Unbeaten League Run Ends
By Paul Hanmore
Phoenix lost their first league game of the season in a close game against Glebe who moved to the top of the KY U16 North
Glebe v Phoenix Sports - Sunday 31st March - KY U16 North
Starting XI: Tom Montgommery, Jack Wall, James Ash, Charlie Hanmore, Euan Corbett-Smith, Dylan Silva (c), Jamie Hutchins, Archie Roast, Tom Dolding, James Dyer, Henry Leek
Subs: Tom Fernandes, Ted Green, Ollie Bonniface, Lucas Mvongo
In the 2nd of their 4 remaining league games, Phoenix were up against Glebe who had lofty league ambitions of their own.
Phoenix started much the better side with a maurauding Archie Roast dictacting the play. Archie himself had a good early chance but with the keeper rushing out, his effort was lobbed wide of the empty Glebe goal.
More chances came and went as Phoenix dominated the game. Henry Leek was clean through on 20 mins but a brilliant saving tackle stopped him getting his shot away.
Charlie Hanmore was supporting well down the left and engaging in some great interplay with James Dyer and Archie.
Despite the early possession and chances, Phoenix couldn't find a breakthrough. This has been something of an issue for many games this season. They were starting to get frustrated and reduced to a few long range efforts from Captain Dylan Silva.
Having sensed Phoenix frustration, Glebe grew into the game and were trying to hit Phoenix on the break and fashioned several free kicks and corners which Phoenix defended well.
Then came a 10 minute spell which would ultimately define the game.
On 35 minutes Glebe took their first real chance of the game. Some really good link play and a cross across the box saw the Glebe striker nip in front of the Phoenix defenders and slot past Monty in the Phoenix goal. 0-1
Have seen themselves dominate but go behind, Phoenix paid the price again on 38 mins. The Glebe right back went on a storming run down the left unchallenged and his cross was met in similar fashion to the first goal. 0-2. Phoenix were stunned and the unbeaten league record now looked seriously under threat.
Just before half-time Phoenix did give themselves a glimmer of hope. 40 mins were on the clock but the referee allowed Phoenix to take a corner. A great cross from James Dyer was met at the back post by Dylan Silva. 1-2
Half Time - Glebe 2 Phoenix 1
At half time manager Alan Foreman decided to make a change to personnel as Charlie went off and Ted Green went on.
As with the first half, Phoenix started the second half well without creating any clear cut chances.
Further subs saw Archie & Jack go off with Ollie Boniface and Tom Fernandes coming on. This led to a few minutes of confusion as the players tried to work out their positions and formation.
After 57 mins the best chance of the second half saw James Dyer lift his left footed shot over the Glebe keeper only to see it hit the bar.
A few minutes later with 60 on the clock came the moment that summed up that it just wasn't be Phoenix's day. A great piece of play by James Dyer down the left put on a teasing cross which was missed by the Glebe keeper and defence - only to see it also miss 3 Phoenix players, all of whom only needed to tap the ball home!
Glebe again sensed Phoenix frustration and fashioned what was their only clear cut chance of the second half. After 65 mins they found a way through but a superb double save from Monty kept the score at 1-2.
The final change of the game saw Tom D go off with Lucas Mvongo coming on.
With 75 mins played, Phoenix were given a lifeline. Henry Leek turned superbly and pulled away from the Glebe defence. As he went into the box, the Glebe keeper came flying out and took both the ball and Henry. The referee blew his whislte for a penalty - much to the dismay of the linesman and many parents watching. After several minutes of deliberation the referee stuck by his decision and it was left to Jamie Hutchins to step up. However, his poorly struck penalty was saved low to the keepers right and it remained 1-2.
There were no further chances at either end and the referee blew for full-time.
Full Time - Glebe 2 Phoenix 1
So the unbeaten league run and the chance to go top of the league with 2 games to play was gone. Instead Glebe go top (they have 1 to play) with Cray 2nd (2 to play), Phoenix 3rd (2 to play) and Bromley 4th (but with 5 games to play). With all the top teams still to play each other coupled with postponements and fixture delays it now looks like the season won't be finished until mid-May and we may not know who will take the title until the final game........