Author Archives: petelufc

Jan 5th

Cresswell Wanderers Colts   5:1   Stonnall Phoenix

Jordan

After an evenly contested first half, Cresswell finished the stronger to claim victory.

Stonnall started brightly, working the ball round well between the three man defence of Ben, Dillan and Sedgy and the midfield. Tom and Joe were tasked with getting up and down the flanks to provide width in attack and to recover to bolster the defence. This system worked well initially and both wing backs brought energy and speed. Joe was rewarded with a corner from an attempted cross and the forwards of Jack and Demario combined for the latter to shoot on goal.

Cresswell started to enjoy more control towards the break and forced a couple of saves from Alfie in goal and then took the lead with a bundled effort from a corner in the 26th minute. Jack later wriggled free in attack and shot over the bar for Phoenix but the score remained 1:0 at half time.

It had been a competitive first half with the teams trading attacks, the home side just edging it on incisiveness and the second half started in a similar vein as Jack tried a left footed shot just off target. Although Cresswell immediately got a second goal in the 44th minute for a 2:0 lead, Phoenix endeavoured to get back into the game with fresh legs in the form of substitutes, Harry and Jordan in midfield.  Jordan, using his height, was winning defensive headers and striding further upfield supporting the forwards when possible, which would eventually be rewarded.

Tom tried a header at goal straight from an Ennis clearance and had another shot at goal coming infield from the right but then the home side took control as the visitors tired. Three goals in thirteen minutes from the 62nd minute decided the game for Cresswell but Stonnall got a deserved consolation with two minutes remaining.  Jack and Demario combined and Jordan, on another forward foray, poked the ball over the line for his first goal for the club to make the final score 5:1.

Stonnall were well in this match for the first hour against a top three team but ultimately Cresswell were stronger at the end and converted their chances.

Report by Pete H.

Man of the Match

Whilst it was difficult to maintain the high level of energy throughout the game, the lads displayed a willingness to keep going to the end so can all take heart in a good performance. One of the players who exemplifies the maximum effort required and who puts in consistent performances week after week, Tom was strong in his forward runs and obdurate when required in defence and fully deserves Bruce’s MOTM this week. Well done Tom.

Dec 15th – Friendly

Stonnall Phoenix   2:0   Wednesfield Sporting

Joe, Tom

Stonnall deserved this victory with a dominant display throughout.

Neither side really got control of the opening exchanges which mainly broke down in the final third. Dillan and Ben were coping well with any Wednesfield attacks and the home side couldn’t quite find the quality up front to put pressure on goal . The visitors found it hard to break down the Phoenix defence and resorted to long range shots, mainly off target.

Then, after a break down the right wing, Joe put in a dangerous cross shot which squirmed under the goalkeeper to open the scoring after 14 minutes. Tom then had a shot from a Nathan corner and shortly after picked up a loose ball on the edge of the area and looped a shot over the goalkeeper for a 2:0 lead.

Stonnall were on top now and had the majority of possession, stringing together attractive moves, particularly down the right. Following good work by Tom, a cross into the area gave Harry the chance to head for goal and busy Nathan saw a shot clear the bar. Another exchange up front between Demario and Nathan, playing just behind the forwards, gave the latter another chance on goal. It remained 2:0 though until half time.

The second half became more dominant for Stonnall and Jack, Tom and Liam all had further shots on goal. Nathan almost made the game safe with a great turn and shot just over the bar and then had a headed goal from Liam’s free kick ruled out for offside..

Shortly afterwards, the referee abandoned the game for safety reasons but that shouldn’t detract from a good team performance to boost morale. Needless to say, the lads conducted themselves with maturity and restraint.

Report by Pete H.

Man of the Match

All of the lads should be commended this week under the circumstances, but from a footballing aspect, Nathan made himself available in midfield, getting forward and linking up play well. He had at least four shots including a disallowed goal and so is rewarded with this week’s MOTM. Well done Nathan.

Dec 1st

Wednesfield Hammers   8:1   Stonnall Phoenix

Liam

Wednesfield overcame a gutsy performance by Stonnall to claim the victory.

The home side started the better and scored after 4 minutes to settle themselves. Stonnall came into the game then and Tom, playing on the right of midfield got a shot on goal and Liam then saw his 14th minute shot squirm under the goalkeeper from 20 yards for the equaliser. Phoenix had done well since the opening goal and deserved their goal.

Parity didn’t last long though as the home side regained the lead straight away and scored two more before the twenty minute mark for a 4:1 lead.

In between those goals, Stonnall carved out a chance from a corner where Jack had a far post header. Later on in the half, Tom’s shot forced another corner. The remainder of the half was goalless with Phoenix working hard to contain Wednesfield and playing on the break. Harry was involved a lot on the left and linked up well with Sedgy at left back, spraying balls forward for the front two of Demario and Jack to run onto.

After a productive half time talk, the lads came out fighting knowing that another goal could change the game and Harry, Nathan and Tom all had shots which troubled the goalkeeper. Possession was in the visitors’ favour at this point and a second goal would have been deserved for the improved workrate. Wednesfield were dangerous down their left side though and a couple of quick goals after 46 and 49 minutes secured the victory and they added a seventh four minutes later.

The Phoenix defence continued to work hard in trying to protect Ennis, deputising in goal. Ben and Dillan were strong in the tackle and used the front two as outlets to relieve opposition pressure. On one such occasion, aided by Liam, Jack found himself through on the keeper but his shot was smothered on the goal line. Jack had run his socks off all game and deserved a goal for his efforts but it wasn’t to be.

Wednesfield scored their eighth goal with eleven minutes left and the game ended 8:1.

Report by Pete H.

Man of the Match

For their consistent performances over the season, linking up well to turn defence into attack and always showing positive endeavour, Bruce has awarded MOTM to Sedgy and Harry. Well done both.

 

Nov 24th

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.

Nov 17th – Cup

Lane Head Titans   6:0   Stonnall Phoenix

This cup match was evenly competitive but the home side’s more accurate finishing settled the result in their favour.

Stonnall Phoenix started well and the first chance of the match fell to Jack who narrowly missed getting on the end of a searching Liam free kick. Then Demario had a shot after being played through by Liam following good work by Ennis in midfield.

In between, Lane Head had long range chances but the shots were either off target or well dealt with by Alfie. Eventually, as the home side gained more possession, the chances finally proved decisive and two goals on 15 and 22 mins gave Lane Head a half time 2:0 lead.

The latter period of the first half had seen Titans reduce Phoenix to playing on the break and that trend continued into the second half but to Stonnall’s credit, they were combative in midfield and resolute in defence. Lane Head were very strong down their right so Sedgy at left back was busy throughout with obdurate and determined defending. In midfield, Tom, who had replaced the injured Harry in the first half, provided guts and his trademark battling forward runs to open up the play and on one of these occasions, crossed the ball to the far post where the onrushing Fozz shot just over the bar.

Up front, the pairing of Ben and Demario is still new but with the Captain’s ball retention and the latter’s runs off the shoulder of defenders, it led to half chances but the home defence snuffed out any opportunities effectively.

Stonnall had held firm for forty minutes with the score at 2:0 and were very much in the game. Had the lads got the next goal it could have been a different outcome. Nathan had a chance from a Liam corner but then Titans settled the game with their third goal and added another four minutes later in the 66th minute. With time running out and Phoenix committing men forward, the home side grabbed another quick brace and ran out 6:0 winners.

It was a game where the two sides were fairly evenly matched but Lane Head’s decisive finishing was the difference on the day.

Report by Pete H.

Man of the Match

For his never-say-die attitude and leading by example, Bruce has awarded MOTM this week to the Captain. Well done Ben.

 

 

Nov 3rd

Stonnall Phoenix   2:4   Cresswell Wanderers Colts

Demario, Jack

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.

Oct 20th

AFC Willenhall   9:0   Stonnall Phoenix

A dominant display by Willenhall consigned Stonnall to defeat.

The home side got off to the perfect start with a goal after 2 mins from a corner and a second came in the 21st minute from the same source. In between the goals, Stonnall worked hard and coped with a lot of pressure from Willenhall. On the break, Nathan nearly got on the end of a left wing cross by Harry and Ben had a shot from Jack’s knock down.

Phoenix were hanging on and battling with Liam and Ennis in a makeshift defence but the pressure eventually told from Willenhall when they made it 3:0 from another header in the box two mins before half time.

The score reflected the possession the home side had but Phoenix had competed well in that first half whilst finding it difficult to retain possession.

Willenhall became more dominant in the second half and deserve their position at the top of the league. They are strong and keep possession well. Every player is comfortable on the ball and they pass and move well. They quickly made it 4:0 six mins into the second half and added four more before the 65 minute mark.

Chances were constantly being created by Willenhall as Stonnall tired and it required Alfie to make several notable saves. The final 15 minutes saw the visitors break more in numbers as Jack, Demario and Ben tried to create chances but they didn’t get the bounce of the ball in their favour.

Ben had to go off injured in the last few minutes and Willenhall scored their final goal in the 77th minute and the game finished 9:0.

The match was always going to be difficult against the top team but Stonnall Phoenix kept going and kept trying. The lads tired in the second half after chasing the ball doggedly against a team who will surely finish as champions.

Report by Pete H.

Man of the Match

Its difficult to single anyone out as the lads gave their all with no reward but without our goalkeeper making the saves he did, coming under constant pressure, the result could have been worse. So Alfie is deservedly awarded MOTM this week. Well done Alfie.