Stonnall Phoenix 3:2 Smethwick Raiders
Louis, Mac, DJ
This was Stonnall’s third win in a row and proved to be a closer game than it might have been after a good first half showing.
The home side started on the front foot and after 7 mins, Louis got on the end of a clearance by Dylan, found himself one on one with the keeper and coolly slotted the ball home for 1:0. It was the forward’s third goal in as many games and Louis is enjoying his best period as a Stonnall player. Another player making recent strides is Ennis who was typically combative in this game, making strong tackles and he also had the confidence to carry the ball forward creating opportunities for teammates throughout the game.
Stonnall doubled their lead in the 10th minute when, following a throw in on the left, Mac collected the ball and weaved past a defender to the by-line and had the composure to cut back in and score past the advancing goalkeeper. It should have remained 2:0 at halftime but just before the break, Smethwick pressed forward and a ball into the six yard box was bundled in for 2:1.
The second half was a closer affair, the goal before the break having given Smethwick a platform and they were stringing periods of possession together and carving out half chances. The home defence dealt with most of the attacks with Alfie making at least two vital saves. One at point blank and another a fingertip save to divert a goal bound shot onto the bar. That proved crucial as just a minute later, Crusher, in an advanced position crossed the ball and DJ was in the right place to score and restore the two goal cushion at 3:1 after 65 mins.
The result was settled but there was enough time for the visitors to get their second goal with a shot from distance with the last kick of an entertaining game that finished 3:2.
Report by Pete H.
Message from the Manager
Started the game with great determination and confidence.
Frustratingly we conceded two goals that really should’ve been dealt with and avoided – something to discuss in training.
A couple of issues – we seemed to lose the ball or make errant passes within the central area of the pitch, remember if you lose the ball the hard work is winning it back quickly!
With a late dip over Alfie in the last seconds, more play time could’ve been a different score line.
Well done to Jas and Smethwick for continuing to battle hard throughout the game. Jas commented what a very respectful team we are and it was a pleasure to play us.
That’s down to you lads – well done in showing respect and shaking hands at times of fouls committed.
Two awards in this game.
Dylan at Centre Half who barely put a foot wrong and made some very good recovery runs and also halted a very quick striker.
And to Mackenzie who battled hard against some quite physical defenders and also ran his socks off to win balls he really had no right in winning, take a lesson lads from Mac’s determination and never give up chasing and harassing!