Away league match played on 15 December 2013.
Kicked off at 11:00 AM

In their final match of 2013, Phoenix Lions were determined to bounce back from their disappointing performance last week against Ebbsfleet. Opponents this week were Halls AFC who were mid-table with a similar record to the Lions.

Kick Off

With Jai Carter absent this week due to illness, the Lions lined up with Josh Anderson in goal with Euan Corbett-Smith, Ben Chesley and Charlie Hanmore forming a solid back line in front of him. George Dennington took his familiar position in the middle flanked by Captain for the day Tom Wray on the right and Archie Roast on the left. Henry Powell was up front with Oscar Hart given a floating role. James Ash and Jack Whitman would have to wait their turn to get into the action.

Lions started well, kicking up a slight slope on a nice surface where the passes should reach their target, unlike a few of the sticky pitches played on in recent weeks.

It was obvious both teams wanted to play football and it led to some entertaining early exchanges.

There was little to choose between the sides with both defences looking assured.

The breakthrough finally came on 15 minutes as a good move saw the ball fall out on the right to Tom Wray who smashed a fine finish past the Halls keeper. 0-1 to Phoenix.

With their noses in front Phoenix continued to press but couldn’t get a second. Jack Whitman and James Ash had entered the fray by now to freshen things up for the Lions.

A ball over the top from Halls which the Phoenix defence failed to clear for probably the first time in the match, saw the ball fall out to the Halls winger. He had time to line up his shot as he wasn’t closed down quickly enough and hit a fine finish past Josh to make it 1-1. Probably Halls only shot on target the whole of the first half.

Half Time – Halls AFC 1 Phoenix 1

Now playing with the slope, both teams carried on where they left off. With a decent referee letting the game flow, both sides continued to play football out from the back.

With Charlie Hanmore bringing the ball out of defence and trying to make things happen Phoenix found themselves in the ascendency.

They took the lead again when Archie Roast, who had had a barren few weeks in front of goal, got himself onto the scoresheet with a well worked goal. 1-2 to Phoenix.

James Ash was now finding some space out on the left and several times came close with shots at goal and crosses that just evaded a Lions player.

Two became three as Archie found himself in the right place again to grab his second of the game and give Lions some breathing space.

With Halls now feeling the pressure, they failed to clear another Phoenix attack and put through their own net for 1-4.

Lions also hit the bar with a long range effort and went close on other occasions – despite the linesmans effort to seemingly give offside on every attack and the keeper making some excellent saves.

Lions defended well and Halls were restricted to long range shots but Josh Anderson was always alert and cleared his lines well.

Henry Powell, who had been asked to drop back into midfield which he was reluctant to do, then made it 5 with a neat header after putting the Halls defence under pressure again.

Full Time – Halls AFC 1 Phoenix 5

A great performance from the boys this week giving themselves, the parents and the management team an early Christmas present and making up for last weeks disappointment. Jekyll and Hyde have nothing on Phoenix Lions in recent weeks. Consistency will be the key for the management team of Jason and Martyn in the new year. The boys have a couple of weeks off now in which to re-charge their batteries.

So until January, Merry Christmas and come on you Phoenix!

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