Stonnall Phoenix 3:2 AFC Willenhall
The captain’s influential performance turned this match in favour of Stonnall Phoenix to ensure the three points.
The home side started positively, pressing right from the kick off and within 2 mins took the lead when Benno’s pass under pressure found Charlie, who worked some space and shot into the corner of the goal for 1:0. It could easily have been more as openings were created by Mac, Charlie and DJ.
Against the run of play though, Willenhall equalised in the 12th minute after a strong run on the left wing but Stonnall continued to play good football with Charlie at the centre of things flanked by the industrious Jack and Ennis. The home side couldn’t quite find the breakthrough again and the game stood poised at 1:1 at half time.
With Willenhall now playing downhill in the second half it would take concentration and guille to keep them away from goal and with the busy Tom P. as an outlet on the left and Roo and Sedgy solid on the right, Phoenix were soaking up pressure and using the wings well. Dylan and the ever improving Alfie were communicating well and with the former heading every aerial threat clear, even the local pigeons steered away!
On 40 minutes, the visitors took the lead after a shot from the right and despite Alfie getting his fingertips to it, the ball found the net for a 1:2 lead. It was frustrating but having been in similar positions recently, Stonnall showed character and resolve to not panic and carry on playing incisive football. Had it not been for the visiting keeper and the woodwork, Phoenix would have got back on terms sooner but it took a determined run by Sedgy and a pass infield to Charlie, for the top scorer to make no mistake to equalise after 55mins.
There only looked like one winner now and the hosts played their best football during this period in search of a winner whilst being solid at the back. With five minutes left a call from the Manager gave Roo the chance to put in a dangerous free kick which found Charlie unmarked and his central header billowed the net for the winner. A disallowed, offside goal for each side followed but the game ended in a 3:2 home win.
All of Stonnall Phoenix’s ten points have come from losing positions which shows a steely determination to succeed in the face of adversity. This characteristic will help them in the quest to be unbeaten for the remainder of the first half league.
Report by Pete H.
Message from the Manager
Well done lads you totally dominated the game. Apart from a couple of things you could’ve dealt with I thought it was a solid performance. Alfie hardly had a save to make with a good defence in front of him.
It’s always easy to give someone MOTM who scores each week but to bag another hatrick and lead the team to a well deserved win I have decided to award Charlie with MOTM.
After thinking about the game all evening as I usually do I thought Rhys should also be awarded MOTM for an outstanding RB performance – control of the ball at first touch was brilliant giving him every chance of distributing early balls.
Well done Charlie and Rhys.