Adrian Swan

Phoenix Sports Youth 2 v 2 Glebe Youth
0-1 Jallim (7), 1-1 Giles (18), 2-1 Debenham (26), 2-2 Jallim (33).

Phoenix Sports picked up their first point of the season with a resolute display against visitors Glebe, who dominated for long periods of the match but could not force a winner.

After an even start it was Glebe who had the first chance of the game on 6 minutes when a Jonas Whitmore free kick from wide left found the run of Ben James to the near post but stooping to reach the ball he could only direct his header wide of the goal.

A minute later the visitors did take the lead through a great solo goal from Tafari Jallim, who dribbled into the box leaving a couple of Phoenix defenders in his wake before calmly slotting home low to the right of home keeper Kieran Bennett.

It might have been two on 16 minutes when a James left wing cross found an unmarked Louis Henry racing into the box but his header flew narrowly wide. Minutes later the home side drew level with a fine bit of skill from Liam Giles.

Jimmy Grant sent over a corner from the right that was cleared out to the edge of the box where Giles hit a low right foot shot that was blocked by a Glebe defender sending the ball rebounding back to him and this time he fired in a left shot that flew through the crowded box and beat the unsighted Glebe keeper Ted McDonald low to his left as the ball found the bottom corner of the net.

This goal gave the home side confidence and they nearly took the lead on 22 minutes when Taylan Ali-Osman’s through ball put Daniel Westray in on goal but McDonald quickly narrowed the angle and made a good close range block. Good defending from Phoenix centre half Dean Neary then prevented Glebe taking the lead with a fine last ditch challenge on Jallim as he was about to shoot with only Bennett to beat.

Phoenix then went ahead from another Grant corner from the right when the ball was again cleared out to the edge of the box where Ryan Debenham hit a stunning volley that beat a diving McDonald high to his right, the Glebe keeper getting a hand to the powerful shot but could not prevent the ball crashing into the top corner of the net.

Just after the half hour mark Glebe equalised when the tireless Max Leeves sent over a deep cross from the right wing that flew over the outstretched arm of Bennett finding an unmarked Jallim for a simple tap in from close range.

This turned out to be the last chance of an eventful first half.

The second half was dominated by Glebe with Whitmore and Leeves pulling the strings in midfield for the visitors. On 50 minutes Jallim made another mazy run into the box on the left side of the area before squaring the ball across to Opeyemi Abiru whose fierce shot was well saved by Bennett diving high to his left pushing the ball onto the bar before it was cleared away to safety.

On 57 minutes Glebe had another good opportunity to take the lead when Sam Braddick’s free kick from wide right found Joshua Crispin rising highest in the box but he got under the ball and his header flew over from close range.

On the hour mark the visitors went close gain when Whitmore’s right wing corner fell to Leeves whose shot on the turn flashed just over the bar. Jallim then fired a long range effort over before on 70 minutes Rashaar Smikle’s right wing cross was met by a fine diving header from Jallim that brought out another good save from Bennett diving low to his right.

On 78 minutes Glebe hit the bar again when another Smikle right wing cross found Leeves rising highest at the far post, his header beat Bennett high to his left but rebounded off the bar to James, whose close range shot was blocked on the line by a Phoenix defender which sent the ball back out to James whose follow up header was plucked out of the air by Bennett diving to his left.

A sweeping passing move from Glebe almost set up a winner when Leeves found Abiru who in turn put Jallim through on goal but Bennett made a good close range block for a corner. From this taken by Abiru the ball fell to Leeves at the far post who stretching could only direct his close range header over the bar.

This turned out to be the last chance of a most enjoyable game played in a very good spirit and well officiated by Daniel Blades.