Author Archives: petelufc

Nov 4th

Lakeside   5:1   Stonnall Phoenix

Dillan

This County Cup game was competitive but ultimately went the way of the home side after Stonnall had scored first.

Despite early pressure form Lakeside and a goaline clearance by Alfie and Tom, Phoenix opened the scoring when a break forward lead to a free kick. Liam launched the ball forward and Joe cleverly hooked the ball back where Dillan was on hand to knock the ball in from close range for his first goal for the club and to make it 0:1 after 9 mins.

After that good start, Stonnall continued to soak up pressure well with the central defensive partnership of Liam and Jack flanked by Dillan and Tom in the full back positions. Harry and Joe, playing wide midfield, were finding spaces to run into but much of the play was confined to the middle with Ben holding the ball up and trying to bring midfielders into the attack. Although the lads were creative, the final ball just lacked the quality to be penetrative.

The home side who play in the Burton League, equalised from a free kick in the 23rd minute and scored again to take the lead six minutes later. The score remained 2:1 till half time.

Phoenix started the second half still well in the game and even after Lakeside went 3:1 ahead, the visitors enjoyed their best period of the game. After half time advice from the Manager and Ben, in his captain’s role, taking the lead to rally the team, the lads displayed greater energy and effort to close down the opposition to try to get back into the game. Half chances for Harry, Ben and a Liam free kick were well dealt with by the goalkeeper and two more break away goals by the hosts effectively ended the contest with ten minutes remaining.

Stonnall Phoenix, kept going though and with Jack and the combative Ennis and Sedgy at the heart of midfield, possession was retained well but the lads couldn’t quite find an opening. The game ended 5:1.

MOTM

Ben shows maturity as Captain of the team and works tirelessly up front. He always gives 100% and is willing to learn. A true leader will gain the respect of his teammates by his actions and this was amply displayed here. For this, Wayne has awarded Ben Man of the Match.

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Oct 21st

Stonnall  Phoenix   3:1   Wyrley Juniors Wolves

Ennis, Sedgy, Liam

This comeback win could have been more comprehensive but gave Phoenix their deserved first win of the season.

The away side started well and pressed Stonnall in defensive positions for the first few minutes. The makeshift central defensive pairing of Liam and Dillan coped well through the middle and fullbacks Tom and debutant Joe stopped any crosses. After that initial pressure, Stonnall settled down and strung a few passing moves together and when Harry found space on the left, he was able to get a stretching shot away but off target.

More good play followed with the home side dominating the play until the 17th minute when an unfortunate miskick fell kindly for a Wyrley forward who scored for a 0:1 lead. It was harsh on Phoenix and Wyrley were immediately back on the attack but the lads played themselves out of trouble, threading the ball forward and eventually winning a free kick on the edge of the visitors’ box. Liam shot at goal and Ennis was first to react to the rebound to equalise at 1:1.

It was nothing more than Stonnall deserved and more chances followed with shots at goal by Ben, Ennis and Liam. Then in the 29th minute, Ben found Sedgy bursting through the middle. He rounded the goalkeeper and coolly slotted the ball home for his first goal in many seasons. It was just reward for a player who has showed maturity and loyalty since the founding season of Stonnall Phoenix. It remained 2:1 at halftime.

The away side came out looking to get back on level terms and nearly forced an equaliser with the ball bouncing around the six yard box but Alfie made a remarkable double save to maintain the lead and thwart a possible turning point in the game.

Instead, Stonnall continued to play the more composed football and chances came for Ben, Callum and Mac on the break but it was Liam who showed his class by finding the top corner with a 30 yard free kick to give Stonnall a two goal cushion. The player, in only his second game for Phoenix, adds quality and links well with his new teammates. His calm assuredness and excellent attitude typify the team’s qualities this season.

Ben, lead the line tirelessly and set a great example as Captain. He and Mac held the ball up well and were instrumental in the chances created for midfielders and latterly, Tom, who was unlucky not to extend the lead. Despite a disallowed goal and a shot against the bar, the home side held out for a vital 3:1 win.

This was a gutsy display of attractive football with periods of needing to dig in and defend. Every member of the team can be proud of a fantastic team victory, overcoming injuries and illness to complete the match.

Man of the Match

This has been awarded by the referee to Mac for his great link up play and determined ball possession. He also commended Alfie for his saves and bravery.

Well done lads.

Report by Pete H.

Oct 7th

Stonnall Phoenix   0:7   Wyrley Juniors Jaguars

This was the first match for the new look Stonnall Phoenix following a number of departures and exciting new arrivals. It was never going to be easy against the league leaders and so it proved.

Phoenix started the game in determined fashion, restricting the visitors to few chances. A back three of Dillan, Jack and Tom dealing well with good pressure by Wyrley. The midfield of Liam, Ennis, Harry, Sedgy and Oren were combative against strong opposition and the front two of Ben and Mac were finding a few openings without really troubling the goalkeeper. Liam, particularly, was winning the ball and finding space to pass forward.

It remained goalless until the 27th minute when Wyrley finally broke the deadlock and a second goal six minutes later made it 0:2 at half time.

Stonnall were still in the game at the start of the second half but two quick goals put a favourable result out of reach for the home side. Jaguars were now enjoying a downhill advantage and Phoenix were finding it hard to get the ball out of their own half but determined play by the defence, now joined by Harry for a back four, did their best to snuff out any threats and Dillan showed speed and concentration in his right back position to stop any crosses.

Phoenix held firm for another 20 mins but three late goals as the hosts tired put a gloss on the score for the visitors and the game finished 0:7.

The lads never let their heads drop, fought for each other and communicated well in their first game playing together. They can proud of a mature performance in the face of talented opposition.

Man Of The Match

Wayne has awarded MOTM to Liam. An accomplished performance on his debut and encapsulated the team’s determination to work for each other. Also commended for his performance is Dillan. His right back defending was athletic and composed. Well done lads.

Report by Pete H.

 

 

Sept 9th

Stonnall Phoenix   0:7   Wednesfield

Although this was a defeat, the first competitive game of the season saw further improvement in the way the team plays.

Wednesbury are a very well established 1st division team and showed their superiority with strong play and penetrative attacking. Stonnall didn’t play badly and for patches of the game, the defence was on top but the team weren’t quite dangerous enough up front. Louis burst through after good build up play but his intelligent lob was just over the bar.

At the other end, keeper Alfie was busy and smothered, punched and leapt to clear many dangerous balls into the box and dived bravely at the feet of onrushing forwards to keep the score down. It truly was a performance deserved of MOTM which was awarded to him at the end of the match followed by teammates’ applause.

It was a game of firsts. whilst it was Wayne’s first competitive match as Manager, it was also the first game for new signing ‘Little’ Alfie, who played at right back and was never out of his depth. The club welcome Alfie to the team and look forward to him establishing himself as a valuable member of Stonnall Phoenix.

Report by Pete H.

Friendlies

The two friendlies that were played against Holy Name and Tipton were competitive and a good learning curve for the team. Although both games ended in defeats, a lot of positives can be taken.

Holy Name are U16s and the difference in age was noticeable but Phoenix never let their heads go down and came away proud to have competed against a very good team. Jack got our first goal of the season from Roo‘s corner with a well directed header climbing above the defence.

It was reward for a masterly performance from Jack who got up and down between the boxes tirelessly, helping the defence at one end and turning possession into attack at the other. For his performance he was Man of the Match.

The Tipton game was a better performance all round. Communication was excellent and the passing game was evident in possession. A couple of Tipton’s goals came from mistakes but the lads rallied and scored from a Charlie free kick when Benno followed in and beat the keeper to the rebound.

Snuffing out many Tipton attacks was Dylan who gave a towering performance at the heart of the Phoenix defence. When he wasn’t heading clear he was taking a touch to pass to a teammate or bringing the ball out of defence to start an attack. Dylan is awarded MOTM for this performance.

Report by Pete H.

 

May 13th

Stonnall Phoenix   1:2   Hamstead Diamonds

Louis

The last game of the season ended in defeat after an exciting conclusion when the home side could have rescued a draw.

Stonnall started well enough with defensive and midfield possession but found it difficult to break down a strong Hamstead back line. A few attractive moves threatened but lacked a quality finish. The defence had largely dealt with any Hamstead attacks with Tom P. particularly prominent snuffing out right wing threats.

The breakthrough came for the visitors three minutes before half time when an attack down the left resulted in a fierce shot finding the back of the net. Diamonds led 0:1 going into the break.

The pattern of the game continued into the second half with Phoenix having stuttering possession but not quite having the guile to unlock a resolute defence. The game was settled in the 58th minute when following a similar build up to the first goal, Hamstead scored to make it 0:2.

The home side rallied but couldn’t find a way past the opposition keeper until eventually Louis found the net after good build up play down the right in the 68th minute to pull a goal back. The last few minutes saw Hamstead hanging on as Phoenix found more urgency being buoyed by the goal but despite a number of penalty box scrambles the equaliser was elusive and the match finished 1:2.

Report by Pete H.

Message from the Manager

After winning the last three games, two of which were quite convincing wins it was a shame we ended our season with a 2-1 defeat.

Nevertheless the game was played with great respect by both teams and enjoyed by both parties.

The last 10 minutes saw us play some good attacking football with Louis netting again from close range – a right little goal poacher he is becoming!

Charlie had a thundering shot on goal only to be brilliantly saved by the Hamstead keeper, had we have played with this tempo and attitude earlier on in the game we may had more to show for our last game.

Well done to Hamstead Diamonds.

MOTM

This was difficult one to choose, and again it is shared.

Dylan at central defence was again superb, never missed a header he challenged for and worked very hard through the centre of his position – well done Dylan.

Tom P who at the last minute was asked to play at left wing back settled in very well and played with fair but firm aggression – typical Tom, well done Tom.

Neil

Apr 22nd

Stonnall Phoenix   3:2   Smethwick Raiders

Louis, Mac, DJ

This was Stonnall’s third win in a row and proved to be a closer game than it might have been after a good first half showing.

The home side started on the front foot and after 7 mins, Louis got on the end of a clearance by Dylan, found himself one on one with the keeper and coolly slotted the ball home for 1:0. It was the forward’s third goal in as many games and Louis is enjoying his best period as a Stonnall player. Another player making recent strides is Ennis who was typically combative in this game, making strong tackles and he also had the confidence to carry the ball forward creating opportunities for teammates throughout the game.

Stonnall doubled their lead in the 10th minute when, following a throw in on the left, Mac collected the ball and weaved past a defender to the by-line and had the composure to cut back in and score past the advancing goalkeeper. It should have remained 2:0 at halftime but just before the break, Smethwick pressed forward and a ball into the six yard box was bundled in for 2:1.

The second half was a closer affair, the goal before the break having given Smethwick a platform and they were stringing periods of possession together and carving out half chances. The home defence dealt with most of the attacks with Alfie making at least two vital saves. One at point blank and another a fingertip save to divert a goal bound shot onto the bar. That proved crucial as just a minute later, Crusher, in an advanced position crossed the ball and DJ was in the right place to score and restore the two goal cushion at 3:1 after 65 mins.

The result was settled but there was enough time for the visitors to get their second goal with a shot from distance with the last kick of an entertaining game that finished 3:2.

Report by Pete H.

Message from the Manager

Started the game with great determination and confidence.

Frustratingly we conceded two goals that really should’ve been dealt with and avoided – something to discuss in training.

A couple of issues – we seemed to lose the ball or make errant passes within the central area of the pitch, remember if you lose the ball the hard work is winning it back quickly!

With a late dip over Alfie in the last seconds, more play time could’ve been a different score line.

Well done to Jas and Smethwick for continuing to battle hard throughout the game. Jas commented what a very respectful team we are and it was a pleasure to play us.

That’s down to you lads – well done in showing respect and shaking hands at times of fouls committed.

MOTM

Two awards in this game.

Dylan at Centre Half who barely put a foot wrong and made some very good recovery runs and also halted a very quick striker.

And to Mackenzie who battled hard against some quite physical defenders and also ran his socks off to win balls he really had no right in winning, take a lesson lads from Mac’s determination and never give up chasing and harassing!

Neil