Pelsall Villa Colts 3:4 Stonnall Phoenix
Og, Liam, Jack, Dillan
This was an important victory for Stonnall Phoenix which was well deserved after a difficult start.
The opening exchanges between the two sides saw them trying to wrestle control of the play. Much of it was untidy as the game took time to settle down. It wasn’t until Pelsall took the lead in the 14th minute after an unfortunate ricochet in the Stonnall defence that the visitors play was more urgent and flowing. This was their best period of the game as they tried to find a way through the host’s defence.
Pelsall never really looked like adding to their lead as Phoenix pressed with determination and it was this that lead to panic in the home defence resulting in an own goal for the equaliser at 1:1 in the 29 minute. Then, two minutes later, a Liam corner appeared to go straight in for a 1:2 lead which was maintained until half time.
Despite Pelsall equalising a minute into the second half with a good strike, Stonnall continued to press and retook the lead with Jack poking home from a Liam corner for a 2:3 lead two mins later.
Where the first half had stuttered, the second half showed more fluidity of movement by Stonnall with Mac and Harry making good runs on the wings whilst Ennis, Sedgy and Liam found more control in midfield. Fullbacks Tom and Joe were able to make incisive runs too.
Liam, playing with an injury, had been given a free role in midfield in this game and was instrumental in most of the attractive forward play but it was his dead-ball prowess which would be crucial once again as Dillan bundled the ball home from another corner in the 56th minute which would prove to be the winner. The home side pulled one back with eleven mins left but struggled to create any more clear cut chances as Phoenix managed the remaining time well to complete a 3:4 win.
Whilst the margin of victory could have been bigger, the lads showed the maturity to carve out this win from few chances and never panicked when under pressure.
Report by Pete H.
Man of the Match
Wayne has awarded MOTM to Ennis. His tough, combative style of midfield play was the perfect foil to allow Liam to be expansive and forward-thinking. A central defensive midfielder is a protector and enforcer, breaking up play and being the pivot from which attacking play can develop. Ennis is becoming an accomplished proponent of this and can take confidence from his improvements.