Phoenix Sports 3 Hastings United 0
My first game of the season and I got a real treat, as Phoenix put in a professional yet entertaining performance against a good Hastings side.
The first half saw no goals but what appeared to be two finely matched teams cancelling each other out. Hastings looked assured, comfortable on the ball, confident in the challenge, giving the air of one of those sides that win games through sheer force of will. And Hastings came close on a few occasions, with Steve Phillips making several strong saves.
Phoenix meanwhile, showed a dedication to their principles, playing the ball out from the back, keeping things simple, letting the ball do the work.
And the second half saw those principles, and the patience within them, pay off. Frankie Sawyer’s incisive through ball set Jack Barham clear for him to slot the ball home. And a couple of minutes later Barham scored again, nodding home Ashley Probets’ free kick. Jack Hopkins well and truly finished the game off, while also illustrating the importance of playing to the whistle. As calls for and against a penalty were directed to the referee as the ball bounced about the box, Hopkins smashed the ball home to settle the debate once and for all.
A great game and a lovely afternoon for it. Phoenix Sports really is a wonderful place to watch football. The way they play is often a joy to watch, it is a really nice little ground and there is always a warm welcome. If they keep playing this well there should be plenty more great afternoons to look forward to this season.