Category Archives: SP14 Match Reports

Mar 11th

AFC Willenhall   2:1   Stonnall Phoenix


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.


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.


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.
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


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.


Nov 26th

Cresswell Wanderers Colts   3:1   Stonnall Phoenix


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.


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!





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


———- 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.