By Adrian Swann
Greenwich Borough Youth 2 v 5 Phoenix Sports Youth
0-1 Main (8), 0-2 Maynard (9), 1-2 Ayodele (13), 2-2 Assi (22),
2-3 Main (25), 2-4 Main (27) (Pen), 2-5 Middleton (52).
Phoenix Sports opened the season with an excellent victory away at Greenwich Borough.
After an even start Phoenix stunned their hosts with two quick goals within a minute.
On 8 minutes Harry Main opened the scoring with a superb goal after making space well wide on the right, he hit a curling 30 yard shot that flew over the outstretched arm of Greenwich keeper Frankie Barbieri into the top right hand corner of the net.
Then a minute later Main’s floated corner from the left found the run of Teddy Maynard ghosting into the box unmarked at the far post and he scored with a powerful close range header high to the left of Barbieri.
Although suddenly finding themselves two down early on Greenwich were not undaunted and halved the deficit on 13 minutes with a slick passing move. Kairhen Quintos’s defence splitting pass found the run into the box of Alaine Assi who had his close range shot well blocked by Phoenix keeper Harry Hepworth, who was quickly off his line to narrow the angle, but the loose ball fell to Ayomide Ayodele who fired home low to the left of Hepworth.
On 18 minutes Greenwich went close to drawing level when Bernny Brito hit a 25 yard free kick that drifted narrowly wide of the target and shortly afterwards they went close again when Ayodele made a surging run into the box before laying the ball off to Brito whose shot on the turn was well saved by Hepworth diving low to his left.
However on 22 minutes the hosts pressure finally paid off as another superb pinpoint pass from Quintos found the run into the box of Assi who neatly slotted home low to the right of Hepworth.
Having got back into the game Greenwich then gifted the visitors the lead on 25 minutes when a high ball into the box saw Connor Walsh try and head the ball back to his keeper but his effort fell short allowing Main to nip in and poke the ball home low to the left of Barbieri.
Unfortunately for Greenwich another defensive error allowed Phoenix to restore their two goal cushion on 27 minutes when a dipping cross into the box was fumbled by Barbieri, the ball falling to Solar Weerdmeester who was then brought down by Barbieri in attempting to gather the loose ball and a penalty was awarded. Main stepped up and confidently dispatched the spot kick home low to the left of Barbieri who dived right, to complete a 19 minute hat trick.
Phoenix almost made it five on 34 minutes when Harry Wright hit a fierce 40 yard drive that brought a fine save out of Barbieri diving full length to his right to turn the ball out for a corner.
On 40 minutes Greenwich midfielder Bruno Mical Silva Souza made a good run into the box evading several tackles before having his low shot saved by Hepworth diving to his left.
The action the quickly switched to the other end with Ben Middleton making a good run down the left before cutting into the box and hitting a fierce drive that Barbieri saved well diving high to his left for a corner.
Just before half time Greenwich twice went close to scoring. Firstly Ayodele made a strong run down the right before cutting into the box and hitting a powerful shot that flew straight at Hepworth. Then Brito’s clever pass put Assi in on goal but Hepworth was quick to react and made a good close range block to deny the Greenwich winger.
Phoenix made it five early in the second half with a route one goal as Ryan Debenham’s lofted pass was headed on by Dean Neary into the path of Middleton who scored with an assured finish neatly tucking the ball home high to the left of the exposed Barbieri.
On 58 minutes Phoenix went close to increasing their lead when Middleton’s right wing cross was only cleared to the edge of the box where Weerdmeester hit a controlled volley straight at Barbieri. Both sides then made a number of substitutes which meant that play became a bit scrappy.
However on 68 minutes the hosts were unlucky not to reduce the arrears when Souza made a good run down the left before cutting into the box and hitting a rasping dipping shot that beat Hepworth high to his left but rattled the bar and flew over. After this few clear cut chances were created as both defences stood firm.
On 82 minutes Godfred Adjei had a long range effort fly just over for Greenwich before in stoppage time Main got onto the end of a Victor Sonnah through ball but his shot flew narrowly over.