Stonnall Phoenix 3:1 Pelsall Villa Colts
Jenko 2, Jordan
The best performance of the season ensured a Stonnall Phoenix victory in this last home match of the season.
Two weeks ago, the away fixture against Pelsall started evenly until an early goal by Jordan gave Phoenix the lead. The pattern of this game took a similar direction with the hosts first to register a goal once more after Jordan pressed the defence into an error and poked in his eighth goal of the season in the eleventh minute.
This strong start was exemplified by Jenko who, like his strike partner, was pressing high to unsettle the Pelsall defence. Six minutes after the opening goal, Jenko ran onto a long Liam throw to finish well for a 2:0 lead
Pelsall were finding it difficult to escape their half but when they did find an attacking break they were well marshalled by the home defence of Devone, Ennis and Ross. Ennis, particularly, was dealing with everything arielly and then either finding a teammate in midfield or clearing forward for the attackers to run onto.
On two such occasions, Jordan turned and shot just wide and then the determined Harry burst into the penalty area to win a corner. Sam’s free kick was also deflected for a corner.
With something to hold onto, the spirit and character of the Phoenix team was apparent. Communicating well in all areas of the pitch, working and moving for each other and competing for every ball. The midfield of Liam, JJ, Sam and Sedgy typified this approach, winning tackles and driving forward to create chances. They thoroughly deserved the 2:0 half time lead.
A lot of the attacking threat had come from a combination of Liam’s long throws, the height and reach of Jordan and the battling qualities of Jenko and this continued to be the case. Jenko again found space in the 6 yard box to force a corner and then in the 59th minute scored his second of the game. Jordan harried the defence into another error, took a shot from an angle which came back to him and with the goalkeeper out of his goal found an accurate chip into the area where Jenko converted a close range header.
Following the previous game’s 5:1 defeat by Pelsall, this was quite a turnaround by Stonnall and the remainder of the game saw the visitors endeavour to get back into it and force a number of corners. With 17 minutes remaining they scored from one of these corners to reduce the lead to 3:1 but a combination of dogged defending and good teamwork ensured the game was seen out without further scares.
In many other games this season, Stonnall Phoenix have battled away and played attractive football but struggled to take chances and have often come away with a defeat. Today was different, having scored three archetypal Jordan/Jenko goals, the display of togetherness and encouragement was evident and ultimately helped to record a rewarding victory.
Report by Pete H.
Man of the Match
A case could be said for all twelve players in this match from the solid defence, through the linking and creative midfield to the ever improving attacking qualities but two of the players who demonstrated great fitness and determination to protect the lead are Sam and JJ. They are both achieving new levels with each game and have become integral in the Stonnall midfield. Well done Sam and JJ.