Category Archives: SP14 Match Reports

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
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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

Apr 15th

Stonnall Phoenix   5:0   Pelsall Villa Colts

Mac, Louis, Charlie, DJ, Ennis

This was Stonnall’s last match of the 1st Half League and the home side enjoyed a winning conclusion with a display of passing, attacking football to overwhelm the visitors.

Straight from the kick off, Phoenix were positive and pinned Pelsall in their own half and eventually the pressure was to be decisive. Mac got on the end of a goal kick from the visitors and charged through the defence. Good control gave him an opening and he made no mistake to score past the keeper for 1:0 after 9 mins.

A period of more even possession followed with Pelsall enjoying their best period of the match forcing a number of corners. The Stonnall defence remained solid though and reduced Pelsall to few shots on goal. Alfie made a fingertip save during this time to maintain the slender lead.

With five mins left of the half, Phoenix took control of the game with a three goal salvo. Firstly, Mac got free down the right and a searching cross was met by ‘fox in the box’ Louis who unerringly shot into the net for his fourth goal of an ever improving season. Then after a penalty which was saved by the imposing Pelsall keeper, Charlie was first to react to a deep ball from the back and was able to prod the ball past the keeper into the net for a 3:0 lead. On the stroke of half time, a rampant Phoenix made it 4:0 when Tom P. made a persevering right wing run and crossed for DJ to score high into the net after a far post run.

With respect to Pelsall, their heads never dropped and indeed could have scored on a couple of occasions but the defence of Roo, Dylan, and Harry backed up by Alfie are looking more assured every game and this would be a second clean sheet in a row. Roo and DJ were overlapping well and with a minute to go of added time following injuries to Dylan and Alfie, Roo put in a cross to the far post where Ennis took his time to pick his spot and make the final score 5:0.

This was a mature performance in a weather interrupted season where Stonnall Phoenix showed their quality with every player making a significant contribution to an entertaining game.

Report by Pete H.

Message from the Manager

On the back of last weeks performance v Mahal this was a very solid performance by everyone.

Again the positional play was excellent and the balance of play through phases was very good, it proves that the training is paying off lads!

MOTM

This was awarded by the referee who also had an excellent game, it was awarded to team Captain Charlie – well done Charlie for a solid driving performance with excellent attitude.

Neil

Mar 25th

Mahal FC   0:7   Stonnall Phoenix

Charlie 2, Zac, Benno, Roo, Jack, Crusher

Stonnall Phoenix outclassed their hosts to enjoy the most comprehensive win of the season so far.

With regular strikers Mac and Louis absent, it was a chance for Benno and Charlie to be pushed forward and it was the Captain who struck first after good work on the left wing by Tom in the second minute. That combination would work later in the game too as the visitors took a grip on the game.

Phoenix were passing and moving well and soaking up any Mahal pressure effectively at the back. The score remained at 0:1 though until a tactical move proved decisive. Jack was moved further up the pitch and Zack replaced the industrious Tom on the wing. Almost immediately Charlie, now in his more familiar midfield role found Zack in acres of space who took his time and finished with composure to make it 0:2. Then, three minutes later in the 28th minute, Jack made a great run down the left and prodded a ball into the box passed the keeper from the tightest of angles. Benno was in the right place to score from a yard out for 0:3.

More pressure followed and Roo delivered a number of dangerous corners. Harry had a header saved on the line but then Roo found the top corner himself direct from a corner after a defensive deflection and good back post pressure by Crusher. That was the 3rd goal in seven minutes to end the half 0:4 to the visitors.

Straight after the break, despite renewed impetus from Mahal, Charlie was finding space on the ball and a wavy run and pass found Jack running into the area. He made no mistake for a deserved goal. 0:5 after 36 minutes. Then Charlie got his second of the game and 21st of the season with another assist from Tom in the 51st minute. Nine minutes later, Roo sent in another dangerous corner and Crusher got his deserved goal for a solid performance for 0:7.

A very good performance from Stonnall was rewarded with seven goals and despite a lack of regular forwards, the whole team took responsibility with Benno, Roo and Zack getting their first goals of the season.

MOTM:  Crusher (awarded by Nick) Solid and determined all round performance and good positioning for his goal.

Report by Pete H.

Message from the Manager

This was a brilliant performance by everyone from start to finish. The formation worked perfectly with all positions well covered and dominated.

This was the game when all the training we put in came together – very well done lads and greatly deserved for all your hard work.

MOTM

This was awarded by the Stonnall parents and goes to Tom (Crusher) moved from playing as a two in front of the back three to a strikers role, aggressive in the correct way, very determined and never stopped running, also got on the score sheet – well done Tom, a brilliant performance to be proud of.

Neil

Mar 11th

AFC Willenhall   2:1   Stonnall Phoenix

Louis

The first match of the 2nd half League was won by the home side but only after Stonnall Phoenix had threatened a second half comeback.

Unlike recent games, Phoenix couldn’t quite grasp the initiative in the first half and although possession was shared, Willenhall went ahead with a header from a corner in the 13th minute and added to the lead six mins later when a cross from the left was met with a shot into the roof of the net.

Phoenix hadn’t played badly enough to be 2:0 down but had not shown their characteristic dominant possession and pressing game. Charlie was driving his team forward but was being closed down very quickly by two or three opposing players. Willenhall had obviously learned from the previous game when Stonnall’s Captain had scored a hat trick to win the game.

On a positive note, Benno and Mac held the ball up well and Jack and Roo showed quality and composure in possession but the lads couldn’t find the incisiveness needed to get back into the game and it remained 2:0 at halftime.

A change at the back with Zac coming on at left back and Harry moving to centre back alongside Dylan made the visitors look more solid at the back and allowed the full backs to push forward more. It seemed to work as Phoenix now enjoyed more possession and the team as a whole looked busier and more threatening. Chances started to come and from a Roo corner, Louis struck a strong shot which went in via a deflection for his third goal of an improving season and gave Stonnall a chance in the game at 2:1 after 54 mins.

Apart from a couple of forays into the visitors half, the second half seemed to be swinging in Stonnall’s favour. DJ was well placed a couple of times after strong runs and Mac had a shot go agonisingly wide of the post. The stand out moment of this period, though, was when Charlie had a superb long distance free kick tipped round the post by the excellent goalkeeper. Phoenix couldn’t find the equaliser and the game finished 2:1 in favour of AFC Willenhall.

The second half display was much better and Stonnall Phoenix will look forward to the return match and hope to have a few training sessions to add that bit of spark and ingenuity that wins games.

Report by Pete H.

 

 

Feb 11th

Stonnall Phoenix   4:1   Smethwick Raiders

Mac, Crusher, DJ, Ennis

Stonnall’s best win of the season saw a dominant display in the first league match since the beginning of December.

The opening minutes were typical of the pattern of the match in that the visitors were pinned in their own half with Phoenix trying to prize open a stubborn defence. Half chances came and went through high pressure and good build up play. Despite shots raining in on goal from Mac, Ennis, Crusher, Charlie and Tom P., the away goal remained intact until in the 21st minute. Good persistence by Benno in the area lead to the ball being slotted home by Mac for his second goal in as many games.

Then two minutes later Crusher, who had been excellent in central midfield breaking up play, found space on the edge of the area and shot into the net with unerring accuracy to make the score 2:0. It was a deserved lead. Further chances came for Stonnall from open play and from superb dead balls by Roo but the score remained at half time.

Within a minute of the second half starting, Smethwick got back in the game with a shot from distance. This, however, would prove to be their only shot in the whole game.

After a couple of nervous minutes as Smethwick looked lively following their goal, Phoenix regained a two goal lead with the effervescent DJ breaking free down the right and scoring from a cross/shot for 3:1. Then after 39 mins, the game was settled by Ennis who shot from a tight angle for his first goal for Stonnall Phoenix.

The three man defence of Roo, Dylan and Harry were solid throughout and late on Sedgy and Harry combined well for the latter to overlap down the left wing and shoot into the side netting. Top scorer, Charlie found the chance to shoot several times, particularly in the second half, but couldn’t find his usual accuracy.

Although the opposition were not as strong as some other teams, the lads still had to dig deep to grind out a positive result and displayed plenty of good individual performances.

Report by Pete H.

Message from the Manager

Well done lads on a very good display, taking into consideration the lack of training and games due to weather.

Solid performance from everyone, just one thing – why did we allow one shot resulting in one goal?

Could we have closed down more quickly?

Well done Ennis on your first goal for Stonnall Phoenix – hopefully more to come.

Good 3 points lads, well done.

MOTM

Without doubt I awarded this to Tom ‘Crusher’ for an outstanding performance in front of the back three constantly breaking down play, feeding his midfielders and of course a very neat finish in the bottom corner.

Tom was also the choice of the parents.

Well done Tom keep it going mate.

 Neil

Jan 14th – Cup

Rising Stars   4:2   Stonnall Phoenix

Mac, Jack

An exciting cup game eventually swung towards the home side in extra time.

The visitors kicked off and immediately encamped in the Rising Stars half. It was constant pressure and with the midfield and forwards closing down the home defence and passing well, Rising Stars couldn’t find a way out. Stonnall were rewarded when Charlie passed to Mac who scored to take an early lead in the 5th minute.

The high pressing continued with every Phoenix player working hard to deny the home side any time on the ball. Rising Stars gradually came more into the game towards half time but without troubling Alfie in Stonnall’s goal. Phoenix were still creating chances and Charlie, Benno and Tom P. all had good shots on goal only to be repelled by the Rising Stars’ keeper. Stonnall Phoenix were well on top and they took a 0:1 lead into half time.

The home side came out stronger after half time. Stonnall were finding it more difficult to control the game as they had in the first half but now had a two goal cushion as straight from the kick off Jack had a shot which the goalkeeper couldn’t keep out making it 0:2.

Rising Stars were now on the front foot though and Phoenix were struggling to contain the strength and pace of the forward players. Chances were created but due to some brilliant last ditch defending by Dylan, Harry and particularly Roo who took a fierce shot in the stomach on the goal line, the goal remained intact. The pressure eventually told in the 56th minute with Rising Stars scoring and then 6 mins later equalising at 2:2.

There were still chances at both ends with goal mouth scrambles but the whistle blew for full time with seven minutes each way of extra time to come to settle this tight match.

The pattern of this game was similar to the league match in that Stonnall started the brighter, taking the lead and creating further chances but eventually were overpowered by Rising Stars who scored twice more in this game for a 4:2 win to secure passage to the next round.

Stonnall Phoenix were unlucky not to add to their lead in a first half contolled by their passing and pressing game and can be proud to have contributed to an entertaining match played by two talented teams.

Report by Pete H.

Message from the Manager

First game of 2018 and the unexpected journey to Selly Oak was worth it.
The Ref set the tone of the game with his pre match chat, I have contacted him to tell him he was outstanding.
The lads were tremendous in the first half and really took the game to Rising Stars unfortunately they had the legs and the finishing we couldn’t quite find.
As I said to the lads I was disappointed at having to take the Captain from the game for his attitude, this won’t be tolerated from anyone and apologies for you all hearing my loud voice!
If the lads can build on this first half performance I’m sure they can have a positive second half of the season.
MOTM
I have decided to award two awards
Mackenzie for his determination and runs off the ball and of course his neat finish.
Rhys for his positional play and driving forward from RB and clearing three sure goals off the line.
Well done all of you especially the MOTM players

 Neil