Category Archives: SP14 Match Reports

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 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 respectful teams.

Report by Pete H.
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Dec 3rd

Stonnall Phoenix   3:2   AFC Willenhall

Charlie 3

The captain’s influential performance turned this match in favour of Stonnall Phoenix to ensure the three points.

The home side started positively, pressing right from the kick off and within 2 mins took the lead when Benno’s pass under pressure found Charlie, who worked some space and shot into the corner of the goal for 1:0. It could easily have been more as openings were created by Mac, Charlie and DJ.

Against the run of play though, Willenhall equalised in the 12th minute after a strong run on the left wing but Stonnall continued to play good football with Charlie at the centre of things flanked by the industrious Jack and Ennis. The home side couldn’t quite find the breakthrough again and the game stood poised at 1:1 at half time.

With Willenhall now playing downhill in the second half it would take concentration and guille to keep them away from goal and with the busy Tom P. as an outlet on the left and Roo and Sedgy solid on the right, Phoenix were soaking up pressure and using the wings well. Dylan and the ever improving Alfie were communicating well and with the former heading every aerial threat clear, even the local pigeons steered away!

On 40 minutes, the visitors took the lead after a shot from the right and despite Alfie getting his fingertips to it, the ball found the net for a 1:2 lead. It was frustrating but having been in similar positions recently, Stonnall showed character and resolve to not panic and carry on playing incisive football. Had it not been for the visiting keeper and the woodwork, Phoenix would have got back on terms sooner but it took a determined run by Sedgy and a pass infield to Charlie, for the top scorer to make no mistake to equalise after 55mins.

There only looked like one winner now and the hosts played their best football during this period in search of a winner whilst being solid at the back. With five minutes left a call from the Manager gave Roo the chance to put in a dangerous free kick which found Charlie unmarked and his central header billowed the net for the winner. A disallowed, offside goal for each side followed but the game ended in a 3:2 home win.

All of Stonnall Phoenix’s ten points have come from losing positions which shows a steely determination to succeed in the face of adversity. This characteristic will help them in the quest to be unbeaten for the remainder of the first half league.

Report by Pete H.

Message from the Manager

Well done lads you totally dominated the game. Apart from a couple of things you could’ve dealt with I thought it was a solid performance. Alfie hardly had a save to make with a good defence in front of him.
It’s always easy to give someone MOTM who scores each week but to bag another hatrick and lead the team to a well deserved win I have decided to award Charlie with MOTM.
After thinking about the game all evening as I usually do I thought Rhys should also be awarded MOTM for an outstanding RB performance – control of the ball at first touch was brilliant giving him every chance of distributing early balls.
Well done Charlie and Rhys.

Neil

Nov 26th

Cresswell Wanderers Colts   3:1   Stonnall Phoenix

Tom

After a dominant first half display by Cresswell, Stonnall Phoenix came into the game more in the second half but couldn’t prevent a home win.

The home side enjoyed the majority of the possession in the first half and Stonnall were finding it difficult getting out of their own half as they were being pinned down by Cresswell’s strong  and physical play. Phoenix however, were coping well with the attacks with Dylan marshalling the defence and Sedgy and Harry cutting out the wing play and playing balls forward.

After 18 mins though, the pressure told and Cresswell took the lead. The game continued in the same vein with Phoenix not quite finding the incisive ball in the attacking half to create chances. Cresswell made it 2:0 in the 31st minute and held that lead at the break.

The second half saw Stonnall more in the game with greater possession in an attacking sense. The half time subs made a difference with Benno battling well in midfield and DJ making right wing forays. Mac was involved in a lot of forward play holding up the ball and feeding on-running midfielders.

Cresswell got a third to seal the result largely against the run of play in the 48th minute but Phoenix kept positive and were rewarded when Mac fed Charlie who released DJ down the wing. His pace allowed him to put in a superb cross to the far post to where Tom had made a run and his persistance gave him the chance to score his sixth of the season following a goalkeeping save. It was the move of the match and gave Stonnall a little hope at 3:1 with 10 minutes left.

Zack put in a brilliant tackle to prevent a run in on goal for a Cresswell forward and had another half chance been taken by Phoenix it might have made the final few minutes a bit nervy for the home side but it wasn’t to be and the game finished 3:1.

Report by Pete H.

Message from the Manager

MOTM awarded to Mackenzie

Came on for second half, played off his line to get in front of his marker who was almost twice his size, showed good strength/determination holding up and laying off resulting in Stonnall’s goal.

Well done Mackenzie.

Neil

Nov 19th

Lane Head Bullets   3:4   Stonnall Phoenix

Tom P, Charlie 3

A dominant Stonnall Phoenix came from behind to claim a morale boosting victory.

Lane Head had the better start, scoring from a corner to open the scoring and after Charlie hit the bar with a looping effort, the home side scored again from an own goal to make it 2:0 after 14 mins.

Phoenix kept pressing high and one attack lead to a corner. Tom took a left foot inswinger which went straight into the net after a goalkeeping fumble to get the visitors back in the game at 2:1. Phoenix were dominating now and good interplay between Jack and Charlie gave the captain the chance to shoot from the edge of the area to equalise in the 22nd minute. The two influential midfielders combined again 10 mins later and Charlie scored his second to make it 2:3 at half time.

The second half was a display of concentration, pressing and determined play from Phoenix. The next goal would be crucial and it was Charlie’s determined persistance after a good ball from Sedgy which gave the captain his third hat trick of a prolific season.

At 2:4 the home side pressed forward but were repelled by a resolute defence and when a ball did get through then Alfie was on hand to make smothering saves at the forwards’ feet. Lane Head did get a goal back with two minutes left but Stonnall deservedly held on to the 3:4 lead for a hard fought victory.

Having been faced with a two goal deficit after recent defeats and to come back and win in a confident and assured display shows great determination, belief and character. Qualities which will serve them well in the coming games.

Report by Pete H.

Message from the Manager

MOTM Awards:

Dylan C. – more confident than recent weeks at CD and communicated well with others.

Tom (Crusher) – played a very energetic game in front of the back three, making endless tackles and giving good instructions.

Rhys – came on 2nd half for Sedgy, settled very well at RWB giving good cover, support and good body position in hold up defensive position.

Well done lads. Make sure you build on this performance.

Well done to Charlie on very good hat trick, especially the left foot curler!

Neil

 

 

Nov 5th Friendly

Stonnall Phoenix   2:9   Leixlip Utd

Charlie, Jack

Stonnall Phoenix played host to a touring team from Ireland and it proved to be a lesson for the home side in higher level football but they came away having earnt respect from the visitors.

Leixlip (pronounced Leekslip) hail from a town west of Dublin where the original Guinness Brewery was sited and their team served up a heady brew (sorry!) of possession, control, discipline and organisation which can only be admired. With virtual encampment in Phoenix’s half, the Irish side scored five times in a dominant first half.

The second half was more competitive and after four minutes Benno bustled through and looped a shot just over the bar. This sparked the Phoenix lads, giving them confidence and in the 41st minute Charlie burst through and scored a deserved goal, his thirteenth of the season. Leixlip scored twice more before Jack made a surging run from the right and crashed a superb shot against the underside of the bar. His disappointment, however, turned to joy when after 56mins he met a Charlie pass brilliantly on the volley from the edge of the area for a goal of the season candidate.

The visitors got two more towards the end of the game and Charlie whizzed a free kick over the bar from distance but the game finished 2:9.

The score, whilst realistic, belies the fact that the lads played well against a superior team. The defence were strong and concentrated throughout with Alfie being singled out for commendation by the visiting coaches. His handling and distribution were sound and he must have made a dozen saves. The midfield battled hard to provide the forwards with chances and helped out defencively.

The Leixlip lads were respectful throughout the game and played with a verve and energy that was enjoyable to watch and was appreciated by the home supporters.

After the game, everyone reconvened at The Old Swan for drinks and sandwiches. Opinions and stories were swapped whilst the teams ate and then played football together in the car park. It was a pleasure for Stonnall Phoenix to host a quality team and we wish our friends all the best for the rest of their season.

We look forward to playing again in the future.

Report by Pete H.

Message from the Manager

Being a relatively new Club in WJYL and a very rural team it was a great honour to be asked to host this friendly on behalf of the league.

Leixlip are a team from Dublin who play to high standard as we found out!

They are a well established club with something in the region of 22 teams from grassroots to seniors, should they win their last few remaining games they will play in the Irish Premier League which I’m made to believe is of a high standard.

I have asked Terry to keep me informed as to how they get on with their promotion chase.

Both the players, coaches and the odd parent who travelled with them were of impeccable behaviour and manners and showed the utmost respect to all of us at Stonnall Phoenix Juniors, it really was a fantastic day.

Both of Leixlip coaches, Brendan and Terry have sent recent emails thanking us for the time we took to make them welcome.

I would like to thank Dawn and The Old Swan in the village for accommodating everyone afterwards where we all enjoyed the food and several beers of course!

I think the highlight of the day was after both sets of teams had eaten they all decided to go into the carpark and play ‘one bounce’ This really is how football should be played and socialised.

Our invite to Dublin is a very warm one and I have assured both Brendan and Terry that we will definitely be visiting them in spring of next year – we may even let Moms come along, well someone’s got to carry us home after the Guinness factory tour!!

Thankyou parents and players of Stonnall Phoenix Juniors for making it an enjoyable day for our visitors.

Kind Regards

Neil

———- Forwarded message ———-

Date: Sun, 5 Nov 2017 17:43:59 -0000
Subject: Re: Match on the 5th

Hi Neil

Thanks again for today as it was a pleasure for us to play your Team.

Great bunch of lads along with all the people we met.

We enjoyed the day and company and both Teams seem to get on well considering they experienced a game in the car park after they played each other.

“Loved that”

Don’t forget the open invite to our place come 2018.

Best wishes.

Brendan

Oct 29th

Stonnall Phoenix   2:5   Rising Stars

Charlie 2

Charlie scored his eleventh and twelve goals of the season but it wasn’t enough to prevent Rising Stars from taking the three points.

The home side started brightly and got the early goal their play deserved when Benno pressed and harried the defence into making a mistake, prodded the ball back to Charlie who made no mistake. 1:0 after 6mins.

Stonnall dominated the ball and with good interplay between Louis, Mac and Benno, chances were created and Ennis, Louis, Charlie and Zac all had shots on goal but Phoenix couldn’t find a way past the Rising Stars goalkeeper.

In the 29th minute, the home side were hit by a sucker punch equaliser. A wonder strike from 25 yds brought the scores level and then two minutes later the visitors took the lead to make the score 1:2 at half time.

the game was still very tight in the second half and Stonnall were continuing to press and dominate. Mac was just off target when well placed following a good move. It looked as if Phoenix would get back into the game but when Rising Stars added to their lead in the 42nd and 47th minutes, it effectively put the game beyond Stonnall.

Charlie got one back with a stunning, unstoppable free kick to make it 2:4 and if the visitors’ keeper hadn’t made a stunning double save it could have been different but Rising Stars then scored again on the counter attack in the 64th minute and the game finished 2:5.

Oct 8th

Punjab Utd   5:5   Stonnall Phoenix

Charlie 3, Mac, Louis

This dramatic match ended all square after an incredible fight back by Stonnall Phoenix.

The first fifteen minutes saw Phoenix press for an opening, playing attractive football and although Tom and Charlie both had efforts on goal, the visitors couldn’t find a breakthrough. In between, Punjab scored three break away goals to seemingly settle the game early on at 3:0.

From another break, Punjab had a chance to make it four but a spectacular flying save by Alfie onto the post, the ball running across the line and eventually to safety, would prove to be an unlikely turning point.

About halfway through the first half, Harry came on as a substitute and immediately put in a crunching sliding tackle, winning the ball, and this seemed to typify the fighting spirit of the whole team. Stonnall needed a way back into this game though and that eventually came through Charlie a minute before the interval. Following good pressure and a corner, the ball was played through by Zac and Charlie finished expertly to make the half time score 3:1.

Into the second half, Phoenix continued to press and try to find an opening but a foray forward from the Punjab centre back after 54 mins saw a long effort hit the back of the net for a 4:1 lead. However while they were celebrating, the referee blew to restart and Stonnall caught the home team out of position and when Charlie got round the back of the defence and crossed, Mac was on hand to slot the ball home for 4:2. The next two minutes saw another home goal before Stonnall once again reduced the score to two behind when Charlie hit a powerful free kick which the keeper couldn’t hold and Louis pounced on the rebound to make it 5:3.

Then in the 59th minute, Charlie scored from another free kick. Phoenix really had the momentum now and two minutes before time, after Alfie had made another save, Charlie completed a deserved hat trick when he collected a pass from Louis and slotted the ball past the goalkeeper. The players and supporters celebrated the equaliser like it was a winner and in fact there was still time for Louis to come within a whisker of connecting with a cross, but the breathless game ended 5:5.

It was a deserved point from an exciting game and the lads showed great character and a never-say-die attitude to come from three goals behind. Every player had some part to play and can be very proud of what they achieved from a difficult position.

Report by Pete H.

Message from the Manager

Firstly I would like to offer thanks to Punjab Utd for making us welcome. It was a game thoroughly enjoyed by both sets of supporters and the game was played with great respect by both teams of players.

This was a great test of character for us, to go down 3 – 0 in 15 minutes wasn’t the start we talked about prior to kick off.

3 -1 at half time we still felt in the game, 4 -1 we were three goals behind again and 5-2 still three goals behind but you battled hard against a very fair, honest and well drilled team who had some quick players to end it a 5 -5 draw and we could have nicked it 6 -5 right at the death.

I have to say at 3 down in 15 I thought we were going to suffer a heavy defeat but absolute credit to you lads for proving me wrong, the subs were instrumental coming on and off throughout the game.

With Louis coming on and looking more confident than late he gave something else in attack.

Alfie:

Fantastic shot stopping to deny further goals for sure, the tip onto the cross bar was top drawer mate.

Just one thing – even if you think a shot is going over or wide make sure you cover it!

Defence:

I’m not sure what is going on at the moment lads. All mistakes are learning curves but we don’t seem to be learning and we’re still making the same mistakes!

You as a defence need to talk and you also need to give the coaches input when we talk to you.

Harry – loads better in determination and some great honest hard tackles to show for it, to be nominated for a MOTM award by Charlie – you must have played well, keep it up now Harry.

Zack – same as Harry great determined tackles just like we talked about in training – keep it up Zack its looking good.

Dylan/Tom we seem have lost confidence in the middle at the moment – we are clearly not communicating with each other, with RB, LB or Alfie. As we discussed when one challenge,s one drops behind but we didn’t, resulting in both of you chasing behind from a flat line. More to discuss but we’ll get there – heads up!

Midfield:

Battled very well in the middle with Jack and Ennis alongside Charlie this looked our strongest central line for some time.

Jack again showed great energy and Ennis with his strength allowed Charlie to be more creative – three good ingredients in the centre of the pitch. Just remember if and when you lose the ball be more responsive to get back quicker.

Strikers:

Mac started as a lone striker with five across the middle, Mac made his usual endless runs but was running for balls he was unlikely to get on the end of sometimes with a lack of early support from midfield – I’ll explain how to make the most of a lone striker in training.

Louis came on for the second half linking up well with Charlie on his inside and also made a clever move outside to get the ball into the box early for another of our five well – earned goals.

Both Mac and Louis showed determination but needed more support – someone remind me to discuss in training.

Sedgy had a good strong half and continually talked to his defence, however when he went off it fell silent.

A parent behind me also commented that you don’t talk to each other or instruct each other half as much as the other teams!

If the league was won on showing gritty character, determination and effort you would be league winners from this game. It goes to show it’s never over until it’s over!

MOTM:

We had 4 in this game –

Charlie for driving his team on with a hat trick, Jack again for his role in midfield moving from defence, Zack for more of his determination and finally Harry who was actually nominated by Charlie for listening and crunching tackles in the midfield line that we had talked about.

Well done to all of you – as usual MOTM awards will be given out at the Players Christmas Dinner for the first half the season.

We have a two week break now due to free week and half term.

Our next game is HOME to Rising Stars

Training this Saturday will be 10.30 till 12 with no training or game the weekend after.

Neil