Stonnall Phoenix 2:4 Cresswell Wanderers Colts
An entertaining game was settled late in the second half in favour of Cresswell after a good start by Stonnall Phoenix.
Straight from the kick-off, Stonnall were positive and applied good pressure, pinning the opposition in their own half and forcing a corner from which Jack got in a header just off target. Then good link up play between the front two of Ben and Demario saw the latter have a shot at goal.
Midfielders Liam, Joe, Harry and Jack were all heavily involved in the game providing defensive cover and support for the forwards. As Cresswell came more into the game they tested stand in goalkeeper Ennis with, largely, long range shots to which he was equal. Ennis, in only his second game in goal, handled well and his kicking and distribution were excellent.
This was the pattern of the first 20 minutes but then Phoenix found the opening from the partnership up front with battling Ben chasing down a ball and feeding his forward partner. Demario made no mistake to score his second goal for the team to make it 1:0.
After that goalless first quarter there then followed a quick reply by Cresswell two mins later and then Stonnall regained the lead in the 24th minute for a 2:1 lead. Sharp thinking by Tom saw him take a quick throw-in to Jack who lobbed the advancing keeper from the edge of the area. It was Jack’s fifth goal of the season and also the fifth time Phoenix have scored two goals in a game this season. Although Cresswell pressed for an equaliser, there were few alarms with the defensive foursome of Tom, Nico, Dillan and debutant Jordan keeping the visitors at bay until half -time.
Stonnall continued to battle into the second half and were playing mainly on the break. Joe and Nico both played with energy and determination and Dillan played solidly at centre back, helping his new defensive partner, Jordan to defend attacks and a number of corners.
Unfortunately, a defensive mix up led to the visitors’ equaliser in the 56th minute and there followed a period where Cresswell pressed to find a winner but thanks to dogged defending and a number of crucial saves by Ennis, the score remained 2:2. Phoenix endeavours were coming on the break with Ben holding the ball up well despite rough treatment from his marker. It looked like the home side might hold out for a deserved draw but 8 minutes from time Cresswell took the lead and scored a fourth in the 77th minute.
It was hard on Stonnall Phoenix who were competitive and worked well as a team and in partnerships but fell to one or two defensive errors which made the difference in a 2:4 result.
Report by Pete H.
Man of the Match
The team played well as a whole and it is difficult to single one player out but to cover in goal is tough when you’re inexperienced in that position. Bruce has awarded this week’s MOTM therefore to Ennis. He handled the ball well, making crucial saves displaying bravery and confidence. Well done Ennis.