Solihull Moors 0 Leyton Orient 0
By Luke Turner
So Close As Moors Settle for the Play Off's............................Writes John Clothier
Leyton Orient arrived at the ATG Stadium two points clear of Salford and three of Moors. Moreover, they had a better goal difference of four and eight respectively. Second placed Salford were at home to fourth placed AFC Fylde.
It was a warm sunny day at Damson Park and Moors were at full strength.
Jamey Osborne teed off for Moors and within a minute his long throw was cleared from the six-yard box. Darren Carter put the visitors under further pressure as he slotted an early 35-yard free kick into the O’s six-yard box but keeper Brill rose highest to clear the danger.
Orient’s first attack on five minutes saw Koroma cut back from the by-line but Ryan Boot parried the shot to safety with a terrific diving interception. Jamey Osborne saw his opportunist effort clear the bar, before Adi Yussuf collected a long clearance from Tyrone Williams but was at full stretch and the shot lacked the power to find the net. Carter’s free kick following a foul on Osborne was nodded wide by Liam Daly.
Lee Vaughan got on the end of Widdowson’s clearance of an Osborne throw and the shot, through a melee of legs, could so easily have opened the scoring but there were no deflections and it passed safely through for a goal kick. The visitors retaliated with Brophy’s decent looking effort cleared by Alex Gudger and the follow up from Koroma was straight at Boot. Yussuf worked himself into a dangerous position but Happe cleared the danger.
It was breath taking play and just twenty minutes on the clock!
Osborne was clattered by Coulson on a run into the box on the half hour mark and his curling free kick cleared the wall but Brill never took his eyes of it for a moment – a quite outstanding save as the ball hurtled towards the top corner of the net.
Boot pulled off a reactive save as Coulson stole in at the far post to meet a long corner but both Kyle Storer and Clay were then booked for an off the ball incident. Tyrone Williams and Danny Wright were a whisker away from opening the score from Carter’s corner which then went safely out for a goal kick.In the second minute of added time Williams met Osborne’s long throw and it looked as if Daly, waiting on the far post ,was pushed but the referee waved play on.
0 – 0 at the interval was a fair reflection of a half where Moors had their chances but tight defending kept the score level.
The first action of the second half saw Osborne getting onto a through ball from Wright down the left flank but the shot was wide. A slight mix up between Boot and Williams nevertheless saw Brophy’s dangerous cross nodded wide by Bonne. Clay crossed to Koroma but the header was well over the bar. At the other end Wright put a mesmerising ball into the six-yard area but before Yussuf could capitalise, it was cleared by Elpiteta.
On 50 minutes Turley met a pin point corner from Brophy which was headed inches wide; Turley went close again a minute later with a long range 25 yarder but Boot was down quickly to avert the danger. Brophy had a go but Boot was again equal to the shot.
With Jermaine Hylton replacing Yussuf (after treatment from the physio) with 20 minutes left, it was the O’s who had their best chance of the afternoon; Bonne, having slipped by two defenders, looked to have put his side in front as he drilled the ball goal wards but even though the shot went through Daly’s legs, it was denied by Boot at full stretch - the save of the day!
Nathan Blissett replaced Wright on 73 minutes and both teams upped their pace; Osborne put Lee Vaughan through on the right side of the box and the wing back’s cross found Hylton some 6 feet out – remarkably Brill stopped the goal bound shot. With 12 minutes remaining a Moors corner caused problems in the Orient box but again Brill managed to eventually get a hand on it.
In the first minute of added time, Hylton was held as he raced for the by line. Carter chipped the free kick which found Storer clear in space at the far post but the header was wide. The four extra minutes failed to change the result which ended all square.
It had been an uncompromising Moors performance which showed just how good they are against the team which is surely destined to take the League Title next Saturday at home to second from bottom Braintree Town. Orient are three points clear of both Moors and Salford who lost at home to Fylde; both have 85 points but The O’s have the superior goal difference. With Wrexham losing at FC Halifax, Moors and Salford will occupy second and third places in the play offs - exactly which space will rest on our result at Dagenham on Saturday’s final league game of the season and Salford’s result at Hartlepool.
Gas Centre Man of the Match Jamie Reckord
Vanarama Man of the Match – Liam Daly
Boot, Williams, Reckord, Storer ©, Daly, Gudger, Osborne, Carter, Yussuf (Hylton), Wright (Blissett), Vaughan, Subs Not Used; Carline, Hawkridge, Sbarra
Attendance A Record Breaking 3681 (726)
Report from John Clothier Photos Courtesy of Tom King