Phoenix Sports 3-1 Metrogas
By Dean Sawyer
Home campaign off to a winning start
Phoenix Sports 3 v Metrogas 1
Kent Youth League U16 North - Sunday 16th September 2018
Starting XI: Tom Montgomery, Charlie Hanmore, Dylan Silva (Cpt), Euan Corbett-Smith, James Ash, Tom Dolding, Ted Green, David Balogun, Jamie Hutchins, James Dyer, Henry Leek
Subs: Isaac Smith, Finn Healy, Tom Fernandes, Jack Wall, Tiago Dos Santos
After a solid start last week, the boys were hoping to get their home campaign off to a winning start against Metrogas - newcomers to the Kent Youth League. Phoenix kept the same starting XI with a slight switch in formation that saw James Dyer moved inside to the no.10 role and Ted Green moved outside to the left.
Phoenix starter the game well and went on the attack early. With 5 mins on the clock, Tom Dolding played in Charlie Hanmore who had made a great overlap down the right. Although the cross came to nothing, it was an early sign of intent.
Despite some good early possession for Phoenix, the first real chance of the game fell to Metrogas on 7 mins but the shot came to nothing in the end.
Phoenix were forced into an early change as striker Henry Leek went down injured after 10 mins and couldn't continue. He was replaced by Tiago Dos Santos.
Both sides were trying to play good football, particularly out from the back. Phoenix had the better of the chances though as David Balogun saw his shot go just wide of left post and Tom seeing his half volley also go wide.
The breakthrough for Phoenix came after 25 mins as the front 3 pressed the Metrogas backline as they tried to play out from the back. The Metrogas keeper took too long on the ball and James Dyer nipped in and slotted past the keeper to his right. 1-0.
As the half went on, Phoenix looked to add to their tally and after 35 minutes they pounced on more uncertainty by the Metrogas backline. This time Tom Dolding turned neatly and smashed home to make it 2-0.
As half time approached, James Ash made a fine run down the left and saw his strike tipped wide by the Metrogas keeper.
Half Time - Phoenix Sports 2 Metrogas 0
There were no changes from Phoenix at half time but Metrogas shuffled their pack to try and find a way back into the game.
It was an even start to second half as Phoenix took their foot off the gas slightly and allowed Metrogas to gain some confidence.
On 55 minutes, some lovely skill from Tom Dolding on the right allowed Phoenix to switch the play and Ted Green was played in, only to see his shot go wide of the left hand side of the goal.
Phoenix decided to bring on some fresh legs and sent on Isaac Smith for Euan Corbett-Smith at the back, and Finn Healy on for Ted Green on the left.
David Balogun was then booked for persistent fouling and James Dyer saw another shot go wide left. Shortly afterwards, James Dyer was replaced by Tom Fernandes as Phoenix looked to wrap up the game.
Metrogas continued to attack and after bringing on a couple more subs they got their reward. After a good move straight down the middle saw Phoenix fail to clear their lines, the big no. 18 found himself with plenty of time to slot past Tom Montgomery to make it 2-1 with around 5 mins to go plus added time.
Just as quickly as Metrogas had got themselves back in the game, Phoenix regained their 2 goal lead. Good work from Tom Dolding on the right saw the ball fall to Finn Healy who slotted home to make it 3-1 and ease the Phoenix nerves.
A final change was made by Phoenix as Jack Wall was brought on for Tom Dolding.
As Metrogas continued to press, Charlie Hanmore made another storming run down the right but the end result was mis-hit. This was shortly followed by another effort from Jamie Hutchins that went wide right.
As the match went into added time, Metrogas were not finished though and saw a shot go wide left. Shortly after another attack came and some resolute defending from Phoenix saw Dylan Silva take a ball full in face that stopped a certain goal.
That was the last of the action as the referee blew for Full-Time.
Full Time - Phoenix Sports 3 Metrogas 1
Next up for Phoenix is a trip to Thamesmead Town. #COYP