Brownhills Community Colts 1:0 Stonnall Phoenix
A competitive game was settled by a second half goal after a good display by Stonnall Phoenix.
Despite the home side’s lofty position in the league, Phoenix matched them toe to toe in a goalless first half. Indeed Stonnall enjoyed an equal share of opposition half possession and were unlucky not to go ahead courtesy of a trademark Ennis shot from 25 yards, the ball bouncing off the bar. That followed good hold up play by Sam who had also found himself in space in the penalty area a few minutes beforehand. Jordan turned neatly to set up that chance and soon after showed his tiptoeing quality to run through the defence to shoot narrowly wide. The same two players combined again later in the first half and Sam won a corner after the keeper saved his shot.
Defensively, Phoenix looked strong with a back three of Devone, Ross and Ennis coping determinedly with Brownhills’ attacks. With industrious Liam and JJ protecting the back three, it proved a stubborn rear guard and Brownhills were finding it increasingly frustrating not being able to break through. Alfie saved well at his nearpost and any corner kicks were dealt with effectively with Sedgy, Liam and JJ particularly doing well to clear the danger.
The second half started with the home side pressing harder for a breakthrough and in the 47th minute, a scrappy goal gave them the lead. Apart from a speculative looping effort which struck the top of the bar, there was little further danger in Stonnall’s penalty box as the defence continued to frustrate the opposition.
In attack, Nathan and Oscar were enterprising and late on in the game carved out the best opportunity to equalise. Nathan collected the ball in midfield and finding a little space, turned and threaded a searching ball for the onrushing Oscar to run on to. His shot was on target but was turned round the post by the goalkeeper. The game finished shortly after with a 1:0 home win.
Despite the loss, it was a cohesive team effort to neutralise the league leaders’ threat. All the lads played their part in a much improved display. Link up play, communication and passing to feet is something that has been worked on in training and the improvements could be seen here.
Report by Pete H.
Man of The Match
It was a strong defensive performance and credit should be paid to Devone, Ross and Ennis for coping admirably with great resilience and determination in a new formation. A feature of the game though, was the growing understanding in the defensive midfield positions. Liam and JJ worked well together, communicating and linking the defence with the wide players and the front three and Bruce has awarded them this week’s MOTM. Well done Liam and JJ.