Sedgley White Lions 2:4 Stonnall Phoenix
Squiggy2, DJ, Mac
The first fixture in the Diamond Jubilee Cup saw Stonnall Phoenix rewarded with three points after a dominant display on a tricky pitch against a Div 1 team
The first quarter of the game was evenly shared with Phoenix blunting home attacks effectively and playing out of defence looking for forward runs. Squiggy was playing on the shoulder of the last defender and this would be a telling feature of the match. The first chance though fell to Zack who looped a ball just the wrong side of the post following good work by Alex on the left.
The opening goal came shortly after in the 14th minute when a midfield through ball from Charlie allowed Squiggy a run on goal and after holding off the strong defender, slotted the ball past the keeper for 0:1.
The game continued to flow from one end to the other with the visitors looking the more dangerous but then a Sedgley forward found room for a shot in the area which was saved well by Alfie who then got up to brilliantly to save again with his feet. Crusher cleared off the line in the resultant scramble and then Harry finally cleared the ball to Squiggy who turned and played in DJ down the wing. He shot from the edge of the area and struck the back of the net with one of his trademark goals for a 0:2 lead four minutes before half time.
Following the break, the home side pressed and forced a number of corners but Stonnall defended them resolutely and then broke down the left. Zack battled well to keep the ball and fed Charlie who crossed for Squiggy to score his second of the game and fifteenth of the season. With the score at 0:3 after 39 mins, the game looked all over and the ever dangerous Squiggy could have sealed his hat trick had it not been for a great save by the Sedgley goalkeeper when through one on one.
The home side kept trying though and found a way back into the game with two goals in as many minutes midway through the second half. This gave them renewed impetus and at 2:3 the game was suddenly in the balance. Stonnall continued to defend with strength and determination though and just two minutes later in the 59th minute Alex did well to poke the ball to Squiggy who drew the keeper and with the ball finding Mac unmarked in the six yard box he made no mistake to settle any nerves and give the visitors a cushion once again.
Sedgley forced a further corner and freekick but a goal bound shot found Sedgy perfectly placed to make a goal line clearance and Phoenix successfully saw the game out for a 2:4 victory.
The result means that Stonnall Phoenix will go into the next games against Newby and Cannock with confidence in this mini league competition.
Report by Pete H.
Message from the Manager
This was a sterling display from everyone.
In the previous training session I asked you all a few questions and you all gave me your answers.
In this game you all did what you said you would or could do.
It was evident that what we are doing in training is starting to pay dividends in our games, some of the small through balls and overlapping with speed was brilliant, more so we are now understanding individual roles/positions in different aspects and phases of the game.
This was a great display against a D1 team, although they are at the lower end of their division they still showed a good deal of effort and promise to cause us to play with determination and creativity.
Squiggy was again instrumental as striker partnered by a very enthusiastic Zack who was unlucky not to score himself after creating some great chances.
Mac made a huge change to our approach play to the box holding the ball up well from some strong defensive pressure from Sedgley’s no. 18 who I thought was their MOTM by a mile.
Midfield of Charlie (nursing a slight cough/cold), Jacko, Beza, Alex, DJ were superb – what a strike from DJ to get his goal?
Defence was solid again with Dylan, Harry and Tom (Sedgy taking over for Tom who moved to midfield) thwarted some promising attacks from Sedgley – unfortunately a little communication let us concede followed by not closing the player down quick enough and allowing a strike on goal gave them 2 goals – lessons please lads!!!!
Alfie in goal is getting more confident with each training session/game – made a great double save and very vocal throughout.
MOTM – I have decided to award this week’s MOTM to Squiggy, not just for the fact he scored 2 goals as he should being a striker, but for the physical endless effort he put in against a big strong centre half who took no prisoners. Squiggy didn’t give up making speedy runs with close control.
Just a few pointers:
Some of us are still holding on to the ball when we have passing opportunities, I have no problem with players showing skill/creativity as long as if you lose the ball through this you go and get it back!
A brilliant display – showed great team character from leading 0-3 to 2-3, you continued to press and got your reward.