Bromley Head for Title
By Paul Hanmore
In a close game, a solitary headed goal gives Bromley the KYL U16 North title.
Phoenix Sports v Bromley - Sunday 5th May 2019
Starting XI: Tom Monty, Jack Wall , Dylan Silva (c), Euan Corbett-Smith, James Ash, Charlie Hanmore, Ted Green, Jamie Hutchins, James Dyer, Tom Dolding, Henry Leek
Subs: Ollie Boniface, Lucas Mvongo, Tom Fernandes
After 5 weeks without a game, Phoenix were back in action against league leaders Bromley who knew a draw or win would secure them the league title. This after Bromley beat Cray midweek and Greenwich Borough conceded both their remaining games to Bromley and Cray. Phoenix could still win the title themselves but would need to beat Bromley twice and win a play-off.
The game started quickly with both sides pressing and forcing errors. The sides looked an even match with most of the action in the midfield areas with Jamie Hutchins, Ted Green and Tom Dolding involved for Phoenix and neither side creating much in the way of chances.
After an even first half hour, Bromley won a corner on the right. The ball was swung to the far post and headed back across goal. Bromley reacted quickest and the tall no. 6 headed home to make it 1-0. Phoenix failing to defend the set piece and missing 2 headers.
Despite going behind, Phoenix reacted well and continued to limit Bromley. Henry Leek was causing problems for their defence with his constant running.
On 39 minutes Phoenix were forced to make a change. A maurauding run from the right by Charlie Hanmore saw him skip past 2 challenges before a third stopped him and he went down injured. He was unable to continue despite trying to play on complete with nasty stud marks down his thigh but it wasn't to be so Tom Fernandes was bought on.
Just before half time, Phoenix created their best chance of the half. A great cross from the left by James Dyer was almost headed in by Ted Green but the Bromley keeper tipped it wide.
Bromley almost made it 2 from the resulting goal kick but Dylan Silva was there to make the goal line save and keep it at 0-1.
Half Time - Phoenix 0 Bromley 1
Knowing they had to go for it, Phoenix made a change at half time with Jack Wall going off and Ollie Boniface coming on to work with Henry up front. Phoenix went to a back 3 of Euan Corbett-Smith, James Ash and Dylan Silva.
The change unsettled Bromley and Ollie immediately caused problems running down the inside left with James Dyer in support.
As Bromley got frustrated, 2 of their players were booked and tension was obvious from their managers constantly in the ear of the referee and almost being sent to the stands.
In a final change for Phoenix, Tom Dolding was taken off with Lucas Mvongo coming on.
Phoenix were still in the ascendancy and had two really good chances to equalise - one from James Dyer and one from Henry Leek but the Bromley keeper saved low for both. Tom Monty in the Phoenix goal was a virtual spectator, testament to Phoenix's excellent second half display.
Eventually time ran out and the referee blew for full-time.
Full Time - Phoenix 0 Bromley 1
So Bromley win the league but Phoenix can hold their heads high. They deserved at least a point from a game where they matched Bromley all over the pitch but as with the last few games and the cup final, they couldn't take their chances when it mattered.
They lost only 2 games in a really competitive league but probably had a couple too many draws.
They finish with the second best defensive record out of all 35 KYL teams across all 4 divisions behind only Bromley. But also one of the lowest amounts of goals scored - which has ultimately proved to be the downfall of the season.
But its not all about winning trophies and medals. They've had 3 boys play reserve team football and 1 in the first team squad this season showing a clear pathway for the future of the club. More of them will look to get games in the new U23 team next season and keep progressing.
They move to U18 next season looking to keep this squad together and bring in a few new faces to strengthen the side.