Lane Head Bullets 0:2 Stonnall Phoenix
This game was settled by two quick goals after an hour of full bloodied tackling and goal mouth action.
After an initial period of the first half which was played in midfield but with little quality going forward, Stonnall took control of the play and their passing football was evident without being able to find a clear opening. Then, gradually with greater penetration, the chances started to come and following good hold up play by Ben and good movement by on-rushing midfielders, chances for Fozz, Mac and Tom were well saved by the home keeper.
In defence, Liam and Dillan were solid with full back Nathan, particularly, being a good outlet. His passes down the line to Tom saw the diminutive winger keeping the ball well and forcing a save or crossing for half chances in the box. Phoenix were carrying the greater threat increasingly but, so often, if chances aren’t taken, teams can suffer the sucker punch and this nearly came to fruition for Lane Head as out of nothing, a snap shot from 20 yards was heading for the top corner. But Alfie, with really his only save of the match, arched his back and tipped the dipping ball over the bar. A goal for the home side at this point (close to half time) could have made the result so different. It remained 0:0 at half time.
The game continued in this vein into the 2nd half with Mac doing well under pressure to cling on to the ball with his close control and release Tom or Fozz down the wings. Ennis and Jack were now having more of the ball in midfield and barring a mistake at the back it didn’t look like the home side would penetrate with any danger.
With Zak replacing Mac in midfield, his good touch released Tom in on goal and at last the left footer’s unerring shot billowed the top of the net for the deserved lead of 0:1 after 61 mins. Phoenix now had an extra zip in their stride and marshalled from the back by Liam, looked resolved to continue to press and just two mins later Ennis did well to win the ball and finding space going forward, rifled a shot through the keeper into the goal to effectively settle the result at 0:2.
Callum and Harry came on for the last few minutes and the latter, with his first touch nearly added a third getting on the end of a ball on the left but Stonnall Phoenix held on to record their fourth win in five games and sit comfortably in mid-table for the Christmas break.
Report by Pete H.
Man of the Match
Wayne has commended Ennis in his midfield role for ball winning and his drive offensively but has awarded MOTM this week to Tom. He was positive going forward and solid defensively. His determined runs into the box were a constant danger and his goal was ultimately the decisive play of the match.