Lane Head Titans 5:1 Stonnall Phoenix
The home side were ultimately victorious in a more even game than the score suggests.
Stonnall Phoenix started this game very well, pinning Lane Head in their own half with good pressure possession. Liam saw a volley off target and Fozz set up Nathan for a shot. Ennis then looped a free kick into the area and Tom headed off target and in between, Alfie made good saves to keep the scores level.
In the 17th minute Phoenix took the lead rewarding their dominant start. Jack chased a ball into the right wing corner and crossed to Nathan who swept the ball into the net for 0:1. Then Jack had a shot on goal and from a corner it looked like Stonnall had doubled their lead as Ben bundled the ball in from close range only for it to be harshly ruled offside.
That proved to be the turning point of the game as Titans equalised a minute afterwards. 1:1 after 33 mins. Then four minutes later, as the game turned in the home side’s favour, they made it 2:1. It was harsh on Stonnall as they had controlled the game for half an hour without much danger.
The second half became more difficult for the lads as Nathan, Nico, and Jack were all nursing injuries and had to have spells off the pitch. More seriously though, the team lost talismanic midfielder Liam to a bad injury and these handicaps were difficult for the team to regain any rhythm. In this period Phoenix defended resolutely as Lane Head pressed with the wind and number advantage. In particular, full backs Joe and Sedgy showed great energy and resistance in tracking forward runs by the opposition.
Up front, Jack and Ben chased, harried and hustled the defence, determinedly looking for openings ably supported by Nathan who linked the midfield with the forward line well. On one such attack, Captain Ben controlled the ball, turned and showed strength to run and get a shot in on goal.
With fading energy, the lads did their best to get back into the game but three more goals for Lane Head in the second half exaggerated the score and the game ended 5:1.
Stonnall Phoenix played with energy, enthusiasm and organisation in dominating much of the first half. The players are definitely settling in to their new positions and responsibilities and with forthcoming additions to the squad, the team’s fortunes will surely turn around.
Report by Pete H.
Man of the Match
Bruce has given the award to two players who typify the fighting spirit which sets such a good example. With non-stop running up front and a willingness to receive the ball and shoot, Ben is a natural leader. He shares MOTM this week with Sedgy. An adaptable defender whose consistent performances and never-give-up attitude in either full back position make him a valuable team player. Well done Ben and Sedgy.