Category Archives: SP15 Match Reports

Jan 6th – U15s Cup

St Georges   2:1   Stonnall Phoenix

Ben

Stonnall started this cup game on the front foot with good possession, particularly involving Fozz and Ben in forward positions. The defence had little to deal with and St Georges were reduced to long range efforts.

The home side came more into the game half way through the first period and it was one of these long range efforts that gave St Georges the lead after 35 mins.

Phoenix had looked off the pace in the first half following the Christmas break but the lads came out with renewed energy in the second half and after perseverance by Tom down the left, he managed to hook the ball into the box where Ben was able to loop the ball over the goalkeeper for the equaliser. 1:1 in the 42nd minute.

The visitors were on top now and looked to have taken the lead following a Liam corner but the ball unluckily bounced over the bar. Stonnall continued to press and again, St Georges only looked dangerous from free kicks and corners but another shot from distance found the net for what proved to be the winner in the 64th minute.

Stonnall still had time to respond and with Zak, Callum, Sedgy and Ennis all contributing to a more high energy second half. The lads kept trying to force an equaliser right to the last kick when a frantic goalmouth scramble was finally cleared by St Georges and they won a tight game 2:1 to progress to the next round.

In a game that could have gone either way, it was St Georges who came out on top but the lads can take heart from a better second half performance and can learn lessons from a lethargic start.

Report by Pete H.

Man of the Match

Wayne has given MOTM to Fozz (Jack). His pace and quick feet were a constant threat down the wing and led to many chances on goal. Well done Fozz.

Advertisements

Dec 16th

Lane Head Bullets   0:2   Stonnall Phoenix

Tom, Ennis

This game was settled by two quick goals after an hour of full bloodied tackling and goal mouth action.

After an initial period of the first half which was played in midfield but with little quality going forward, Stonnall took control of the play and their passing football was evident without being able to find a clear opening. Then, gradually with greater penetration, the chances started to come and following good hold up play by Ben and good movement by on-rushing midfielders, chances for Fozz, Mac and Tom were well saved by the home keeper.

In defence, Liam and Dillan were solid with full back Nathan, particularly, being a good outlet. His passes down the line to Tom saw the diminutive winger keeping the ball well and forcing a save or crossing for half chances in the box. Phoenix were carrying the greater threat increasingly but, so often, if chances aren’t taken, teams can suffer the sucker punch and this nearly came to fruition for Lane Head as out of nothing, a snap shot from 20 yards was heading for the top corner. But Alfie, with really his only save of the match, arched his back and tipped the dipping ball over the bar. A goal for the home side at this point (close to half time) could have made the result so different. It remained 0:0 at half time.

The game continued in this vein into the 2nd half with Mac doing well under pressure to cling on to the ball with his close control and release Tom or Fozz down the wings. Ennis and Jack were now having more of the ball in midfield and barring a mistake at the back it didn’t look like the home side would penetrate with any danger.

With Zak replacing Mac in midfield, his good touch released Tom in on goal and at last the left footer’s unerring shot billowed the top of the net for the deserved lead of 0:1 after 61 mins. Phoenix now had an extra zip in their stride and marshalled from the back by Liam, looked resolved to continue to press and just two mins later Ennis did well to win the ball and finding space going forward, rifled a shot through the keeper into the goal to effectively settle the result at 0:2.

Callum and Harry came on for the last few minutes and the latter, with his first touch nearly added a third getting on the end of a ball on the left but Stonnall Phoenix held on to record their fourth win in five games and sit comfortably in mid-table for the Christmas break.

Report by Pete H.

Man of the Match

Wayne has commended Ennis in his midfield role for ball winning and his drive offensively but has awarded MOTM this week to Tom. He was positive going forward and solid defensively. His determined runs into the box were a constant danger and his goal was ultimately the decisive play of the match.

Dec 9th

Lane Head Titans   7:1   Stonnall Phoenix

Jack

Stonnall Phoenix were outclassed by the free-scoring league leaders but competed well and were still able to show some good football.

Lane Head got off to the perfect start when their forward was first to a cross to poke the ball into the net in the 2nd minute and added to the score 7 mins later.

The game then settled down and Phoenix came into it more sharing equal possession. It was clear, though, that the hosts were the more penetrative up front and every foray forward was a threat. At the other end, Captain Ben held the ball up well for Stonnall and was well supported by Tom and Nathan on the left. Ben made a fantastic run beating several players but couldn’t quite get into a shooting position. The best result was forcing a number of corners but without reward.

A lot of the play was in midfield due to the smaller pitch and the visitors were very combative with Liam, Ennis and Sedgy breaking up play and playing balls forward and Joe and Fozz linking up well on the right. Defenders Dillan and Jack were not doing a lot wrong but the difference between the teams was up front where Titans have a striker who has scored 25 goals in 9 games. Phoenix held the score until the 30th minute and then six minutes later Lane Head added a fourth. 4:0 at half time.

Bruce, deputising for Wayne, rallied the team in the break and they came out with renewed vigour and energy. The second half took on a different look now and Phoenix were more threatening in forward positions. Jack troubled the keeper from a free kick which was bundled for a corner and Harry, who had come on from the bench immediately found some space down the left and got a shot away.

Although Alfie had made several brilliant saves thoughout the game, Lane Head added to their tally by scoring in the 50th and 61st mins to make it 6:0. Meanwhile Stonnall were still enjoying more positive possession and again Jack tested the keeper who tipped a shot onto the bar. Eventually Phoenix got on the scoresheet with a stunning free kick by Jack. It was no more than his efforts and the team’s endeavours had deserved. The respectful home supporters even acknowledged that fact. Lane Head put a gloss on the score by adding another quick goal but there was still time for Zak to wriggle into a shooting position but his shot was saved once again by the talented keeper and the game finished 7:1.

It was always going to be a difficult game for the lads, but every one of them played to the best of their ability and on another day the game could have been closer.

Report by Pete H.

Man of the Match

When you play against a top team, every player has to work for each other, offering options and being brave in the tackle. Two players exemplified this today, never ducking out of a crunching tackle to win the ball with dogged defending. For these qualities, Bruce has awarded MOTM to Tom and Ennis.

Dec 2nd

Stonnall Phoenix   1:0   St Georges

Jack

Stonnall Phoenix recorded their third narrow victory in as many matches to climb comfortably into mid table.

On a day when Stonnall welcomed back two ex players, both sides fought out a goalless, but competitive first half. The home side had the majority of the play and an early headed chance for Harry was bundled for a corner. Several corners led to half chances for the home side and shots by Ben and Liam forced saves by the opposition keeper.

The best move of the first half saw Fozz make a mazey, right wing run and unleash a fierce shot which just missed the far post. Stonnall were well on top offensively and at the other end, a solid defensive pairing of Jack and Dillan were coping with any attacks effectively. New signing Nathan in only his second game, played out of his normal position at left back but his quick feet and close control made sure that any danger was repelled. He has a natural understanding with Liam with whom he played at a previous club and both players’ attractive play dovetails well with the passing game that is Phoenix’s hallmark.

In his first game for Stonnall Phoenix, Zakariya came on at left wing and made a positive contribution linking up well with the midfield.

The second half was more of a defending exercise for Stonnall as St Georges now had the swirling wind behind them but apart from a few corners and free kicks, Alfie had little to deal with in goal. Phoenix persevered and in the 64th minute a Liam corner was met with a towering header by Jack for his third goal of the season. All his goals have come from corners and with his height and strength, Jack is a real threat at dead ball situations.

This game always looked like a low scoring affair and with Stonnall now ahead, St Georges were hurried into trying to force an equaliser. Phoenix are made of strong resolve though and with every player determined to fight for the team, the home side were able to see out the deserved 1:0 victory without much danger.

The feature of this run of three wins has been the patience to keep trying to play their brand of football and determination to preserve the lead. The reward is a first clean sheet of the season.

Report by Pete H.

Man of the Match

Wayne has commended the whole team for their efforts today and in particular the defence for keeping a clean sheet. He has awarded MOTM though to a player who coped well playing out of position and considering it was his first full game, was very calm and unhurried under pressure. Well done Nathan.

Nov 25th

Stonnall Phoenix   2:1   Lane Head Bullets

Ben 2

Stonnall Phoenix won this ultimately tight game after dominating the first half with incisive and fast paced football.

The home side started well using the flanks to make forward runs and an early goal was the reward in the 5th minute when debutant Jack (Fozz) got free down the right and crossed for the onrunning Ben to score for 1:0.

Phoenix kept the opposition away from dangerous positions with fullbacks Joe and Tom

working hard to stop crosses and any balls over the top being dealt with effectively thanks to Jack and Dillan’s pace. With Liam‘s classy ball winning skills and the ability to spray long passes to release winger Fozz in particular, the home side could quickly turn defence into attack. This was a feature of the first half and in the 27th minute, Fozz capped an impressive debut by racing down the wing again and supplying the perfect ball to Ben who swept the ball in from the edge of the box for his second of the game.

His brace was just reward for the Captain’s usual energetic and determined performance, holding the ball up and linking with midfielders. Stonnall looked solid with few scares through the first half and went to the break deservedly 2:0 up.

Lane Head came out for the second half with positivity, setting the tone, seemingly more determined to get back in the game. Alfie had to advance from his area to save a goalbound shot and Nathan, debuting at right back in the second half kept the attacker at bay whilst feeding Joe down the wing on several occasions. The busy winger made penetrative runs and one particularly attractive move saw several passes strung together which nearly ended in a goal. Both Ben and Mac had chances to settle the game but were denied by the visitors’ goalkeeper. Joe also struck the bar from an offside position but the third goal wouldn’t come.

Most of Phoenix’s possession was played on the break and the Lane Head pressure finally told when they scored from a corner after the ball ran loose in the area. It was harsh on Alfie who had made a stunning, flying save to concede the corner. At 2:1 with nine minutes left, the away side had renewed impetus and it took bravery and determination to see the game out successfully for a second win in a row.

It was a rewarding debut for both Nathan and Fozz who can be proud of contributing to a great team effort. With every addition to the squad and with every game adding to their experience, Stonnall Phoenix look more and more accomplished as a team.

Report by Pete H.

Man of the Match

Wayne has awarded MOTM to Ben for his goals and work-rate. Ben worked tirelessly against strong defenders and deserved his well taken goals. Wayne also commended the whole team for working really hard right to the end to preserve the victory.

Nov 18th

Pelsall Villa Colts   3:4   Stonnall Phoenix

Og, Liam, Jack, Dillan

This was an important victory for Stonnall Phoenix which was well deserved after a difficult start.

The opening exchanges between the two sides saw them trying to wrestle control of the play. Much of it was untidy as the game took time to settle down. It wasn’t until Pelsall took the lead in the 14th minute after an unfortunate ricochet in the Stonnall defence that the visitors play was more urgent and flowing. This was their best period of the game as they tried to find a way through the host’s defence.

Pelsall never really looked like adding to their lead as Phoenix pressed with determination and it was this that lead to panic in the home defence resulting in an own goal for the equaliser at 1:1 in the 29 minute. Then, two minutes later, a Liam corner appeared to go straight in for a 1:2 lead which was maintained until half time.

Despite Pelsall equalising a minute into the second half with a good strike, Stonnall continued to press and retook the lead with Jack poking home from a Liam corner for a 2:3 lead two mins later.

Where the first half had stuttered, the second half showed more fluidity of movement by Stonnall with Mac and Harry making good runs on the wings whilst Ennis, Sedgy and Liam found more control in midfield. Fullbacks Tom and Joe were able to make incisive runs too.

Liam, playing with an injury, had been given a free role in midfield in this game and was instrumental in most of the attractive forward play but it was his dead-ball prowess which would be crucial once again as Dillan bundled the ball home from another corner in the 56th minute which would prove to be the winner. The home side pulled one back with eleven mins left but struggled to create any more clear cut chances as Phoenix managed the remaining time well to complete a 3:4 win.

Whilst the margin of victory could have been bigger, the lads showed the maturity to carve out this win from few chances and never panicked when under pressure.

Report by Pete H.

Man of the Match

Wayne has awarded MOTM to Ennis. His tough, combative style of midfield play was the perfect foil to allow Liam to be expansive and forward-thinking. A central defensive midfielder is a protector and enforcer, breaking up play and being the pivot from which attacking play can develop. Ennis is becoming an accomplished proponent of this and can take confidence from his improvements.

Nov 11th

Cresswell Wanderers Colts    9:0   Stonnall Phoenix

This was a humbling experience ultimately after a good first half display against one of the league leaders.

Stonnall held Cresswell at bay comfortably for 28 minutes until the home side took the lead after reacting quicker to a loose ball in the penalty area. The visitors had a decent share of possession but were less incisive in front of goal. 1:0 at half time, though, still meant the game could go either way.

A goal to stretch the hosts’ lead at the start of the second half made it more difficult and only served to buoy Cresswell’s confidence and a four further goals in eight minutes up to the hour mark capped the home side’s dominance.

It was hard on Phoenix but Cresswell showed why they are one of the best sides in Div 1 with clinical finishing and two more goals came as Stonnall struggled to contain the fast pace of attacks. A ninth goal in the last minute saw Cresswell run out 9:0 winners.

In truth, Phoenix never got into their attacking stride and were simply overrun in the second half but on a positive note, the lads still showed togetherness in defeat and will have better days as a team to come.

MOTM

Wayne has awarded Man of the Match to Sedgy for his efforts in breaking up play and trying to link forward. His performances have been consistent this season and this is just reward.

Report by Pete H.