Home league match played on 09 March 2014.
Kicked off at 11:30 AM

On the warmest day of the year so far, Phoenix Lions came into the match against Invicta Lions on the back of 2 good wins and out for revenge against a team who had beaten them just a few weeks ago. Tom Wray was missing this week so Lions would be missing his strength and pace against what we know is a physical team.

Kick Off

Lions played the first half kicking from right to left down the slight slope. It was clear early on who the Invicta danger men would be – numbers 9 and 10 – pulled all the strings in the first game and were doing so again. Invicta were not allowing Phoenix space or time to play their football. But the defence of Ben Chesley, Charlie Hanmore and Euan Corbett-Smith  and later Jai Carter were restricting them to few chances and Josh Anderson in goal made a couple of good saves.

It was a cagey opening 20 minutes as both sides tried to get a grip on the game but the match was very congested with much of it played through the middle.

First blood went to Phoenix after some good interplay between Henry Powell, Archie Roast and then Jack Whitman who found space to run through and finish superbly with his left foot. Phoenix 1 Invicta 0.

The lead didn’t last long though as Invicta went on the attack and their dangerous number 10 found himself on the edge of the box. Charlie Hanmore threw himself into the tackle which was judged a foul by the referee. The Invicta 10 lined up to take the kick himself but rather than position people on the posts, Phoenix left a gaping hole on the far right hand side which the Invicta striker found with a good finish. Phoenix 1 Invicta 1.

Phoenix had a few chances but James Ash couldn’t find the target with his effort and Archie Roast had his near post effort saved.

However, neither side were able to find the net again and the half drew to a close.

Half Time – Phoenix Lions 1 Invicta Lions 1

Now kicking down the hill, Invicta took the game by the scruff of the neck in the second half and seemed to find an extra yard of pace. They were first to every ball and chased every lost cause.

As the ball came down the left, Archie Roast had tracked back and went into a 50/50 with the Invicta striker. He was unfairly judged to have fouled the player and Invicta took the free kick quickly. Phoenix did not close the ball down and the oncoming Invicta midfielder struck to give them the lead. Phoenix 1 Invicta 2.

Feeling aggrieved from the free kick, Phoenix were quickly back level. Archie Roast breaking clear of the Invicta back line to finish with aplomb over the onrushing keeper. Phoenix 2 Invicta 2.

Invicta went back on the attack and won a corner. Defending corners had been an issue for Phoenix all season and it proved again as the ball was crossed in and not cleared properly, it fell to the Invicta midfielder to striker home. Phoenix 2 Invicta 3.

Now finding themselves behind again, Phoenix were pushing for a winner but were undone by a ball down the left which the Invicta number 6 took on the finished to make it 2-4.

Phoenix heads were down now and they needed something to galvanise them.

Invicta made a few changes as did Phoenix with Euan Corbett-Smith and Henry Powell coming back on the try and inject some fight and urgency into the side.

The clock was ticking down but the changes seemed to work as some good play through the middle again presented Henry Powell with an opportunity to get a late consolation which he took well. Phoenix 3 Invicta 4.

That was virtually the last kick of the game and the ref blew his whistle for full time.

Full Time – Phoenix Lions 3 Invicta Lions 4

So the mini-winning run was bought to an end. In the team talk at the end, Jason and Martin tried to encourage them to learn from their mistakes and that defending has to start from the strikers and midfielders, it’s not just down to the defence. You have to chase every ball and be solid in the tackle, something that this team sometimes lacks.

4 league games left now so the boys will be looking for a few victories to finish the season on a high note.

Come on you Lions!

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