Lane Head Titans 4:1 Stonnall Phoenix
A much better performance from Stonnall Phoenix despite a loss in a match which finished in difficult circumstances.
The home side had the advantage of a sloping pitch and the wind in the first half and Stonnall found it difficult to clear their lines for long periods. The game remained goalless for nearly the first half hour with Phoenix playing mainly on the break and despite several openings for Lane Head including a clearance off the line by Ross, good defending by the whole team kept the goal intact until two quick goals after 26 mins gave the hosts the advantage.
Before that, the lads had carved out chances upfield with a Dillan shot resulting from an Ennis free kick and after a penetrative run by Joe on the right, his cross found Sam unmarked but his shot couldn’t find the net. Then good work by Jordan in midfield gave Liam the opportunity for a shot and following good pressing by Jenko, the combative midfielder had a run on goal. Ennis also had a header over the bar from Liam’s free kick. Had one or two of these chances been taken, the game could have been more even at half time but another goal by Lane Head ensured a 3:0 lead at the break.
Much of the second half was a more equal affair but with few chances going either way. Stonnall were more comfortable at the back with Ross and Ennis’s central defensive pairing improving with every game. Injuries to Sedgy and Harry meant that Joe covered at left back which he achieved effectively. Nathan’s performance in the second half was busy with good link up play, collecting the ball from midfield and interchanging with Milo and Dillan. on the left, Sam was enjoying one of his best games and close control and a good run gave him the opportunity to feed a dangerous ball into the box.
It had been a more competitive second half but Lane Head got their fourth goal in the 73 minute. Phoenix continued to press though and Nathan’s run into the box resulted in a penalty after he was fouled. Nathan made no mistake from the spot for a well deserved consolation goal with 13 mins left.
The game finished 4:1 to Lane Head but the last nine minutes had to be played out in a bad atmosphere after a disgraceful incident a few minutes after the penalty, the details of which will be the subject of a formal complaint.
That aside, the lads can be positive about an improvement in their overall performance with communication, understanding and match fitness all getting better each week.
Report by Pete H.
Man of the Match
Bruce has given this week’s MOTM award to Jenko. His box to box running with strength and energy was at the heart of the team’s good play. Well done Jenko.