Lakeside 5:1 Stonnall Phoenix
This County Cup game was competitive but ultimately went the way of the home side after Stonnall had scored first.
Despite early pressure form Lakeside and a goaline clearance by Alfie and Tom, Phoenix opened the scoring when a break forward lead to a free kick. Liam launched the ball forward and Joe cleverly hooked the ball back where Dillan was on hand to knock the ball in from close range for his first goal for the club and to make it 0:1 after 9 mins.
After that good start, Stonnall continued to soak up pressure well with the central defensive partnership of Liam and Jack flanked by Dillan and Tom in the full back positions. Harry and Joe, playing wide midfield, were finding spaces to run into but much of the play was confined to the middle with Ben holding the ball up and trying to bring midfielders into the attack. Although the lads were creative, the final ball just lacked the quality to be penetrative.
The home side who play in the Burton League, equalised from a free kick in the 23rd minute and scored again to take the lead six minutes later. The score remained 2:1 till half time.
Phoenix started the second half still well in the game and even after Lakeside went 3:1 ahead, the visitors enjoyed their best period of the game. After half time advice from the Manager and Ben, in his captain’s role, taking the lead to rally the team, the lads displayed greater energy and effort to close down the opposition to try to get back into the game. Half chances for Harry, Ben and a Liam free kick were well dealt with by the goalkeeper and two more break away goals by the hosts effectively ended the contest with ten minutes remaining.
Stonnall Phoenix, kept going though and with Jack and the combative Ennis and Sedgy at the heart of midfield, possession was retained well but the lads couldn’t quite find an opening. The game ended 5:1.
Ben shows maturity as Captain of the team and works tirelessly up front. He always gives 100% and is willing to learn. A true leader will gain the respect of his teammates by his actions and this was amply displayed here. For this, Wayne has awarded Ben Man of the Match.