Oct 8th

Punjab Utd   5:5   Stonnall Phoenix

Charlie 3, Mac, Louis

This dramatic match ended all square after an incredible fight back by Stonnall Phoenix.

The first fifteen minutes saw Phoenix press for an opening, playing attractive football and although Tom and Charlie both had efforts on goal, the visitors couldn’t find a breakthrough. In between, Punjab scored three break away goals to seemingly settle the game early on at 3:0.

From another break, Punjab had a chance to make it four but a spectacular flying save by Alfie onto the post, the ball running across the line and eventually to safety, would prove to be an unlikely turning point.

About halfway through the first half, Harry came on as a substitute and immediately put in a crunching sliding tackle, winning the ball, and this seemed to typify the fighting spirit of the whole team. Stonnall needed a way back into this game though and that eventually came through Charlie a minute before the interval. Following good pressure and a corner, the ball was played through by Zac and Charlie finished expertly to make the half time score 3:1.

Into the second half, Phoenix continued to press and try to find an opening but a foray forward from the Punjab centre back after 54 mins saw a long effort hit the back of the net for a 4:1 lead. However while they were celebrating, the referee blew to restart and Stonnall caught the home team out of position and when Charlie got round the back of the defence and crossed, Mac was on hand to slot the ball home for 4:2. The next two minutes saw another home goal before Stonnall once again reduced the score to two behind when Charlie hit a powerful free kick which the keeper couldn’t hold and Louis pounced on the rebound to make it 5:3.

Then in the 59th minute, Charlie scored from another free kick. Phoenix really had the momentum now and two minutes before time, after Alfie had made another save, Charlie completed a deserved hat trick when he collected a pass from Louis and slotted the ball past the goalkeeper. The players and supporters celebrated the equaliser like it was a winner and in fact there was still time for Louis to come within a whisker of connecting with a cross, but the breathless game ended 5:5.

It was a deserved point from an exciting game and the lads showed great character and a never-say-die attitude to come from three goals behind. Every player had some part to play and can be very proud of what they achieved from a difficult position.

Report by Pete H.

Message from the Manager

Firstly I would like to offer thanks to Punjab Utd for making us welcome. It was a game thoroughly enjoyed by both sets of supporters and the game was played with great respect by both teams of players.

This was a great test of character for us, to go down 3 – 0 in 15 minutes wasn’t the start we talked about prior to kick off.

3 -1 at half time we still felt in the game, 4 -1 we were three goals behind again and 5-2 still three goals behind but you battled hard against a very fair, honest and well drilled team who had some quick players to end it a 5 -5 draw and we could have nicked it 6 -5 right at the death.

I have to say at 3 down in 15 I thought we were going to suffer a heavy defeat but absolute credit to you lads for proving me wrong, the subs were instrumental coming on and off throughout the game.

With Louis coming on and looking more confident than late he gave something else in attack.

Alfie:

Fantastic shot stopping to deny further goals for sure, the tip onto the cross bar was top drawer mate.

Just one thing – even if you think a shot is going over or wide make sure you cover it!

Defence:

I’m not sure what is going on at the moment lads. All mistakes are learning curves but we don’t seem to be learning and we’re still making the same mistakes!

You as a defence need to talk and you also need to give the coaches input when we talk to you.

Harry – loads better in determination and some great honest hard tackles to show for it, to be nominated for a MOTM award by Charlie – you must have played well, keep it up now Harry.

Zack – same as Harry great determined tackles just like we talked about in training – keep it up Zack its looking good.

Dylan/Tom we seem have lost confidence in the middle at the moment – we are clearly not communicating with each other, with RB, LB or Alfie. As we discussed when one challenge,s one drops behind but we didn’t, resulting in both of you chasing behind from a flat line. More to discuss but we’ll get there – heads up!

Midfield:

Battled very well in the middle with Jack and Ennis alongside Charlie this looked our strongest central line for some time.

Jack again showed great energy and Ennis with his strength allowed Charlie to be more creative – three good ingredients in the centre of the pitch. Just remember if and when you lose the ball be more responsive to get back quicker.

Strikers:

Mac started as a lone striker with five across the middle, Mac made his usual endless runs but was running for balls he was unlikely to get on the end of sometimes with a lack of early support from midfield – I’ll explain how to make the most of a lone striker in training.

Louis came on for the second half linking up well with Charlie on his inside and also made a clever move outside to get the ball into the box early for another of our five well – earned goals.

Both Mac and Louis showed determination but needed more support – someone remind me to discuss in training.

Sedgy had a good strong half and continually talked to his defence, however when he went off it fell silent.

A parent behind me also commented that you don’t talk to each other or instruct each other half as much as the other teams!

If the league was won on showing gritty character, determination and effort you would be league winners from this game. It goes to show it’s never over until it’s over!

MOTM:

We had 4 in this game –

Charlie for driving his team on with a hat trick, Jack again for his role in midfield moving from defence, Zack for more of his determination and finally Harry who was actually nominated by Charlie for listening and crunching tackles in the midfield line that we had talked about.

Well done to all of you – as usual MOTM awards will be given out at the Players Christmas Dinner for the first half the season.

We have a two week break now due to free week and half term.

Our next game is HOME to Rising Stars

Training this Saturday will be 10.30 till 12 with no training or game the weekend after.

Neil
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