits & pieces!), from two superb saves from Holly Lane keeper followed by a superb save from our own Pembo kept the game alive.
We deserved more from this game lads, again I have really enjoyed these cup games, it’s given us much to witness and much to talk about.
Out of the cup group we were in we played:
3 D1 teams – P3, L2, W1.
2 D2 teams – D1, W1.
For a team who started out in D4 two seasons ago with some players with no team/playing experience you should be very proud of the progress you have made.
Very well done lads.
MOTM: Today we don’t have a Man Of The Match, we have a Clubman Of The Day.
This is awarded to Beza, who through injury and not being able to play still took the time to come and support his team and got involved in the half time team talk.
Thank you Beza.
Another good hard battling game which we thoroughly deserved to win with the chances we created.
Sometimes it’s hard not to get frustrated or let your head drop but we must keep working as a team to the end.
Well done to my team mates it’s been great to be your Captain.