Category Archives: SP16 Team News

Sept 20th

Stonnall Phoenix 0:7 Brownhills Community Colts

The first game of the season went to the visitors but Phoenix enjoyed being back on the pitch after six months.

Stonnall made a good start with an enterprising run by Nathan who was supported by Joe on the right, the latter shooting off target. Brownhills then broke upfield and took the lead in the third minute.

Much of the next period was evenly contested with new signings Josh playing solidly in midfield with Devone and Ross strong in defence. Phoenix came up against a mean defence that gave up few chances but after Brownhills scored again after 23 mins, Dillan ran on to a through ball but couldn’t beat the goalkeeper. It was the home side’s best chance of the first half and the visitors added three more goals before half time to make it 0:4.

Brownhills had made the game safe in the first half but Stonnall rallied and enjoyed better possession in a more open game as substitutes were introduced. Jordan and Jack came to the fore in midfield and new signings Oscar and Milo showed their talent going forward.

The visitors will be difficult to beat this season and added three more goals before the hour mark but Phoenix then enjoyed their best period of the game and carved out some openings with attractive football resulting in shots from Harry, Nathan, Ennis and Liam.

Although Stonnall were well beaten, they can take positives from the game in that the new players gelled well into the team, adding quality. Greater familiarity and organisation will improve with every game.

Report by Pete H.

Man of the Match

Amongst good performances by all the debutants, the player that stood out with a strong performance at the back and a determined charge forwards showing confidence and strength was Ross who is awarded Bruce’s MOTM this week. Well done Ross.

Mar 15th

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.

Mar 8th

Stonnall Phoenix   2:0   Tantany Lions   (abandoned)

Nathan, Tom

Although the game was abandoned just before half time for a serious injury, from a footballing perspective, Phoenix were well worth the lead and would likely have gone on to claim the points in this 2nd Half League game.

It was an exciting game, played end to end at full pace and credit should be given to Tantany Lions for their positive play. For most of the first half Stonnall played on the break after soaking up opposition attacks comfortably. The back three of Sedgy, Liam and Ben were solid and communicated well. They were backed up defensively by Harry and Jack (Jenko), in his first match since signing for the Club. Sam and Tom provided the midfield width, getting up and down energetically.

In a new formation, Dillan joined Nathan and Jack up front and showed his strength in challenging for the ball and it was him who had the first chance when the keeper came out to smother at his feet. Shortly afterwards, Tom won the ball on the right and crossed into the box where Nathan found space and swept the ball home first time for a deserved 1:0 lead after 12 minutes.

It was a satisfying goal from a coaching point of view because it was exactly that move which had been worked on in training. Jack then tried a shot after a pass from the industrious Tom which Dillan followed up unsuccessfully.

Tantany Lions still enjoyed a fair percentage of possession but were reduced to wayward shooting and created little danger. Stonnall’s front three had been given license to rotate their positions with one behind a front two and this worked well so that the opposition defence couldn’t settle. Phoenix pressed and with Sam winning and keeping the ball well, he fed Dillan on the edge of the box who dribbled sideways, passed into space and the advancing Tom shot into the net for a 2:0 lead in the 19th minute.

Phoenix had scored from the two best chances of the game and ensured that Alfie had little to do in goal. Liam controlled the defence and midfield effectively and the lads pressed the opposition into making mistakes which they capitalised on, playing good, intelligent football.

Shortly before half time, Ben was involved in a challenge which unfortunately left him seriously injured. The game had to be abandoned to be replayed at a later date. Thanks should be given to Tantany Lions for the respectful manner in which they dealt with the distressing incident and for acting quickly in helping to make Ben comfortable.

The thoughts and best wishes of the Club and parents are with Ben and our hopes are for a full and speedy recovery.

Man of the Match

All the lads played well and played as a team but this week’s MOTM is awarded to Tom and Nathan. Tom gave his usual positive performance, winning possession, making strong runs forward and adding a goal with his less favoured foot. Nathan was dynamic and energetic. He showed maturity and intelligence with his touches, linking play and opened the scoring with the best move of the match. Well done Tom and Nathan.

Feb 2nd – Friendly

Stonnall Phoenix   4:1   Walsall Phoenix

Jack 3, Luca

Stonnall enjoyed their best win of the season in this friendly against a side from the Lichfield League.

The friendly was a chance to field a number of trialists and immediately one of them, Luca, took control of the midfield with good possession and forward runs and despite an early breakaway goal for Walsall, Phoenix quickly dominated and Luca set up two goals in the seventh and eighth minutes for Jack to turn the score around at 2:1.

The home side played attractive football and most of the play was in the visitors half. Any balls into Stonnall’s half were dealt with by Liam, Sedgy and Harry. Liam marshaled the makeshift defence with authority, communicating well and setting up chances further forward.

Luca got himself a deserved goal after 21 mins following a typical run and was unlucky not to add another, seeing his shot scew just wide. He added a bit of magic and trickery to the side. It rubbed off on the rest of the team and in the 35th minute Nathan and Demario combined to cross the ball to Jack who nodded downwards to claim his first hatrick. It remained 4:1 at half time.

The half time talk was positive without having to change anything. The need for concentration and to avoid complacency were paramount for the rest of the game.

Two more trialists came on for the second half, Jack and Declan who both looked composed on the ball. Playing on the right wing, Joe was his usual energetic self, providing pace and penetration in the final third. Harry replaced trialist Sam on the left wing and whipped several searching balls forward to the attackers. A number of corners were forced by both teams, but apart from a Liam volley, chances were fewer in the second half.

Phoenix continued to be solid at the back and Alfie had little danger to deal with. No further goals were added in the second half and Stonnall controlled the play to run out 4:1 winners.

Report by Pete H.

Man of the Match

Amongst many good individual performances and a convincing team display, two players stood out. Joe used the space on the right of midfield to run into and cause constant danger using his pace and close control and enjoyed of his best performances. Jack was sharp up front, working hard to find space intelligently, was strong on the ball and deserved his hatrick. Well done Joe and Jack!

Jan 26th

Stonnall Phoenix   0:3   St Georges

An entertaining game ultimately settled in the second half after a positive start by Stonnall Phoenix.

Phoenix started the game on the front foot and dominated the first 20 mins. Pressing the St Georges defence and closing down well, the lads denied the visitors any time on the ball. Jack was busy upfront and Nathan linked up well with the midfield.

Ennis tested the goalkeeper with an early free kick from distance and Harry put in a dangerous cross from the left but the team, although industrious, found it difficult to forge out any clear cut chances.

At the back, Dillan read the play well to anticipate danger and was composed in distribution. Ahead of him, Liam controlled the midfield and communicated well, organising the team formation. Alfie, deputising as captain, kept the scores level as St Georges came more into the game towards the end of the first half.

Following a number of corners for the away side, they took the lead in the 24th minute. Phoenix found it difficult to maintain the good start but defended well reducing St Georges to long distance shots which were dealt with by Alfie. The score remained 0:1 until half time.

The second half became more difficult to play as the wet and muddy conditions had an effect on the pitch and as Stonnall tired after their first half exploits, St Georges had more of the possession. Demario did well to dribble past a couple of tackles and drift into the penalty area but couldn’t quite get a goal opportunity.

The game was still evenly balanced with the home side searching for an equaliser. The visitors were still carving out the better chances but Alfie made some crucial interceptions, coming out to smother the ball or turning goalbound shots away.

In the space of five minutes after the hour mark, st Georges made the game safe, finally getting through the home defence to make it 0:3.

There was still time just before the final whistle for Nathan, who had enjoyed a lot of quality touches, to unleash a looping shot from the right wing which bounced off the bar. It would have been a deserved goal for the team to cap a good performance.

Report by Pete H.

Man of the Match

This week Bruce has awarded MOTM to Alfie, who made some great diving saves and clearances to keep his team in the game. His communication was very good as acting Captain, encouraging and directing his teammates in a positive manner. He also wins dirtiest kit of the day displaying how hard he worked! Well done Alfie.

Jan 5th

Cresswell Wanderers Colts   5:1   Stonnall Phoenix

Jordan

After an evenly contested first half, Cresswell finished the stronger to claim victory.

Stonnall started brightly, working the ball round well between the three man defence of Ben, Dillan and Sedgy and the midfield. Tom and Joe were tasked with getting up and down the flanks to provide width in attack and to recover to bolster the defence. This system worked well initially and both wing backs brought energy and speed. Joe was rewarded with a corner from an attempted cross and the forwards of Jack and Demario combined for the latter to shoot on goal.

Cresswell started to enjoy more control towards the break and forced a couple of saves from Alfie in goal and then took the lead with a bundled effort from a corner in the 26th minute. Jack later wriggled free in attack and shot over the bar for Phoenix but the score remained 1:0 at half time.

It had been a competitive first half with the teams trading attacks, the home side just edging it on incisiveness and the second half started in a similar vein as Jack tried a left footed shot just off target. Although Cresswell immediately got a second goal in the 44th minute for a 2:0 lead, Phoenix endeavoured to get back into the game with fresh legs in the form of substitutes, Harry and Jordan in midfield.  Jordan, using his height, was winning defensive headers and striding further upfield supporting the forwards when possible, which would eventually be rewarded.

Tom tried a header at goal straight from an Ennis clearance and had another shot at goal coming infield from the right but then the home side took control as the visitors tired. Three goals in thirteen minutes from the 62nd minute decided the game for Cresswell but Stonnall got a deserved consolation with two minutes remaining.  Jack and Demario combined and Jordan, on another forward foray, poked the ball over the line for his first goal for the club to make the final score 5:1.

Stonnall were well in this match for the first hour against a top three team but ultimately Cresswell were stronger at the end and converted their chances.

Report by Pete H.

Man of the Match

Whilst it was difficult to maintain the high level of energy throughout the game, the lads displayed a willingness to keep going to the end so can all take heart in a good performance. One of the players who exemplifies the maximum effort required and who puts in consistent performances week after week, Tom was strong in his forward runs and obdurate when required in defence and fully deserves Bruce’s MOTM this week. Well done Tom.

Dec 15th – Friendly

Stonnall Phoenix   2:0   Wednesfield Sporting

Joe, Tom

Stonnall deserved this victory with a dominant display throughout.

Neither side really got control of the opening exchanges which mainly broke down in the final third. Dillan and Ben were coping well with any Wednesfield attacks and the home side couldn’t quite find the quality up front to put pressure on goal . The visitors found it hard to break down the Phoenix defence and resorted to long range shots, mainly off target.

Then, after a break down the right wing, Joe put in a dangerous cross shot which squirmed under the goalkeeper to open the scoring after 14 minutes. Tom then had a shot from a Nathan corner and shortly after picked up a loose ball on the edge of the area and looped a shot over the goalkeeper for a 2:0 lead.

Stonnall were on top now and had the majority of possession, stringing together attractive moves, particularly down the right. Following good work by Tom, a cross into the area gave Harry the chance to head for goal and busy Nathan saw a shot clear the bar. Another exchange up front between Demario and Nathan, playing just behind the forwards, gave the latter another chance on goal. It remained 2:0 though until half time.

The second half became more dominant for Stonnall and Jack, Tom and Liam all had further shots on goal. Nathan almost made the game safe with a great turn and shot just over the bar and then had a headed goal from Liam’s free kick ruled out for offside..

Shortly afterwards, the referee abandoned the game for safety reasons but that shouldn’t detract from a good team performance to boost morale. Needless to say, the lads conducted themselves with maturity and restraint.

Report by Pete H.

Man of the Match

All of the lads should be commended this week under the circumstances, but from a footballing aspect, Nathan made himself available in midfield, getting forward and linking up play well. He had at least four shots including a disallowed goal and so is rewarded with this week’s MOTM. Well done Nathan.

Dec 1st

Wednesfield Hammers   8:1   Stonnall Phoenix

Liam

Wednesfield overcame a gutsy performance by Stonnall to claim the victory.

The home side started the better and scored after 4 minutes to settle themselves. Stonnall came into the game then and Tom, playing on the right of midfield got a shot on goal and Liam then saw his 14th minute shot squirm under the goalkeeper from 20 yards for the equaliser. Phoenix had done well since the opening goal and deserved their goal.

Parity didn’t last long though as the home side regained the lead straight away and scored two more before the twenty minute mark for a 4:1 lead.

In between those goals, Stonnall carved out a chance from a corner where Jack had a far post header. Later on in the half, Tom’s shot forced another corner. The remainder of the half was goalless with Phoenix working hard to contain Wednesfield and playing on the break. Harry was involved a lot on the left and linked up well with Sedgy at left back, spraying balls forward for the front two of Demario and Jack to run onto.

After a productive half time talk, the lads came out fighting knowing that another goal could change the game and Harry, Nathan and Tom all had shots which troubled the goalkeeper. Possession was in the visitors’ favour at this point and a second goal would have been deserved for the improved workrate. Wednesfield were dangerous down their left side though and a couple of quick goals after 46 and 49 minutes secured the victory and they added a seventh four minutes later.

The Phoenix defence continued to work hard in trying to protect Ennis, deputising in goal. Ben and Dillan were strong in the tackle and used the front two as outlets to relieve opposition pressure. On one such occasion, aided by Liam, Jack found himself through on the keeper but his shot was smothered on the goal line. Jack had run his socks off all game and deserved a goal for his efforts but it wasn’t to be.

Wednesfield scored their eighth goal with eleven minutes left and the game ended 8:1.

Report by Pete H.

Man of the Match

For their consistent performances over the season, linking up well to turn defence into attack and always showing positive endeavour, Bruce has awarded MOTM to Sedgy and Harry. Well done both.

 

Nov 24th

Stonnall Phoenix   0:5   Wyrley Wolves

Stonnall battled hard with a man short but couldn’t get the better of the visitors.

The opening exchanges between the sides were fast paced and entertaining. Stonnall, playing with just Demario up front due to the team being a man short, had an early chance when he bustled into the area but the keeper saved his shot. Then Harry laid the ball back to Ennis who had a powerful shot which the keeper again stopped.

All the time, Phoenix were having to defend deep as well and Wyrley got their opening goal on 11 minutes and added another after 16 minutes for a 0:2 lead. The first quarter was typical of the match as a whole as the home side defended resolutely but still managed to create chances at the other end.

Despite falling to a 25th minute third goal, the lads still pressed to get back in the game. Liam’s free kick fell to Ben and then the busy Nathan had a shot at goal. Those three players featured prominently today. Ben was filling in at centre back alongside Liam and Nathan put in a mature performance at the head of midfield coming deep to help out defensively, then breaking to support Demario.

Wyrley’s goalkeeper saved an in-swinging corner by Liam and at the other end, Alfie made a good save to ensure to score stayed 0:3 at half time.

Although, the lads did themselves proud in the first half, they excelled in the second. Throughout the game they battled, competing for every ball and played for each other, covering positions and giving angles for passes. Sedgy, Joe, Harry and Tom ran themselves into the ground for the team getting up and down the pitch to help defend.

Half chances continued to be carved out as resilient Tom burst forward for Nathan to shoot and Demario was allowed space to get a shot away but luck wasn’t with them today as Stonnall were unable to find the net. They had maintained the score for 30 minutes but conceded another on 56 minutes and then a fifth nine minutes later. In between Nathan saw his 20 yard free kick just clear the bar and it was another foul, this time inside the area which gave Phoenix a chance to register a goal from the penalty spot.

The penalty was saved though and the game ended with a 0:5 victory to Wyrley Wolves.

The less said about the disgraceful behaviour of the opposing team throughout the match the better. Football at this level is about winning with humility and losing with dignity. Unfortunately only one of these qualities was on display today.

Our lads can be proud of a mature, team performance. They fought for each other and kept their heads in the face of verbal insults and provocation. The total lack of respect shown towards our players by the visiting team and staff was a stark reminder of how youth football should not be played.

Report by Pete H.

Man of the Match

It is difficult to single anyone out today as the whole team gave 100% but Bruce has given MOTM to Liam who marshalled the four man defence with determination and resilience. Well done Liam.

Nov 17th – Cup

Lane Head Titans   6:0   Stonnall Phoenix

This cup match was evenly competitive but the home side’s more accurate finishing settled the result in their favour.

Stonnall Phoenix started well and the first chance of the match fell to Jack who narrowly missed getting on the end of a searching Liam free kick. Then Demario had a shot after being played through by Liam following good work by Ennis in midfield.

In between, Lane Head had long range chances but the shots were either off target or well dealt with by Alfie. Eventually, as the home side gained more possession, the chances finally proved decisive and two goals on 15 and 22 mins gave Lane Head a half time 2:0 lead.

The latter period of the first half had seen Titans reduce Phoenix to playing on the break and that trend continued into the second half but to Stonnall’s credit, they were combative in midfield and resolute in defence. Lane Head were very strong down their right so Sedgy at left back was busy throughout with obdurate and determined defending. In midfield, Tom, who had replaced the injured Harry in the first half, provided guts and his trademark battling forward runs to open up the play and on one of these occasions, crossed the ball to the far post where the onrushing Fozz shot just over the bar.

Up front, the pairing of Ben and Demario is still new but with the Captain’s ball retention and the latter’s runs off the shoulder of defenders, it led to half chances but the home defence snuffed out any opportunities effectively.

Stonnall had held firm for forty minutes with the score at 2:0 and were very much in the game. Had the lads got the next goal it could have been a different outcome. Nathan had a chance from a Liam corner but then Titans settled the game with their third goal and added another four minutes later in the 66th minute. With time running out and Phoenix committing men forward, the home side grabbed another quick brace and ran out 6:0 winners.

It was a game where the two sides were fairly evenly matched but Lane Head’s decisive finishing was the difference on the day.

Report by Pete H.

Man of the Match

For his never-say-die attitude and leading by example, Bruce has awarded MOTM this week to the Captain. Well done Ben.