Category Archives: SP16 Team News

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.



Nov 3rd

Stonnall Phoenix   2:4   Cresswell Wanderers Colts

Demario, Jack

An entertaining game was settled late in the second half in favour of Cresswell after a good start by Stonnall Phoenix.

Straight from the kick-off, Stonnall were positive and applied good pressure, pinning the opposition in their own half and forcing a corner from which Jack got in a header just off target. Then good link up play between the front two of Ben and Demario saw the latter have a shot at goal.

Midfielders Liam, Joe, Harry and Jack were all heavily involved in the game providing defensive cover and support for the forwards. As Cresswell came more into the game they tested stand in goalkeeper Ennis with, largely, long range shots to which he was equal. Ennis, in only his second game in goal, handled well and his kicking and distribution were excellent.

This was the pattern of the first 20 minutes but then Phoenix found the opening from the partnership up front with battling Ben chasing down a ball and feeding his forward partner. Demario made no mistake to score his second goal for the team to make it 1:0.

After that goalless first quarter there then followed a quick reply by Cresswell two mins later and then Stonnall regained the lead in the 24th minute for a 2:1 lead. Sharp thinking by Tom saw him take a quick throw-in to Jack who lobbed the advancing keeper from the edge of the area. It was Jack’s fifth goal of the season and also the fifth time Phoenix have scored two goals in a game this season. Although Cresswell pressed for an equaliser, there were few alarms with the defensive foursome of Tom, Nico, Dillan and debutant Jordan keeping the visitors at bay until half -time.

Stonnall continued to battle into the second half and were playing mainly on the break. Joe and Nico both played with energy and determination and Dillan played solidly at centre back, helping his new defensive partner, Jordan to defend attacks and a number of corners.

Unfortunately, a defensive mix up led to the visitors’ equaliser in the 56th minute and there followed a period where Cresswell pressed to find a winner but thanks to dogged defending and a number of crucial saves by Ennis, the score remained 2:2. Phoenix endeavours were coming on the break with Ben holding the ball up well despite rough treatment from his marker. It looked like the home side might hold out for a deserved draw but 8 minutes from time Cresswell took the lead and scored a fourth in the 77th minute.

It was hard on Stonnall Phoenix who were competitive and worked well as a team and in partnerships but fell to one or two defensive errors which made the difference in a 2:4 result.

Report by Pete H.

Man of the Match

The team played well as a whole and it is difficult to single one player out but to cover in goal is tough when you’re inexperienced in that position. Bruce has awarded this week’s MOTM therefore to Ennis. He handled the ball well, making crucial saves displaying bravery and confidence. Well done Ennis.

Oct 20th

AFC Willenhall   9:0   Stonnall Phoenix

A dominant display by Willenhall consigned Stonnall to defeat.

The home side got off to the perfect start with a goal after 2 mins from a corner and a second came in the 21st minute from the same source. In between the goals, Stonnall worked hard and coped with a lot of pressure from Willenhall. On the break, Nathan nearly got on the end of a left wing cross by Harry and Ben had a shot from Jack’s knock down.

Phoenix were hanging on and battling with Liam and Ennis in a makeshift defence but the pressure eventually told from Willenhall when they made it 3:0 from another header in the box two mins before half time.

The score reflected the possession the home side had but Phoenix had competed well in that first half whilst finding it difficult to retain possession.

Willenhall became more dominant in the second half and deserve their position at the top of the league. They are strong and keep possession well. Every player is comfortable on the ball and they pass and move well. They quickly made it 4:0 six mins into the second half and added four more before the 65 minute mark.

Chances were constantly being created by Willenhall as Stonnall tired and it required Alfie to make several notable saves. The final 15 minutes saw the visitors break more in numbers as Jack, Demario and Ben tried to create chances but they didn’t get the bounce of the ball in their favour.

Ben had to go off injured in the last few minutes and Willenhall scored their final goal in the 77th minute and the game finished 9:0.

The match was always going to be difficult against the top team but Stonnall Phoenix kept going and kept trying. The lads tired in the second half after chasing the ball doggedly against a team who will surely finish as champions.

Report by Pete H.

Man of the Match

Its difficult to single anyone out as the lads gave their all with no reward but without our goalkeeper making the saves he did, coming under constant pressure, the result could have been worse. So Alfie is deservedly awarded MOTM this week. Well done Alfie. 


Oct 13th

Stonnall Phoenix   2:6   Wyrley Wolves

Demario, Jack

A good performance by Stonnall Phoenix wasn’t enough to beat Wyrley Wolves after a good start.

Phoenix had the better of the first 20 mins forcing a number of corners. Then, good interplay between Fozz and Jack saw the top scorer have a couple of openings resulting in shots off target. At this stage, the visitors were restricted to untroubling, long range efforts but from a corner, Wolves took a 0:1 lead after 23 mins.

Wyrley then took control of the game in the second period of the first half and went in to the break 0:3 to the good. It had been an even game up to that point but a few defensive mistakes made the difference at half time.

Wolves effectively put the game beyond Phoenix a minute into the second half but Stonnall, with the luxury of fit substitutes for the first time this season deservedly got one back after 46 mins and it was debutant Demario who got on the end of a great cross by Liam to make it 1:4. There then followed a more settled period of play following the flurry of goals with Stonnall once again dominating possession and soaking up pressure.

There were one or two scares as Alfie made good saves and Sedgy headed a clearance off the line but mostly the home side coped well defensively. Dependable Sedgy had a solid game at right back matched by the busy and energetic Joe on the opposite flank. In central midfield Tom had a typically robust game and was battered from all angles as he tackled, competed and forayed forward.

The second half was annotated with free kicks and from one in the opponents half, quick thinking by Liam, released Joe down the right and a chance for Ben followed. Unfortunately for the home side, Wyrley then scored again but in the 66th minute, a Liam free kick found Jack unmarked close in and he made no mistake for his fourth goal of the season to make the score 2:5.

Liam, who was a doubt for this game after last week’s serious looking injury played a big part in Stonnall’s best football, supplying two goal assists and finished it off with a shot on goal. Wyrley completed the scoring with three minutes left and the game finished 2:6.

Despite the team having been beset with injuries in every game at the start of the season, they are stringing together a number of good performances and scoring goals. If mistakes can be reduced and more chances taken, with additions to the squad, the lads will soon be rewarded with better results.

Report by Pete H.

Man of the Match

There were many good performances today as mentioned in the report but for his dogged, determined and full bloodied performance in midfield, Bruce has awarded Tom the MOTM this week. Well done Tom.


Oct 6th

Lane Head Titans   5:1   Stonnall Phoenix


The home side were ultimately victorious in a more even game than the score suggests.

Stonnall Phoenix started this game very well, pinning Lane Head in their own half with good pressure possession. Liam saw a volley off target and Fozz set up Nathan for a shot. Ennis then looped a free kick into the area and Tom headed off target and in between, Alfie made good saves to keep the scores level.

In the 17th minute Phoenix took the lead rewarding their dominant start. Jack chased a ball into the right wing corner and crossed to Nathan who swept the ball into the net for 0:1. Then Jack had a shot on goal and from a corner it looked like Stonnall had doubled their lead as Ben bundled the ball in from close range only for it to be harshly ruled offside.

That proved to be the turning point of the game as Titans equalised a minute afterwards. 1:1 after 33 mins. Then four minutes later, as the game turned in the home side’s favour, they made it 2:1. It was harsh on Stonnall as they had controlled the game for half an hour without much danger.

The second half became more difficult for the lads as Nathan, Nico, and Jack were all nursing injuries and had to have spells off the pitch. More seriously though, the team lost talismanic midfielder Liam to a bad injury and these handicaps were difficult for the team to regain any rhythm. In this period Phoenix defended resolutely as Lane Head pressed with the wind and number advantage. In particular, full backs Joe and Sedgy showed great energy and resistance in tracking forward runs by the opposition.

Up front, Jack and Ben chased, harried and hustled the defence, determinedly looking for openings ably supported by Nathan who linked the midfield with the forward line well. On one such attack, Captain Ben controlled the ball, turned and showed strength to run and get a shot in on goal.

With fading energy, the lads did their best to get back into the game but three more goals for Lane Head in the second half exaggerated the score and the game ended 5:1.

Stonnall Phoenix played with energy, enthusiasm and organisation in dominating much of the first half. The players are definitely settling in to their new positions and responsibilities and with forthcoming additions to the squad, the team’s fortunes will surely turn around.

Report by Pete H.

Man of the Match

Bruce has given the award to two players who typify the fighting spirit which sets such a good example. With non-stop running up front and a willingness to receive the ball and shoot, Ben is a natural leader. He shares MOTM this week with Sedgy. An adaptable defender whose consistent performances and never-give-up attitude in either full back position make him a valuable team player. Well done Ben and Sedgy.

Sept 22nd

Silverdale   12:2   Stonnall Phoenix

Jack 2

Silverdale outclassed Stonnall Phoenix in this one sided game.

Although this was obviously a comfortable win for the home side, there were periods in the game where Phoenix enjoyed good possession and played some attractive football but it was largely a lesson in incisive, penetrative football typified by the opening goal in the second minute.

Silverdale added to their lead eight minutes later after Jack found space to have a shot at the other end. Then Alfie made good some saves but could do nothing to deny the hosts their third goal. There then followed a period of 20 mins where Stonnall came more into the game but without creating any clear chances. Silverdale scored again to make the half time score 4:0.

Phoenix, without any subs again with players carrying injuries, were clearly second best here and conceded three more after the break during a constant onslaught but then in the 65th minute, Liam played the ball down the right wing for Harry to run on to. The winger then whipped a superb ball across the box for Jack to finish off for a consolation goal. It was one of the best goals of the game and will surely be a source of further goal success this season. It was a relief for the lads to get something out of the game and in fact two mins later Phoenix grabbed a second from a Liam corner after the revitalised Harry and industrious Ben had won it. Jack again applied the finishing touch with his trademark far post header. That made the score 7:2.

As the lads tired, Silverdale added more goals and the game finished a resounding 12:2.

Yes, it was a difficult match against a top notch team, but the lads can be proud that they carved out two deserved goals without letting their heads drop. They maintained their discipline and togetherness and a victory is surely not far away.

Report by Pete H.

Man of the Match

Bruce has awarded the MOTM to two goal Jack for his all round display. He was constantly coming back to help out midfield and then breaking with pace. His strength on the ball allowed him to score a brace for Phoenix to take something positive from the game. Well done Jack.

Sept 15th

Stonnall Phoenix   2:4   Wednesfield (W’ton Hammers)

Harry, Ennis

This exciting game could have gone either way but the away side eventually came away victorious.

A much improved performance by Stonnall started better for Wednesfield (Wolverhampton Hammers renamed) as they scored from a first minute corner but the home side stayed in the game throughout as both sides had many chances.

After Wednesfield took the lead, Phoenix started to gain better possession and during the first half, good play firstly saw Jack volley at goal and then Harry cross for Ben to shoot. Also, a burst forward from Liam down the right enabled him to shoot goalwards, the ball hitting the side netting.

At the other end, the defence were mainly keeping the visitors at bay and Dillan cleared off the line but after holding the score until the 30th minute, Wednesfield doubled their lead for 0:2. Chances were still coming for Stonnall though and following a swept pass from Liam in the 39th minute, Harry found himself one on one with the keeper and he made no mistake, slotting the ball under the keeper to please the home supporters. It was just what Phoenix had deserved and they went to the break just one goal down at 1:2.

It was finely balanced into the second half but Wednesfield were first to strike after 46 mins to regain a two goal advantage but just three minutes later Harry gained possession down the left and unleashed a shot on target from distance, the goalkeeper producing a save for a corner. The resultant corner kick, by Ennis bamboozled the keeper who couldn’t prevent the ball going in. Phoenix were once again fighting back at 2:3.

Although Wednesfield scored again, it still felt like Stonnall were very much in the game and, still applying pressure, battling Tom and then Ben both had shots on goal. The visitors certainly knew they were being pushed back into defence and despite the Stonnall lads taking knocks and carrying injuries, they all kept their energy levels high to create chances and play good football. They benefitted from fitness training during the week and this certainly helped them to perservere.

The game finished with a 4:2 victory for Wednesfield but the lads can be proud of their performance and endeavours in contributing to an entertaining game.

Report by Pete H.

Man of the Match

This week, Bruce has given the award to Harry who put himself about, battling and tackling in midfield and was a threat further up the pitch with his flick-ons and crosses. To complete an all round performance his goal at the end of the first half got the team back in the game. Well done Harry.

Sept 7th

St Georges   3:0   Stonnall Phoenix

The first league game of the season was ultimately settled in the second half in favour of the home side.

A disjointed first half saw few clear chances as Stonnall endeavoured to get a foothold. Much of the play was in midfield and after Alfie was unlucky not to save the opening goal in the 11th minute, he made several good saves to keep score at 1:0.

Ben found space to shoot on goal but chances were limited for Phoenix and St Georges added a second goal after 32 mins to finish the half at 2:0.

The second half followed a similar pattern as Stonnall found it difficult to relieve the pressure from the home side but on the whole were coping with the attacks, reducing St Georges to long distance efforts. Dillan, at the heart of defence was particularly instrumental in snuffing out any threat and displayed good composure.

The midfield found it difficult to retain possession, disadvantaged by Liam being unable to play through injury. Indeed, Nico, Nathan and Jack all had to have spells on the sidelines. That said, Phoenix were still in the game and it felt like one chance could turn it in their favour.

The endeavour was evident with Tom, Sedgy and Harry showing fighting spirit but the game was effectively settled on 74 mins with St Georges’ 3rd goal.

Stonnall then made their best move of the match with attractive football down the left and a good interchange of passes between Nathan and Ben. The captain then turning and shooting narrowly over the bar.

St Georges deserved their 3:0 victory but if Stonnall Phoenix can find a way to dominate more of the play then more goal scoring chances will follow.

Report by Pete H.

Man of the Match

Bruce’s MOTM this week is Dillan for his command of the defence and composure on the ball. A tough and accomplished performance. Well done Dillan.

Sept 1st – Friendly

Stonnall Phoenix   2:5   Brownhills Community Colts

Liam, Ennis

After a good start by Stonnall Phoenix, Brownhills were the stronger in the second half to claim victory.

Right from kick off Phoenix played the ball forward and gained a corner. Liam played it in to the back post and a mix up saw the ball tuck in to the net for a first minute lead. Buoyed by the perfect start, the lads continued to press and play good passing football and in the sixth minute doubled the lead after Dillan had won the ball in defence and after a good exchange of passes between Harry and Nathan, the ball was fed to Ennis in midfield who unleashed a right footed shot beating the keeper to his left for 2:0.

In the 12th minute, Brownhills got back in the game at 2:1 and this gave them confidence in their attacking play. The home side, however, were still creating chances and after good hold up play by Ben, he turned a defender and shot from 20 yards, The ball bounced squarely off the bar and was scrambled to safety.

Then, in the last minute of the half, the away side equalised which proved to be the turning point in the game. 2:2 at half time.

Brownhills were increasingly on top in the second half and took the lead after 50 minutes. The game had been evenly balanced up to that point, but as the visitors got stronger and were able to rest players by bring on substitutes, Phoenix had no such luxury. Indeed, they played the whole game with one man short.

This was instrumental as the game reached the latter stages. The lads tired going uphill and were constantly defending. Brownhills scored twice more for a 2:5 victory but in between the goals, keeper Alfie produced save after save despite a foot injury. At the other end, Ennis hit the bar with a free kick and then after good build up play involving Joe and Fozz, firstly Nathan and then Ben both rattled the crossbar again.

The last pre-season friendly ended in defeat but many positives can be taken from the game and with a full squad, we are looking forward to the first game next week.

Report by Pete H.


Bruce has given Man of the Match to Alfie. The newly appointed Vice Captain commanded his penalty area, knowing when to intercept and when to stay back. He communicated well with the defence and made several stunning saves. Well done Alfie.