Fleet Weighs Anchor And Heads South
Midfielder Reece Fleet has agreed to rejoin his former club Oxford City for next season. The newly relocated Vanarama National League South side finished in sixth place in the Conference North this season and have snapped up the former Birmingham City youngster, who returns to the club having made almost 100 appearances for the Moors, scoring five goals.
All of us at Solihull Moors would like to thank Reece for his exemplary service to the club over the past three years and we wish him well for the future.
With the loss of Reece, along with the recent departures of Jay Denny and Richard Taundry, this has depleted the Moors midfield options. Manager Marcus Bignot and his team have been working hard to strengthen this area of the team over the summer, and news of new arrivals will be announced here very soon.
Moors Unveil New Forward Line
Strikers Andy Brown (left) and Akwasi Asanti (rigth) are the latest recruits for next season’s campaign, joining the Moors from Nuneaton Town and Kidderminster Harriers respectively. With the pending departure of Omar Bogle into the Football League, these two will join Stefan Moore as the clubs centre-forward options for Manager Marcus Bignot this forthcoming season.
Andy Brown is a proven non-league goal scorer, leading the line for his former employees Nuneaton Town and AFC Telford United over the past seven seasons. His four years at Telford included helping them achieve promotion to the Conference Premier in 2011 through the play-offs. Following a move to Nuneaton Town mid-way through the following year, he achieved his second successive promotion from the Conference North via the play-offs. He scored the winning goal in the final minutes of the second leg of the semi-final against Guiseley, and the solitary goal in the final against Gainsborough Trinity to again earn promotion to the Conference Premier. Scorer of a total of 44 goals for Nuneaton, the 29 year old's continued goal scoring record will be pivotal to Solihull Moors forthcoming campaign.
Dutch-born Akwasi Asanti moved to the UK as a youngster and came through the academy at Birmingham City. He made his début for the club in a Europa League play-off game against Portuguese side National in 2011. Although considered an exciting prospect, an injury-hit time at St Andrews led to him being released last summer and he joined Kidderminster in December 2014 where he made 11 appearances.
With Andy's experience, Akwasi's huge potential alongside Stefan Moore's proven goal scoring record, fans can expect to see a flurry of goals.
Captain Returns and Player/Coach Is Installed
Former Captain Theo Streete (left) has rejoined Solihull Moors for the forthcoming season from Nuneaton Town, along with Nuneaton team-mate Gavin Cowan (right). Theo will immediately resume his role of Club Captain, whilst defender Cowan joins as player/coach. Both will bring much needed experience to the heart of the defence, as well as leadership both on and off the field.
Theo spent three and a half years with the Moors, making 141 starts as a no-nonsense battling defender. Appointed at the start of the 2010-11 season as club captain, he was then brought by Alfreton Town in the January, winning the Conference North Title that season, and then helping them secure a 13th place finish in the Conference Premier the following year. In total the former Derby County scholar made over 100 appearances for the Reds before leaving for fellow Premier side Nuneaton Town in the summer of 2013. His two years at Nuneaton have seen him be an ever-present in the side as Town finished 13th in 2014, before being relegated at the end of last season.
German born defender Cowan has been with Nuneaton for the past three years, having previously been with the club for two previous spells in its earlier incarnation as Nuneaton Borough. After beginning his career at Braintree and Canvey Island, he spent two years in the football league with Shrewsbury Town before dropping out of full-time football in pursuit of his coaching qualifications, continuing to play for Nuneaton, Telford and Gainsborough Trinity over the next five seasons before rejoining Nuneaton in 2012 on their return to the Conference Premier. He now runs his own Football Academy and his role at the Moors will include being part of Marcus Bignot's coaching staff.
Moors To Take On Stags and Blues XI In Pre-Season
Solihull Moors will begin their pre-season fixtures with a friendly against League Two side Mansfield Town. The Stags will visit on Saturday 18 July, with a 1.30pm kick-off at the Autotech Stadium. Mansfield finished in 21st position last season, and include former Moors manager Mickey Moore on their coaching staff.
A Birmingham City XI will also visit the Autotech on Tuesday 28th July in a 7.30pm kick-off.
Adults:£5 - Under 16s:£2
Moors Snap Up Former Harriers Pair
Solihull Moors can confirm that former Kidderminster Harriers pair - goalkeeper Danny Lewis (right) and midfielder Callum Gittings (left) - have agreed with Manager Marcus Bignot to join the Moors for next season's campaign.
They both joined the Harriers five years ago and have been part of the Harriers side that has finished four times in the top seven of the Conference Premier, including being runners-up to Mansfield in 2013. They were also part of the 2013-14 side that reached the fourth round of the FA Cup, losing 1-0 to Sunderland at the Stadium of Light.
Danny recently made his 200th appearance for Kidderminster, but will be no stranger to some Moors fans, having played for Moor Green back in the 06-07 season, before joining Redditch United, where he stayed for three years before returning to Harriers as first choice in 2010, having originally signed for the club in 2004 when they were in League Two.
Callum too has been a big part of the Harriers sucess during his five seasons at the club where he has made over 175 appearances, scoring 20 times. An excellent 2013-14 season saw him score four times in the club's FA Cup run to the fourth round, and with him picking up three end-of-season trophies, including being voted best player by both his manager and team-mates.
Two Not Offered New Deals
In the first round of talks this week with his current squad, Moors Manager Marcus Bignot has informed goalkeeper Tony Breeden that he would not be renewing his contract for next season. He also informed defender Emmitt Delfueneso that he would not be making him an offer to be with the Moors next season. Talks are ongoing with the remainder of the current squad.
After joining Solihull last summer, Tony played every minute of this season's campaign keeping nine clean sheets. Emmitt joined the squad in the later part of the season and only made a single appearance.
We thank them for their service to the club, and wish them both well for the future.
Season Finishes With Draw
Chorley 0 - 0 Solihull Moors
Saturday 25th April 2015
Chorley had already booked their play off place in this, their first season in the Vanarama Conference North, whilst Moors went in search of a top ten finish. On a cold day in Lancashire and a bumpy pitch, a huge 1425 crowd saw a tight game edged by the home team but with Moors finding it hard to penetrate the final third and the Pilgrims producing some woeful finishing. With little to play for the game had all the hall marks of a typical end of season match.
Dean fired over after two minutes with Winter almost immediately side footing too high. Hine had the ball in Solihull’s net after seven minutes but was well off side. Dorney too blasted over as Moors weathered the early storm. Ryan Beswick on the end of a Knights lob was denied by keeper Ashton.
Beswick’s free kick on 20 minutes took a deflected header which might well have resulted in an own goal whilst Hine on a one on one with Breeden completely miss timed his shot. On the half hour mark Dorney lobbed Tony Breeden but the cross bar came to the keepers rescue. Dorney then shot low from 20 yards but the Moors shot stopper was more than equal to it. Solihull’s best chance fell to Reece Fleet just before the interval but his chip was too high. Dean rattled the cross bar bore Referee Hudson blew for the interval.
Breeden produced the save of the day as Dean hammered goalwards but Moors looked far more composed at the second half progressed. Beswick despite looking in some discomfort and Darryl Knights were spraying the ball from midfield. Beswick tested Ashton on 65 minutes whilst Fleet, having beaten three defenders shot wide. Omar Bogle, in what was billed as his final game for Solihull, shot hard at Ashton but the keeper successfully narrowed the angle, and then the Moors striker had no time to turn in the six yard box as Knights delivered.
Joe Ballinger looked more comfortable in the back four and a perfectly timed tackle prevented a one on one with Breeden on 72 minutes. There was some light hearted banter from the away crowd as substitute Almond put the ball over the stand and out of the ground from 18 yards. Dean out jumped the Solihull defence but headed over whilst Liam Daly was yellow carded for a crunching tackle on the Chorley striker. Substitute Burns missed a golden opportunity at the death when he completely miss kicked in front of goal and Bogle might have gone out in a blaze of glory in the four minutes of added time but chose to pass when he could have turned and fired home.
Barrow are the league winners whilst Chorley now meet Boston in the semi final of the play offs. Moors finish twelfth after a disappointing second half of the season and now prepare for their eighth season in the second tier of England’s Non League competition. Marcus Bignot will now focus his thoughts on that next campaign.
Full Time: Chorley 0-0 Solihull Moors
Solihull Moors: Tony Breeden, Michael Nottingham, Jo Ballinger, Reece Fleet, Liam Daly, Jean Michel Gueyes, Junior English, Stefan Moore, Omar Bogle, Ryan Beswick, Darryl Knights. Subs not used: Emmitt Delfouneso, Darren Acton, Darren Byfield ,Lewis Hayden, Kieran Nesbitt.
Boston Secure Play-Off Place
Solihull Moors 1 - 4 Boston United
Saturday 18th April 2015
Boston arrived at the Autotech Stadium on a run which has seen them achieve seven wins in their last nine games and knowing that if results elsewhere went in their favour, a win against the Moors would ensure their place in the play offs for promotion to the Vanarama Conference Premier. Solihull, having surfaced from a difficult second half of the season still had a top ten finish to secure but despite having beaten their opponents earlier in the season this would be no walk in the park for the mighty Moors.
Moors looked positive from the first whistle with Reece Fleet blasting over in the second minute and then a sublime lob from Stefan Moore kept out by the cross bar. However, at the other end Boston’s Dayle Southwell showed why he was the most likely striker to overhaul Omar Bogles amazing 29 goal tally as he fired wide of the upright. Felix followed up with a solo run ending with his effort just wide, whilst Southwell forced Tony Breeden into a good save with only seven minutes gone.
Solihull weathered the storm playing some beautiful one touch football with Darryl Knight’s instrumental in the middle of the park. and it was Knights himself who had a great chance with a volley from a long Langdon throw. Michael Nottingham’s perfectly timed tackle thwarted Walker as he advanced on goal whilst left back Steer fired over at the half way stage of the half. However Solihull were undone on 24 minutes when Southwell beat three defenders and drilled in a low shot from 18 yards to open Boston’s account.
As Moors fought back they failed to deal with a cross into their six yard area from Roberts which bounced over Langdon to the waiting Southwell who tapped in his second of the day. Stefan Moore collected a Bogle pass from the restart producing a fine save from keeper Stryjek, but Moors were fortunate with Breeden a long way out of his area to see Liam Daly clear off the line. With the pressure mounting, Nottingham was adjudged to have hand-balled in the box with five minutes of the half remaining and a grateful Southwell sent the spot kick just beyond the diving Breeden for a 15 minute hat trick and his third of the season. With a minute to go before the break Knights rifled a cross into the visitor’s box and Ryan Beswick curled his header into the right hand corner of the net to give some hope to the Moors for the second half.
Solihull were quickly into their stride from the restart with Fleet blasting too high from 25 yards and Beswick going a fraction wide. Knights forced Stryjek to parry his twelve yard effort for a corner, but just when it seemed their was still something in the match for Solihull, Roberts let fly from 25 yards into the top corner of the net to extend Boston’s lead. To their credit Moors heads remained high despite the impossibility of the situation, with Beswick and Bogle both having chances, whilst a fierce cross from Knights on twenty five minutes needed only a touch. His subsequent corner was nodded down by Daly but Beswick’s finish went agonisingly wide. Substitutes Hayden, Gueyes and Nesbitt injected life into the team but there was no way back.
The win cemented Boston’s place in the play offs whilst Moors need to win next Saturday in their final game this season at Chorley to have a chance of finishing in the top ten. Southwell’s hat trick sees him close the gap to one goal behind Omar Bogle in the race for the leading goal scoring prize.
Full Time: Solihull Moors 1-4 Boston United (Half Time: 1-3)
Goal: Ryan Beswick (44 mins).
Solihull Moors: Tony Breeden, Michael Nottingham (Kieran Nesbitt 85), Jo Ballinger, Reece Fleet, Liam Daly, Dominic Langdon (Jean Michel Gueyes 71), Junior English, Stefan Moore, Omar Bogle, Ryan Beswick (Lewis Hayden 71), Darryl Knights. Subs not used: Emmitt Delfouneso, Darren Acton.
Late Penalty Rescues Point
AFC Fylde 2 - 2 Solihull Moors
Saturday 11th April 2015
An injury time penalty from Omar Bogle gave the Moors a deserved point from their visit to title chasing AFC Fylde. On a sunny but blustery afternoon Moors travelled to just south of Blackpool to take on big spending AFC Fylde who, following a meteoric rise up the non league pyramid, have more or less have been in the top two positions in the Vanarama Conference North all season. Moors lost the home game 0-1 in January.
Solihull attacked from the opening whistle. On four minutes, following good work by Beswick, Stefan Moore was unlucky to see his goal bound effort blocked by home keeper Hinchcliffe and Bogle was unfortunate not to convert the rebound. Whilst Tony Breeden dealt easily with a one on one with Lloyd, Daryl Knights was dictating play from midfield and on 20 minutes he collected a superb Bogle through ball to drill past Hinchcliffe from just inside the area.
On 28 minutes ex Vauxhall Motors striker Josh Wilson got on the end of an Allen cross but headed wide for Fylde when well placed. Moors continued to press forward and Moore was so unlucky as he burst into the box only to see his goal bound strike blocked by the chest of Hinchcliffe. As half time approached Bogle’s effort from a tight angle was blocked by the home keeper at his near post and his free kick from 20 yards bent round the defensive wall, saw Hinchcliffe parry the ball for a corner. From Knight’s corner Fleet’s well-struck shot flew inches over.
On 48 minutes the home side drew level when a throw in conceded on the left hand side resulted in complete indecision from the Moors rear guard and Sumner fed Danny Rowe who unchallenged slotted the ball past Breeden. On 55 minutes Fylde took the lead when a swift break again caught out the Moors defence as Rowe played the ball across the Solihull box to Allen who was first to react and slammed the ball into the empty net despite Daly’s desperate attempt to retrieve the situation.
Breeden saved well from Baker and although Fylde did manage to get the ball in the net once more Lloyd was correctly adjudged off side. Fylde, now sensing victory, continued to push forward but on 71 minutes Moors introduced Jean-Michel Gueyes and in injury time his persistence down the left flank kept the ball alive, and a clear hand ball from Josh Langley resulted in a penalty which Bogle tucked away to give Moors the point, their first half display warranted.
On a day when league leaders Barrow were beaten by lowly Brackley Town, had Fylde won this game they would have gone top of the league. No wonder then that several Barrow supporters have asked to join the Omar Bogle fan club! His latest strike extends his top position in the goal scorers table where he has now hit 29 league goals this season.
Full Time: AFC Fylde 2 - 2 Solihull Moors (Half Time: 0-1)
Goals: Darryl Knights (20 mins) Omar Bogle (90)
Solihull Moors: Tony Breeden, Michael Nottingham, Jo Ballinger (Jean Michel Gueyes), Reece Fleet (Kieran Nesbitt), Liam Daly, Dominic Langdon, Junior English, Stefan Moore, Omar Bogle, Ryan Beswick, Darryl Knights. Subs not used: Darren Byfield, Darren Acton, Lewis Hayden.
Moors End Pitmen's PlayOff Hopes
Solihull Moors 1 - 1 Hednesford Town
Monday 6th April 2015
Hednesford were promoted to this league just under two years ago and in their first season at this level made the play off positions. This season they have been favourites to repeat that objective but 5 defeats in their last six games have severely dented this ambition. Their Manager Rob Smith was quoted as saying before the game that this was their last chance of kick starting what is left of the season - anything other than a win would see them in the Conference North next season. Moors have met the Pitmen 4 times in recent campaigns and the score stands at two wins each; Goals for 7 – Goals against 7. A wise man might have been tempted to suggest today’s clash would end in a draw!
Solihull fielded almost the same team that beat Brackley on Saturday, the only difference being that Joe Ballinger kept the number 3 shirt with Jordan Gough not fit enough after the head injury sustained 48 hours previously. What was clear from the outset was that The Pitmen are a big and physical side – the match was never going to be for the faint hearted.
In Moors first foray Reece Fleet’s free kick was met by the head of Liam Daly but ex-Solihull keeper Danny Crane was equal to it. Tony Breeden was soon in the thick of things saving from Robinson’s close range effort on 5 minutes. Thomas slipped by Junior English but was beaten by an inch perfect tackle by Ballinger before he could unleash a shot. In what was the first of many corners Breeden was fouled as he plucked the ball from the air and almost immediately punched out another corner before a good take from the other end of the by line calmed Moors nerves.
Fleet was brought down by Sullivan some 25 yards out but Omar Bogle’s free kick did not bother Crane. Likewise Breeden easily dealt with a low shot from Thomas from 12 yards. On the half hour mark Darryl Knights found Stefan Moore unmarked in the box but his pass to Beswick saw him launch his shot well over the bar. Michael Nottingham picked up Knights free kick some 10 yards out but could not turn in time to test the keeper. Thomas put an angled shot beyond Breeden on 36 minutes but skipper Daly was there to clear off the line. Osborne followed this up with a slewed shot across the box which eluded both defence and Town’s attack respectively. The half came to an end when a Knights corner was headed wide by Daly. It had been end to end football with both sides ruing a series of missed chances but with no quarter spared.
Within seconds of the restart Breeden made a one handed diving save and Hednesford followed up with a 25 yard free kick hit straight at Moors wall. Fleet, on a run, found Bogle but the leagues leading scorer was foiled by Cranes legs. With Breeden keeping out everything that the Pitmen could throw at Moors the home side was enjoying a period of superiority; Crane dived bravely at English’s feet on a one on one, Fleet’s 30 yarder skimmed the right hand upright and Bogle was off target having been up ended by Tunnicliffe. On 58 minutes Knights put through Fleet who hit the cross bar from 25 yards and when Bogle was again brought down some 20 yards out, he skied the rebound from his free kick.
On 64 minutes Bogle, in a last man position, was fouled by Bailey who was duly red carded by referee Meeson, and Bogle then sent Crane the wrong way to put Solihull in front. And that should have been enough but disaster struck on 78 minutes; Ballinger in considerable discomfort put in a short back pass in the box and Langdon impeded Osborne as he pounded forward on gaol. This time it was the Moorman’s turn to be red carded and Diggon made no mistake from the penalty spot. Both teams pressed forward with break and counter break; Breeden performed two impressive saves to keep his team in the battle whilst in 3 minutes of added time Byfield and Bogle were both off target as was Osborne who again could not beat Tony Breeden. A draw was probably the right result from this pulsating game.
Full Time: Solihull Moors 1 - 1 Hednesford Town (Half Time: 0-0)
Goal: Omar Bogle (64 mins)
Solihull Moors: Tony Breeden, Michael Nottingham, Jo Ballinger, Reece Fleet, Liam Daly, Dominic Langdon, Junior English, Stefan Moore (Darren Byfield), Omar Bogle, Ryan Beswick, Darryl Knights. Subs not used: Emmitt Delfouneso, Lewis Hayden, Jean-Michel Gueyes, Kieran Nesbitt.