Match Report – Jan 8th

Brereton Town Ravens   2:4   Stonnall Phoenix

Charlie, Mac, Squiggy, Jack

Stonnall kicked off the new year coming from behind to finish the game with a morale boosting victory, continuing a trend of two thirds of goals being scored in the second half.

The match started with a lot of possession in the middle of the park with some good runs by DJ on the right wing but the teams looked evenly matched. Brereton have strong players at the back who were defending well against anything down the middle.

For the most part, the Phoenix defence were doing likewise but found it difficult to contain Brereton’s right winger. After 22 mins it was one of these rampages forward that the player crossed the ball into the box and it was finished well for 1:0. This was harsh on Alfie who had made diving saves to keep the game goalless up until then.

Phoenix continued to press and played the more attractive football. Charlie, playing up front, was prominent in this period of the game and with the home side defending high, had two one-on-ones with the keeper. The first instance saw Charlie’s shot being tipped onto the bar, the resulting corner being put just wide of the far post. But in the last minute of the half Sedgy put Charlie through on goal again and this time, despite being forced wide, found the bottom corner of the net for a deserved equaliser. 1:1 at half-time.

Both teams had renewed enthusiasm at the start of the second half and good contributions by Jacko and Bezza in midfield, and forwards Squiggy and Mac would prove to be crucial in the turnaround of the match. After DJ got on the end of a melee close in, prodding the ball wide, Brereton’s play round the right once again rewarded them with a corner in the 40th minute. The outswinger wasn’t dealt with defensively and the home side capitalised to take the lead at 2:1.

The manager changed to three at the back and this was instrumental in the comeback. Jacko was strong in midfield, Bezza tenacious and with Squiggy making his trademark tricky runs, he found Mac on the right who finished past the goalkeeper to get Phoenix back in the game at 2:2 with 55 minutes gone.

With very little going towards Stonnall’s goal now, the away side continued to threaten and took the lead in the 63rd minute through Squiggy who scored from DJ’s pass. Then in the last minute, Mac showed great persistence in chasing a lost ball on the left and with the keeper stranded, he slotted the ball across the goal for Jacko to tap in to reward his anticipation and make the final score 4:2 to Stonnall Phoenix.

From a position of adversity, the lads’ remained positive and turned round a game that could easily have gone the other way. The performance, particularly in the second half will boost confidence going in to the cup match with Tipton next week.

Report by Pete H

Message from the Manager

After a very jaded start to the game we eventually settled down and played against our opponents who were moving the ball quite freely.

Charlie and Mac exchanged positions for the start of the game with good effect giving us a number of chances through the middle of the pitch, at times we seemed to forget to play with width.

After going 1 down we showed good character to equalise on half time, going behind again, Charlie moved back into CM where he won the ball well and drove his team forward resulting in goals from Squiggy, Mac and Jack.

Making changes to players’ positions gives us the opportunity to view the team in a different shape and demeanour and to encourage a different attitude in play.

Mac worked tremendously hard from CM playing some creative balls through to Charlie and Squiggy which gave us numerous opportunities.

Communication was a lot better and good to hear!

Again, we were not outplayed to concede two goals, unfortunately it was our own mistakes so this must be a positive for the team and not a negative.

The second half was a totally different game – with respect to Brereton Town, once we made a couple of changes they found we were a different team with different attitude and difficult to play against.

Good start to the year with the result you wanted.

MOTM was deservedly awarded to Mac for his continued drive and efforts from CM to moving back to his striker position – well done Mac, very much deserved.

Well done to all the team for showing character and determination and some frustrations at times on the pitch and viewed from the touch line, well done to Jack, his continued efforts got him forward and on the score sheet – well done Jack!

Neil

Captain’s comments

Well done to the team for not letting our heads drop. Second half we were a different team, a few mistakes that we can sort out.

Well done Jack on your goal.

When we mark up stick with your player and don’t let him go.

Charlie5

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