Cresswell Wanderers Colts 1:4 Stonnall Phoenix
Zack, Dylan, DJ, Jacko
Phoenix withstood a second half onslaught by the home team but immerged with an important battling win to boost the chances of a top two finish in Div 2.
There was a minute’s silence held for those affected by the recent terrorism in London beforehand which was respectfully observed. The game kicked off and Cresswell enjoyed the better of the opening minutes before Stonnall started to gain superiority of possession with Squiggy and Benno, returning from injury, forced the keeper into saves.
Cresswell attacks were being thwarted by resolute defending but a ball through the last line of defence found the attacker one on one but Alfie stood firm in the away goal and made a crucial save. Minutes later, a Phoenix attack led to Squiggy crossing for Zack to finish well for 0:1 to Stonnall after 12 mins.
The game continued to display quality football by both sides with Cresswell forcing the defenders to pass back to Alfie, which he dealt with well. Meanwhile, Stonnall were attacking and winning a number of corners. Shots by Squiggy and Zack didn’t find the net and it looked like it would be a slender lead at half time but then a well timed, goal bound snap shot by Jacko was deflected for a corner. Squiggy’s far post ball was met by Dylan who side footed into the goal for a 0:2 lead on the stroke of half time.
With the wind behind their backs in the second half and with downhill advantage, Cresswell looked to get back in the game quickly. The Phoenix defenders and the team as a whole, who were without Charlie for the first due to injury, were determined to defend the lead and were noticeably fighting for each other resolutely. This was typified when one marauding left wing attack by a strong Cresswell forward led to a point blank shot which was brilliantly block-tackled on the goal line by Harry. Crusher did similarly and Alfie made some important interceptions coming to claim through balls with good timing.
Eventually Cresswell pressure told and they scored to get back in the game in the 47th minute for 1:2. This led to a period of continued pressure from the home side without any gilt edged chances because the Phoenix defence were nullifying any threat and the rest of the team were pressing up field. Playing on the break, the chance came for Stonnall to close out the game in the 67th minute when Bezza, who had been terrier-like in midfield poked a ball through to DJ. The winger saw a previous shot just clear the crossbar but this time made no mistake to make the game safe at 1:3. Then in time added on, Zack was fouled on the edge of the ‘D’, Squiggy stepped up and hit the ball over the wall on target. The keeper saved but Jacko was sharply on hand to lift the ball high into the roof of the net to put a deserved gloss on the performance.
The whistle blew for full time to confirm a 1:4 victory for a team who, without their injured captain and talisman, showed determination, concentration and true grit, particularly in the backs-against-the-wall second half and can truly be proud of their achievement.
Report by Pete H.
Message from the Manager
What a difference a week makes!
This was a brilliant performance from everyone, the chat and input you all gave at training was put into practice for this game.
A very good pitch gave both teams the chance to play good football.
As discussed we started the game with determination which made a difference to the way we continued the game.
Alfie – vocal throughout offering continued support to the defence, letting them know they had support and not necessarily the last man. By you offering support this allowed us to keep the ball by not putting it out for a throw in.
Starting position was a lot better keeping depth of pass back shorter – easy for you to control and distribute from your feet.
Coming out to feet was as ever played with confidence – brilliant.
Handling was sure and definite from all heights.
Goal kicks – we will continue to work on these.
Overall – best performance by far. Be very proud of your progress to date, you’re only going to get better!
Sedgy replaced by Tom, Dylan, Harry – vocal throughout offering support to midfield players to play back allowing the team to keep possession.
Good shape keeping compact and playing outwards to pressure play with balance/support inside ( I will explain more in training )
Resolute hard work in second half with goal line clearances made by Tom and Harry.
Defence played very well – just one comment; Why did we allow a shot from the edge of our box? Reason please.
Overall – a far far better performance than the previous week.
Dylan – great to see you bringing out the ball and looking to play from central defence – very Bobby Moore like…..!
DJ, Alex, Zack, Beza, Jacko (Benno late in second half) Tom (first half)
Positional wise excellent, we have to make sure we keep concentration all of the time.
Make tackles further up the pitch and don’t allow players to run with little or no pressure. Played a number of through balls for strikers.
Interchanged well with Tom playing a lovely little back heel – this is confidence of playing with each other.
DJ – this was more like the winger we know and need, can we have this DJ each week?
Jack – played a full solid game, remember what we have to do when we lose the ball, a lot better performance with your head up, take confidence from this Jack.
Zack, Beza supported the midfield well and played a number of balls to give us an outlet, never give up get a toe – in!
Benno – great to have you back playing, showed tremendous strength and gave Cresswells big capt a run for his money. Well done Benno, more training, more fitness.
With strength and speed had a number of chances – Ash could’ve had hatrick by half time but today it wasn’t to be. Never stopped running and chasing and causing Cresswell’s defence problems
Took over the captaincy from Charlie and marshalled the team very well – vocal/supportive throughout.
Great free kick up/over the wall which Jacko scored the goal for 1-4.
A great performance by all of you. This is what you can do with determination. Cresswell are no push over so take all the applause you can from this game.
Please, please, please realise the potential you have as individuals and collectively as a team.
Remember – we are responsible for our own actions and our downfalls.
Along with both sets of parents I fully enjoyed this game especially when the final whistle finally went!
Thank you to Cresswell parents/supporters for equal support during the game.
This was a unanimous decision from myself and parents.
Half way through the first half one Cresswell parent asked if I could take Alfie off! (in jest of course)
What a display from our ever improving keeper.
If one player won a game for his team today it was Alfie for Stonnall Phoenix – Well done Alfie, very well deserved.
DJ, Dylan, Zack, Jacko.
Great finishes from all of you – although Ash will probably be disappointed he didn’t score to take his goal tally even higher, it was good to see that we created goals from other areas and phases of the game.
Not always good to rely on one person.
(Although Charlie was injured from the previous game he helped coach the game from side lines.)
I can see now what my Dad and Wayne see from not playing. On the side you have little control of what happens in play. We must do as we are asked when playing, and be more supportive and communicate.
I saw a number of times where things could’ve been played differently. Might be good for everyone to have time out and make sure they watch the game.
Well done to Ash for standing in for me as captain and well done to the team for the win that might give us something at the end of the season.
Well done Dylan on your second goal for Stonnall.