Get Em Done wrote:East Grinstead 1 Phoenix 2
Phoenix travelled to East Grinstead United for their first encounter with many peoples outside bet for the league, and recent results had echoed these thoughts.
The Phoenix management were concerned and the playing surface and how narrow the pitch was. Going against the Phoenix mentality of getting the ball out wide and stretching the play.
The visitors started far brighter, and top scorer Canavan should have netted after 2 minutes when he was at least 5 yards off side, the lino did not flag!!! Canavan rattled the bar, and saved the lino more abuse!! East Grinstead came more and more in to the game, but had most of their possession in their own half, and most chances were snuffed out by the ever improving Phoenix defence. And most Phoenix opportunities came from long balls over the top, but the inability to hold the ball and support their strikers, was causing frustration throughout the Phoenix ranks.
The half time talk was one of the easiest manager Candlish has given, get the ball down and create space-simple!! Although second half started much as the first had finished, Phoenix struggling to get the ball wide and East Grinstead playing good football in their own half. Then a corner caused havoc in the Phoenix area with no one taking responsibility, and the East Grinstead player chested the ball in the net. The Phoenix response was immediate and within a minute a Luke Byrne bullet header had the Crawley side back on level terms, Byrne scoring his first goal in 3 season!!
With 15 minutes to go, and the game heading for a draw, the management team of Candlish and Williams sent on Liam Barton and Gez Manville, who both found themselves relegated to the bench in controversial style. Especially as Manville smashed in 5 goals the previous week. It was not long before the move paid dividends, as the East Grinstead players tired, there was more space for the Phoenix wingers, and some good work by Chris Williams down the left gave him the chance to slide the ball to the advancing Manville to net his 6th goal in 2 games. I think we just about edged it and deserved the 3 points, but East Grinstead are up there with the better teams we have played this season, and I’m sure they will be in the top 3 come the end of the season.