Stonnall Phoenix 0:5 Wyrley Wolves
Stonnall battled hard with a man short but couldn’t get the better of the visitors.
The opening exchanges between the sides were fast paced and entertaining. Stonnall, playing with just Demario up front due to the team being a man short, had an early chance when he bustled into the area but the keeper saved his shot. Then Harry laid the ball back to Ennis who had a powerful shot which the keeper again stopped.
All the time, Phoenix were having to defend deep as well and Wyrley got their opening goal on 11 minutes and added another after 16 minutes for a 0:2 lead. The first quarter was typical of the match as a whole as the home side defended resolutely but still managed to create chances at the other end.
Despite falling to a 25th minute third goal, the lads still pressed to get back in the game. Liam’s free kick fell to Ben and then the busy Nathan had a shot at goal. Those three players featured prominently today. Ben was filling in at centre back alongside Liam and Nathan put in a mature performance at the head of midfield coming deep to help out defensively, then breaking to support Demario.
Wyrley’s goalkeeper saved an in-swinging corner by Liam and at the other end, Alfie made a good save to ensure to score stayed 0:3 at half time.
Although, the lads did themselves proud in the first half, they excelled in the second. Throughout the game they battled, competing for every ball and played for each other, covering positions and giving angles for passes. Sedgy, Joe, Harry and Tom ran themselves into the ground for the team getting up and down the pitch to help defend.
Half chances continued to be carved out as resilient Tom burst forward for Nathan to shoot and Demario was allowed space to get a shot away but luck wasn’t with them today as Stonnall were unable to find the net. They had maintained the score for 30 minutes but conceded another on 56 minutes and then a fifth nine minutes later. In between Nathan saw his 20 yard free kick just clear the bar and it was another foul, this time inside the area which gave Phoenix a chance to register a goal from the penalty spot.
The penalty was saved though and the game ended with a 0:5 victory to Wyrley Wolves.
The less said about the disgraceful behaviour of the opposing team throughout the match the better. Football at this level is about winning with humility and losing with dignity. Unfortunately only one of these qualities was on display today.
Our lads can be proud of a mature, team performance. They fought for each other and kept their heads in the face of verbal insults and provocation. The total lack of respect shown towards our players by the visiting team and staff was a stark reminder of how youth football should not be played.
Report by Pete H.
Man of the Match
It is difficult to single anyone out today as the whole team gave 100% but Bruce has given MOTM to Liam who marshalled the four man defence with determination and resilience. Well done Liam.