Stonnall Phoenix 3:5 Cresswell Wanderers Colts
Harry, Mac, Charlie
In Stonnall’s first competitive match this season, it was Cresswell who triumphed in a see-saw cup game.
Stonnall Phoenix welcomed Rhys (Roo), Tom and Jack in their first competitive game for their new team but it was the away side who took control with two goals after 6 and 14 mins.
Although Phoenix had the majority of the possession, Cresswell were the more dangerous on the break. It was important for Stonnall to get one goal back before half time and it came in the 34th minute from one of many corners taken by Roo, the ball running loose where Harry rifled it into the roof of the net. 1:2 at half time.
Stonnall continued to press after the break and were rewarded with the equaliser when Mac was on hand to follow up a Charlie shot after 45 mins. At 2:2 it looked like the momentum was with the home side and indeed Roo and Charlie were unlucky not to score. Four minutes later, though, Cresswell made a break to score and then added to it 6 mins later to make it 2:4.
With the game seemingly beyond Stonnall, the home side won a corner and from Tom’s left footed inswinger, Charlie timed a hooked volley perfectly to reduce the deficit to 3:4.
Phoenix were pressing for an equaliser but another break sealed the result in favour of Cresswell when they scored their fifth goal in the last minute to make the final score 3:5.
With a number of things to work on, the boys can take heart from not giving up and battling back twice in a game which could have gone either way.
Report by Pete H.
Message from the Manager
This was a game in far contrast from the friendly with St. Georges.
Firstly we must welcome the three new signings Jack, Rhys and Tom who all had a decent first game for Stonnall Phoenix.
It was disappointing to go a goal down from a ball played over the top of our back three that we had to chase down towards our own goal*
It seemed from that point we struggled to take control of the ball with little or no concentration at the back offering further opportunities to Cresswell only for Alfie to deny with point blank saves or out to feet to smother the chances.
This pattern continued and with another ball played down the right side channel after being lost in midfield, Cresswell managed to get a shot away that went through/under Alfie for 2-0**
To take a positive view of this, in previous games we would’ve let our heads drop but we showed character and battled on to get a goal back when Harry turned and hit the roof of the net from a corner to go in 2-1 down at half time.
The chat at half time was very positive and responsive from everyone, unfortunately we set about the second half with no pressing of the ball and no restriction whatsoever – very disappointed with this!
Moving Charlie from midfield to a more forward position gave us more strength and threat near goal but we lost that strength in the middle – last season we relied on a number of players, this season we cannot do the same.
From a determined run and shot from Charlie which was blocked, Mac followed Charlie up to grab the rebound and make it 2-2. Well done everyone for bringing the game back.
Rhys was put through with a neat ball from Charlie but with pressure from behind he couldn’t capitalise on it***
Cresswell piled on more pressure and quickly went ahead again after Jack first dealt with the attack but lost out with a lucky bounce of the ball going in Cresswells favour to allow another low shot for 3 -2.
With us battling to control our own passes and make opportunities Cresswell played down our left channel to get a ball across the goal for 4-2****
From a corner Charlie tucked away a neat close range volley for 4-3, again showing great character.
Cresswells 5th came from practically nothing that we didn’t deal with allowing a free strike on goal.
Final score 5-3.
*Alfie. A better starting point from you would’ve given you the benefit of a quicker reaction to be out of your box and deal with the ball over the top.
We have spoken about this a few times – we’ll discuss further and put a drill into practice in training.
**Alfie. It was unfortunate to be beaten from such close range and at such an angle – at times like this you must stay on your feet and keep your post closed off, again well discuss further and remonstrate.
***Rhys. Although you didn’t put your chance away the positive was there and the chance created, I’m sure you will have many more opportunities to get your first goal, the most important thing is to keep going and not let one chance ruin others that may come your way.
****Zack. After the ball was played down the left side channel you gave good chase to track the player, however you cannot allow a player to get across you and more importantly not let the ball into our box! We will discuss further and remonstrate. Harry, Zack tracked a player into your left back position, there was no support for Zack from you physically or vocally.
After many discussions and drills in pressing and restricting the touch line had to constantly mention this throughout the game, some seem to be struggling to control a ball or bring it under control.
We have to concentrate a lot more and be stronger in tackles.
I hope we can put the wrongs right and move forward and show our supporters the real Stonnall Phoenix.
I am awarding two MOTM awards this week; Charlie for driving determination and encouragement throughout and to Jack for the way he stuck to his position with communication and working well with Dylan in his first game.
Well done Charlie and Jack.