Rising Stars 4:2 Stonnall Phoenix
An exciting cup game eventually swung towards the home side in extra time.
The visitors kicked off and immediately encamped in the Rising Stars half. It was constant pressure and with the midfield and forwards closing down the home defence and passing well, Rising Stars couldn’t find a way out. Stonnall were rewarded when Charlie passed to Mac who scored to take an early lead in the 5th minute.
The high pressing continued with every Phoenix player working hard to deny the home side any time on the ball. Rising Stars gradually came more into the game towards half time but without troubling Alfie in Stonnall’s goal. Phoenix were still creating chances and Charlie, Benno and Tom P. all had good shots on goal only to be repelled by the Rising Stars’ keeper. Stonnall Phoenix were well on top and they took a 0:1 lead into half time.
The home side came out stronger after half time. Stonnall were finding it more difficult to control the game as they had in the first half but now had a two goal cushion as straight from the kick off Jack had a shot which the goalkeeper couldn’t keep out making it 0:2.
Rising Stars were now on the front foot though and Phoenix were struggling to contain the strength and pace of the forward players. Chances were created but due to some brilliant last ditch defending by Dylan, Harry and particularly Roo who took a fierce shot in the stomach on the goal line, the goal remained intact. The pressure eventually told in the 56th minute with Rising Stars scoring and then 6 mins later equalising at 2:2.
There were still chances at both ends with goal mouth scrambles but the whistle blew for full time with seven minutes each way of extra time to come to settle this tight match.
The pattern of this game was similar to the league match in that Stonnall started the brighter, taking the lead and creating further chances but eventually were overpowered by Rising Stars who scored twice more in this game for a 4:2 win to secure passage to the next round.
Stonnall Phoenix were unlucky not to add to their lead in a first half contolled by their passing and pressing game and can be proud to have contributed to an entertaining match played by two talented teams.
Report by Pete H.
Message from the Manager
First game of 2018 and the unexpected journey to Selly Oak was worth it.
The Ref set the tone of the game with his pre match chat, I have contacted him to tell him he was outstanding.
The lads were tremendous in the first half and really took the game to Rising Stars unfortunately they had the legs and the finishing we couldn’t quite find.
As I said to the lads I was disappointed at having to take the Captain from the game for his attitude, this won’t be tolerated from anyone and apologies for you all hearing my loud voice!
If the lads can build on this first half performance I’m sure they can have a positive second half of the season.
I have decided to award two awards
Mackenzie for his determination and runs off the ball and of course his neat finish.
Rhys for his positional play and driving forward from RB and clearing three sure goals off the line.
Well done all of you especially the MOTM players