Wyrley Jaguars 4:2 Stonnall Phoenix
Wyrley Jaguars came from behind to emerge victors in a competitive, seesaw game.
Against another top four team, Stonnall Phoenix controlled large parts of this game and started on the front foot. The first attack by the visitors nearly saw the opening goal as Ben’s shot forced the keeper into a save and then again from Fozz’s follow up. This set the tone for the first half although Wyrley did take an early lead following Phoenix’s good start.
Whilst the home side played largely on the break, it was Stonnall that played the more accomplished football. Some attractive interchanges by the forward players, Ben, Fozz, Harry and Zak unfortunately didn’t lead to an equaliser though and when Jaguars broke forward, they kept the defence of Joe, Dillan, Jack and Nathan busy. When they did get through, Alfie was on hand to repel any threat.
As the first half came to a close, Stonnall forced a corner from which Jack scored with a quick reaction at the far post from Liam’s deep corner kick. Deservedly 1:1 at half time.
The referee commented at the break that the game could go either way and that although Wyrley had very good players, he thought that Stonnall were a proper ‘team’. A compliment to the lads’ style of play and attitude.
The second half saw both sides coping well with the windy conditions by keeping the ball down and passing through midfield. Sedgy, Liam and Ennis did well to snuff out attacks and set Mac, Fozz and Tom off on forward runs. Clear chances were at a premium though until, following good work by Zak, Liam found a little space to unleash an unstoppable 25 yard shot into the top corner for his third goal of the season. It was no more than Liam and the team deserved and gave Phoenix the lead at 1:2 in the 55th minute.
Unfortunately, it was short lived as Jaguars were panicked into urgent action and they swung the game in their favour with two quick goals to lead 3:2 after 59 mins. Then, seven minutes later, a fourth goal for the hosts settled the game in their favour and the game finished 4:2.
Phoenix played their best game against one of the top sides in Div 1 and following a 7:0 defeat in the reverse fixture in October showed great improvements to compete along side Wyrley Jaguars and on another day could have come away with a draw.
Report by Pete H.
Man of the Match
Wayne has given MOTM to a player who orchestrated the midfield and controlled the tempo of the game throughout with excellent defending and effective forward play. With an assist and a spectacular goal, Liam fully deserves the accolade for the second time against this opposition. Well done Liam.