Away league match played on 16 February 2014.
Kicked off at 10:00 AM

After the horrific weather of the last few weeks, the sun was out and it was game on for the Phoenix Lions as they travelled over to Bromley to play Petts Wood Petrels in Selkent B East.

Kick Off

Phoenix started in their now familiar formation with a solid back four, three in midfield and one up front. Despite the excellent pitch, it was a scrappy start as both sides struggled to find any rhythm.

Archie Roast was trying to weave his magic and create chances through midfield but was closed down as Petts Wood spotted the early danger and then doubled up on him.

The back four, with Charlie Hanmore barking out orders, were handling the lone Petts Wood striker well and their midfield barely even got into the Phoenix penalty box.

In a scrappy match, it was fitting that the breakthrough came with a scrappy goal as Archie Roast got into the box and after a couple of deflections as Petts Wood tried to clear, managed to slot past the Petts Wood keeper. There were muted celebrations as the linesman raised his flag and asked to speak to the referee. Despite his insistence for off-side, the referee overruled him and awarded the goal. Petrels 0 Lions 1.

The linesman had been poor thus far and continued to make poor decisions which were questioned by Jason Ash, the Phoenix manager and challenged by the Petts Wood manager in defence of his team.

Henry Powell had a chance when clean through but rushed his shot and it was easily saved by the Petrels keeper.

As the half went on, Phoenix won a corner. The ball was crossed in from Archie Roast who found Henry Powell in acres of space and he hit a crisp right footed volley past the Petrels keeper. Petrels 0 Lions 2.

Half Time – Petts Wood Petrels 0 Phoenix Lions 2

During Half-Time, the management team decided to change things around and try some different players at the back so in a re-shuffle, Jack Whitman was asked to move to right back and Tom Wray to centre back.

In a crazy 10 minute spell at the start of the second half, the move looked to have back fired as Phoenix completely lost their shape - not helped by midfielders not getting back quick enough to support the defence maybe due to a lack of fitness - and let Petrels back in the game.

Petrels got their first after a good passing move and some missed tackles allowed them to slot home for 1-2.

Shortly after, a ball straight through the middle – something Phoenix had combatted so well in the first half – left the Petrels striker one on one and he made no mistake to make it 2-2.

With Phoenix rocking, Petrels seized the initiative and took the game to Phoenix. After more sloppy play and another defensive mistake, Petrels found themselves in front at 3-2.

Once again, from a decent position, Lions had let the opposition back in the game. The management team of Jason Ash and Martyn Whitman had been impressing on the Lions the need to cut out the silly mistakes but under pressure, everything had been forgotten and Lions had it all to do.

They managed to rally and had a few chances to get level but the chances were well saved by the Petrels keeper.

As the clock ticked down, the ball fell to James Ash outside the Petrels box. As it bounced up he hit as sweet a left foot shot as you will see which arrowed through and into the top left hand corner of the net. Get in! 3-3.

Despite the parents and managers of both teams thinking they had around 5 minutes left to find a winner, the referee had seen enough and blew his whistle for full time.

Full Time – Petts Wood Petrels 3 Phoenix Lions 3

There were mixed emotions at the end – was it a point won or two points dropped - as Phoenix knew they had the game won at half time and were disappointed to have made several mistakes which could have cost them the game. However, they can take heart that they managed to fight back and get the draw thanks to James spectacular equaliser.

After a few weeks off, several players looked short of fitness – something the management team have identified and will work on in training – along with the need for concentration to cut out the mistakes.

Hopefully the weather will hold this week and they can be back in action next weekend to try and get some momentum going. Martyn Whitman will be taking charge of the team next week in the absence of Manager Jason Ash who is away.

Come on you Lions!

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