Sandwell Stars 7:3 Stonnall Phoenix
Jack, Tom, Nathan
Sandwell overwhelmed Stonnall in the second half during a competitive and entertaining game.
The home side enjoyed the best of the first period with Phoenix struggling to gain a foothold. Sandwell took a two goal lead after 11 mins before Stonnall really got used to the pace and bounce of the 4G pitch.
Gradually, the visitors began to get better possession and a half chance came as Dillan found space in the box and crossed for Jack and later, following a ball forward, Jack rounded the keeper but was unable to finish. Then Alfie, released the ball down the right to Tom. He passed forward to Jack who finished with aplomb to get Phoenix back in the game at 2:1 after 23 mins.
Stonnall were on the front foot having scored and despite Sandwell going 3:1 ahead, looked dangerous up front with Nathan, Dillan and Jack all working hard and putting pressure on the hosts’ defence. Demario came on towards the end of the half and made it difficult for the home side with his jinking runs and in the 36th minute collected a throw from Harry, turned and tried a shot. The ball skidded across the box to Tom who scored with a trademark rising drive from the edge of the box. Demario then fed the ball to Jack for a shot on goal but the score remained 3:2 until halftime.
The first half had been open with both sides attacking with purpose and the game continued in that vein into the second half. Before Phoenix could carve out any good chances, Sandwell regained a two goal cushion two minutes after the break. In a time of dominance for the home side, they added three more goals in 12 minutes to make it 7:2 after 71 mins.
During that game settling period, Stonnall found it difficult to carry on the good work of the first half as the lads tired. Nathan was, however, an effective outlet for the defence of Liam, Sedgy and Joe and held the ball up for the tenacious Jenko to shoot. Then, Harry won the ball and cleared upfield to Nathan who chested the ball down, controlled the bounce and lobbed the onrushing goalkeeper form outside the box, scoring the best goal of the game.
It was a deserved goal for talented Nathan who is playing with increased confidence week on week and as a forward is using his skills effectively. He followed his goal with another chance almost straight away but the game ended with a 7:3 victory for Sandwell.
Man of the Match
Despite the loss, they were many good performances. Three great goals couldn’t quite turn the match but deserve mention. A defence under pressure needs players to communicate and cover for each other and a player who typified this and is awarded MOTM was Sedgy. He plays with the consistency and team ethic required to be an important team member. Well done Sedgy.