Solihull Moors 3 Burton Albion 2
By Matt Roberts
*Moors turn up the heat in Burton warm up*
A warm-up in humid conditions saw Solihull Moors triumph over EFL opponents Burton Albion in a match which provided a barometer for the season ahead.
An entertaining pre-season encounter at the Automated Technology Group Stadium ebbed and flowed as a contest but The Moors ran out worthy winners against The Brewers.
After a cagey opening, on 14 minutes Darren Carter created an opening for himself 25 yards out but his curled shot drifted wide of the upright. It sparked the game into life and just a minute later a fantastic burst down the right from Tyrone Williams produced a dangerous ball into the box which was only half cleared and Jamey Osborne picked up the pieces, his cross finding its way to Adi Yussuf who slammed the ball into the net from inside the area for 1-0.
Moors continued to dominate territory with Danny Wright leading the line and the midfield axis of Carter, Osborne and Jack Storer imposing themselves on the League One visitors.
On 25 minutes Yussuf broke the defensive line with a superb run and his arrowed strike was tipped round the post by Burton keeper Harry Campbell.
The well-drilled Moors defensive quartet kept the Brewers at bay and it was not until ten minutes before the break that the visitors gained some ground by forcing their first corner. Moments later they registered their first shot in anger when former Olympian Marvin Sordell hit a tame shot straight at Ryan Boot.
There was time for one more chance in the first half when Kwame Thomas was felled on the edge of the area. Carter smashed the resulting free kick against the wall but the ball rebounded to him to strike powerfully first time against the base of the post.
Half time: Solihull Moors 1 Burton Albion 0
Burton came out for the second period with more vim and vigour following manager Nigel Clough’s half time team talk, and levelled the game ten minutes after the restart when Joe Sbarra chested down a clever long pass and deftly lobbed the ball over Boot.
Moors responded immediately when a deep cross from the right found a Jamie Reckord marauding down the left and his stinging first time shot was palmed out to Yussuf who calmly slotted home, only to be denied by an offside flag from assistant referee Lisa Rashid.
But just before the hour mark the Moors retook the lead when the impressive Osborne gained possession 25 yards out and manufactured space to hammer it home into the right hand corner of the net, giving the keeper no chance.
As Burton laboured forward in search of an equaliser, Moors notched a third goal on 77 minutes through new signing Wright. A move started by Osborne found Yussuf in the penalty area, who laid it off to Wright, and the burly ex-Cheltenham forward coolly checked inside on his right foot and blasted the ball into the top corner.
There was still time for Burton to pull a goal back with nine minutes left on the clock when slack defending from a corner allowed substitute Chris Beardsley to prod home.
With the players feeling the effects of a pre-season contest played at a decent tempo, manager Tim Flowers made several changes as the Moors comfortably saw out the final ten minutes.
As the floodlights flickered off, the squad emerged for a post-match warm down under the bright moonlight looking in good shape for the new campaign.
Full time: Solihull Moors 3 Burton Albion 2
Solihull Moors line up: Boot, Williams (sub 74, Carline), Reckord (sub, 64 Hirst), Daly, Gudger, Storer, Carter ©, Osborne (sub 79, Maxwell), Yussuf (sub 79, Trialist), Wright, Thomas.