Author Archives: petelufc

Oct 6th

Lane Head Titans   5:1   Stonnall Phoenix

Nathan

The home side were ultimately victorious in a more even game than the score suggests.

Stonnall Phoenix started this game very well, pinning Lane Head in their own half with good pressure possession. Liam saw a volley off target and Fozz set up Nathan for a shot. Ennis then looped a free kick into the area and Tom headed off target and in between, Alfie made good saves to keep the scores level.

In the 17th minute Phoenix took the lead rewarding their dominant start. Jack chased a ball into the right wing corner and crossed to Nathan who swept the ball into the net for 0:1. Then Jack had a shot on goal and from a corner it looked like Stonnall had doubled their lead as Ben bundled the ball in from close range only for it to be harshly ruled offside.

That proved to be the turning point of the game as Titans equalised a minute afterwards. 1:1 after 33 mins. Then four minutes later, as the game turned in the home side’s favour, they made it 2:1. It was harsh on Stonnall as they had controlled the game for half an hour without much danger.

The second half became more difficult for the lads as Nathan, Nico, and Jack were all nursing injuries and had to have spells off the pitch. More seriously though, the team lost talismanic midfielder Liam to a bad injury and these handicaps were difficult for the team to regain any rhythm. In this period Phoenix defended resolutely as Lane Head pressed with the wind and number advantage. In particular, full backs Joe and Sedgy showed great energy and resistance in tracking forward runs by the opposition.

Up front, Jack and Ben chased, harried and hustled the defence, determinedly looking for openings ably supported by Nathan who linked the midfield with the forward line well. On one such attack, Captain Ben controlled the ball, turned and showed strength to run and get a shot in on goal.

With fading energy, the lads did their best to get back into the game but three more goals for Lane Head in the second half exaggerated the score and the game ended 5:1.

Stonnall Phoenix played with energy, enthusiasm and organisation in dominating much of the first half. The players are definitely settling in to their new positions and responsibilities and with forthcoming additions to the squad, the team’s fortunes will surely turn around.

Report by Pete H.

Man of the Match

Bruce has given the award to two players who typify the fighting spirit which sets such a good example. With non-stop running up front and a willingness to receive the ball and shoot, Ben is a natural leader. He shares MOTM this week with Sedgy. An adaptable defender whose consistent performances and never-give-up attitude in either full back position make him a valuable team player. Well done Ben and Sedgy.

Advertisements

Sept 22nd

Silverdale   12:2   Stonnall Phoenix

Jack 2

Silverdale outclassed Stonnall Phoenix in this one sided game.

Although this was obviously a comfortable win for the home side, there were periods in the game where Phoenix enjoyed good possession and played some attractive football but it was largely a lesson in incisive, penetrative football typified by the opening goal in the second minute.

Silverdale added to their lead eight minutes later after Jack found space to have a shot at the other end. Then Alfie made good some saves but could do nothing to deny the hosts their third goal. There then followed a period of 20 mins where Stonnall came more into the game but without creating any clear chances. Silverdale scored again to make the half time score 4:0.

Phoenix, without any subs again with players carrying injuries, were clearly second best here and conceded three more after the break during a constant onslaught but then in the 65th minute, Liam played the ball down the right wing for Harry to run on to. The winger then whipped a superb ball across the box for Jack to finish off for a consolation goal. It was one of the best goals of the game and will surely be a source of further goal success this season. It was a relief for the lads to get something out of the game and in fact two mins later Phoenix grabbed a second from a Liam corner after the revitalised Harry and industrious Ben had won it. Jack again applied the finishing touch with his trademark far post header. That made the score 7:2.

As the lads tired, Silverdale added more goals and the game finished a resounding 12:2.

Yes, it was a difficult match against a top notch team, but the lads can be proud that they carved out two deserved goals without letting their heads drop. They maintained their discipline and togetherness and a victory is surely not far away.

Report by Pete H.

Man of the Match

Bruce has awarded the MOTM to two goal Jack for his all round display. He was constantly coming back to help out midfield and then breaking with pace. His strength on the ball allowed him to score a brace for Phoenix to take something positive from the game. Well done Jack.

Sept 15th

Stonnall Phoenix   2:4   Wednesfield (W’ton Hammers)

Harry, Ennis

This exciting game could have gone either way but the away side eventually came away victorious.

A much improved performance by Stonnall started better for Wednesfield (Wolverhampton Hammers renamed) as they scored from a first minute corner but the home side stayed in the game throughout as both sides had many chances.

After Wednesfield took the lead, Phoenix started to gain better possession and during the first half, good play firstly saw Jack volley at goal and then Harry cross for Ben to shoot. Also, a burst forward from Liam down the right enabled him to shoot goalwards, the ball hitting the side netting.

At the other end, the defence were mainly keeping the visitors at bay and Dillan cleared off the line but after holding the score until the 30th minute, Wednesfield doubled their lead for 0:2. Chances were still coming for Stonnall though and following a swept pass from Liam in the 39th minute, Harry found himself one on one with the keeper and he made no mistake, slotting the ball under the keeper to please the home supporters. It was just what Phoenix had deserved and they went to the break just one goal down at 1:2.

It was finely balanced into the second half but Wednesfield were first to strike after 46 mins to regain a two goal advantage but just three minutes later Harry gained possession down the left and unleashed a shot on target from distance, the goalkeeper producing a save for a corner. The resultant corner kick, by Ennis bamboozled the keeper who couldn’t prevent the ball going in. Phoenix were once again fighting back at 2:3.

Although Wednesfield scored again, it still felt like Stonnall were very much in the game and, still applying pressure, battling Tom and then Ben both had shots on goal. The visitors certainly knew they were being pushed back into defence and despite the Stonnall lads taking knocks and carrying injuries, they all kept their energy levels high to create chances and play good football. They benefitted from fitness training during the week and this certainly helped them to perservere.

The game finished with a 4:2 victory for Wednesfield but the lads can be proud of their performance and endeavours in contributing to an entertaining game.

Report by Pete H.

Man of the Match

This week, Bruce has given the award to Harry who put himself about, battling and tackling in midfield and was a threat further up the pitch with his flick-ons and crosses. To complete an all round performance his goal at the end of the first half got the team back in the game. Well done Harry.

Sept 7th

St Georges   3:0   Stonnall Phoenix

The first league game of the season was ultimately settled in the second half in favour of the home side.

A disjointed first half saw few clear chances as Stonnall endeavoured to get a foothold. Much of the play was in midfield and after Alfie was unlucky not to save the opening goal in the 11th minute, he made several good saves to keep score at 1:0.

Ben found space to shoot on goal but chances were limited for Phoenix and St Georges added a second goal after 32 mins to finish the half at 2:0.

The second half followed a similar pattern as Stonnall found it difficult to relieve the pressure from the home side but on the whole were coping with the attacks, reducing St Georges to long distance efforts. Dillan, at the heart of defence was particularly instrumental in snuffing out any threat and displayed good composure.

The midfield found it difficult to retain possession, disadvantaged by Liam being unable to play through injury. Indeed, Nico, Nathan and Jack all had to have spells on the sidelines. That said, Phoenix were still in the game and it felt like one chance could turn it in their favour.

The endeavour was evident with Tom, Sedgy and Harry showing fighting spirit but the game was effectively settled on 74 mins with St Georges’ 3rd goal.

Stonnall then made their best move of the match with attractive football down the left and a good interchange of passes between Nathan and Ben. The captain then turning and shooting narrowly over the bar.

St Georges deserved their 3:0 victory but if Stonnall Phoenix can find a way to dominate more of the play then more goal scoring chances will follow.

Report by Pete H.

Man of the Match

Bruce’s MOTM this week is Dillan for his command of the defence and composure on the ball. A tough and accomplished performance. Well done Dillan.

Sept 1st – Friendly

Stonnall Phoenix   2:5   Brownhills Community Colts

Liam, Ennis

After a good start by Stonnall Phoenix, Brownhills were the stronger in the second half to claim victory.

Right from kick off Phoenix played the ball forward and gained a corner. Liam played it in to the back post and a mix up saw the ball tuck in to the net for a first minute lead. Buoyed by the perfect start, the lads continued to press and play good passing football and in the sixth minute doubled the lead after Dillan had won the ball in defence and after a good exchange of passes between Harry and Nathan, the ball was fed to Ennis in midfield who unleashed a right footed shot beating the keeper to his left for 2:0.

In the 12th minute, Brownhills got back in the game at 2:1 and this gave them confidence in their attacking play. The home side, however, were still creating chances and after good hold up play by Ben, he turned a defender and shot from 20 yards, The ball bounced squarely off the bar and was scrambled to safety.

Then, in the last minute of the half, the away side equalised which proved to be the turning point in the game. 2:2 at half time.

Brownhills were increasingly on top in the second half and took the lead after 50 minutes. The game had been evenly balanced up to that point, but as the visitors got stronger and were able to rest players by bring on substitutes, Phoenix had no such luxury. Indeed, they played the whole game with one man short.

This was instrumental as the game reached the latter stages. The lads tired going uphill and were constantly defending. Brownhills scored twice more for a 2:5 victory but in between the goals, keeper Alfie produced save after save despite a foot injury. At the other end, Ennis hit the bar with a free kick and then after good build up play involving Joe and Fozz, firstly Nathan and then Ben both rattled the crossbar again.

The last pre-season friendly ended in defeat but many positives can be taken from the game and with a full squad, we are looking forward to the first game next week.

Report by Pete H.

MOTM

Bruce has given Man of the Match to Alfie. The newly appointed Vice Captain commanded his penalty area, knowing when to intercept and when to stay back. He communicated well with the defence and made several stunning saves. Well done Alfie.

Aug 11th (Friendly)

Sutton Town  5:1   Stonnall Phoenix

Jack

This friendly against a Central Warks League team was evenly poised at half time but the home side were stronger in the second half.

The first match in the build up to the new season saw Bruce take charge of the team for the first time and favoured a 3:4:3 formation which proved to be positive and attacking.

Missing three key players due to holidays, some lads were trying new positions (not least Ennis in goal!) as well as the new formation and two trialists, Nico and Dillan, who were playing in the team for the first time.

In an exciting start to the game, Sutton pressed forward but Stonnall were first to score, Jack heading a far post Liam corner low into the net for 0:1 after just 4 mins. The lead was short lived though as Sutton replied two minutes later to equalise.

The game then took on a settled period where either side could have scored. Jack found space on the right of the box and fired in a powerful shot which saw the keeper pull of a good save and Ennis made a great double save to keep the score 1:1 at the break.

Captain Ben and the lads are being encouraged this season to have a say in decision making on and off the pitch and several lads contributed to the half time discussion.

Six minutes into the second half Sutton Town scored to take the lead and then scored another two to effectively secure the win as Phoenix tired but the lads continued to play some attractive football. There were good link ups involving Ben and Jack, whilst Dillan, the centre of three at the back, won everything in the air throughout the game.

The Stonnall lads gave everything and had to finish the game short handed as firstly Liam and then Jack came off injured. Sutton added a fifth in the 74th minute to complete a 5:1  victory.

A number of positives can be taken from the performance: Firstly, the attacking formation was exciting to watch, kept the game flowing and will carry a greater goal threat this season; the lads all excelled in new positions which gives greater flexibility; and finally, although the team were second best and were tired by the end, they looked like they enjoyed the experience. This positivity can be carried forward to the next match.

Man of the Match

The whole team can be proud of a gutsy performance, full of energy and endeavour. Commendations should go to Ennis, deputising in goal, Nico and Dillan who looked very assured in their trial game and to Jack who carried a threat all game and who will benefit from his more advanced role.

Bruce has award MOTM to Dillan S. for his towering performance in central defence. Tough tackling and powerful heading. Well done Dillan.

Report by Pete H.