Stonnall Phoenix 3:1 Wyrley Juniors Wolves
Ennis, Sedgy, Liam
This comeback win could have been more comprehensive but gave Phoenix their deserved first win of the season.
The away side started well and pressed Stonnall in defensive positions for the first few minutes. The makeshift central defensive pairing of Liam and Dillan coped well through the middle and fullbacks Tom and debutant Joe stopped any crosses. After that initial pressure, Stonnall settled down and strung a few passing moves together and when Harry found space on the left, he was able to get a stretching shot away but off target.
More good play followed with the home side dominating the play until the 17th minute when an unfortunate miskick fell kindly for a Wyrley forward who scored for a 0:1 lead. It was harsh on Phoenix and Wyrley were immediately back on the attack but the lads played themselves out of trouble, threading the ball forward and eventually winning a free kick on the edge of the visitors’ box. Liam shot at goal and Ennis was first to react to the rebound to equalise at 1:1.
It was nothing more than Stonnall deserved and more chances followed with shots at goal by Ben, Ennis and Liam. Then in the 29th minute, Ben found Sedgy bursting through the middle. He rounded the goalkeeper and coolly slotted the ball home for his first goal in many seasons. It was just reward for a player who has showed maturity and loyalty since the founding season of Stonnall Phoenix. It remained 2:1 at halftime.
The away side came out looking to get back on level terms and nearly forced an equaliser with the ball bouncing around the six yard box but Alfie made a remarkable double save to maintain the lead and thwart a possible turning point in the game.
Instead, Stonnall continued to play the more composed football and chances came for Ben, Callum and Mac on the break but it was Liam who showed his class by finding the top corner with a 30 yard free kick to give Stonnall a two goal cushion. The player, in only his second game for Phoenix, adds quality and links well with his new teammates. His calm assuredness and excellent attitude typify the team’s qualities this season.
Ben, lead the line tirelessly and set a great example as Captain. He and Mac held the ball up well and were instrumental in the chances created for midfielders and latterly, Tom, who was unlucky not to extend the lead. Despite a disallowed goal and a shot against the bar, the home side held out for a vital 3:1 win.
This was a gutsy display of attractive football with periods of needing to dig in and defend. Every member of the team can be proud of a fantastic team victory, overcoming injuries and illness to complete the match.
Man of the Match
This has been awarded by the referee to Mac for his great link up play and determined ball possession. He also commended Alfie for his saves and bravery.
Well done lads.