Solihull Moors 2 Sutton United 2
By Matt Roberts
Never say Die Moors Thwart "U"'s by John Clothier
It’s honours even between the “U’s” and the Moors - played 4 won 2, lost 2. Both teams have made positive starts to the new season and occupy play off positions albeit early days yet!
Moors were still without the injured Kwame Thomas and Alex Gudger, but Jermaine Hylton was fit, and Tim Flowers gave an immediate start to young Birmingham City loanee Corey O’Keeffe at right back.
With just eight minutes played O’Keeffe showed what we could expect as he put Adi Yussuf through with a defence splitting pass, but Butler was first to the ball. However, the Moors striker nearly had the last laugh when he then closed down the keeper with the ball skied as a result of the challenge, but the ever-alert Jamey Osborne saw his shot well saved by Butler.
Danny Wright picked up the ball on the half way line and ran at the Sutton defence, but the final shot was off target. Osborne slipped by two defenders but saw his 20 yarder just wide.
That said, Sutton were having the better of the midfield battle; good approach work by the impressive Wishart resulted in Cadogan shooting low through a melee of legs but Ryan Boot was ready and well positioned.
Butler did well on 25 minutes to foil a speculative effort from Darren Carter. Sutton retaliated with a break away; Wishart put a penetrating pass into the box and whilst one of the forwards was appealing for a penalty, Lafayette found the ball at his feet, turned and coolly put it into the back of the net. 0 – 1.
Yussuf came off second to Butler as he chased down a good through ball from Tyrone Williams whilst Wright headed softly at the keeper. On the half hour mark Kyle Storer was booked for a foul on Eastmond as he pounded towards goal and when Wright crossed to Reckord the powerful volley was safely gathered by the “u’s” shot stopper.
Yussuf, playing down the right flank, cut inside with five minutes of the half remaining, the shot inches wide of the upright.
A one goal deficit at the interval was a fair reflection of play where the visitors saw more goal mouth action and had the better of the midfield.
Moors were straight on the attack as play resumed; Yussuf’s shot was deflected and Osborne’s subsequent corner saw Liam Daly beaten to the header in the 6 yard box. Osborne’s cheeky effort just cleared the bar.
On 55 minutes Jermaine Hylton replaced Luke Maxwell as manager Flowers looked to build on the positive start to the half and to balance the pressure Yussuf was starting to exert on the right flank.
On 68 minutes Moors were awarded a free kick some twenty yards out and Carter hit a phenomenal dipping ball over the wall which somehow hit the underside of the bar and away to safety – it could not have been closer! However, another foul in Moors favour a minute later saw Carter again cause havoc as his long ball was headed back across the goal by Daly and a grateful Danny Wright headed home from close range. 1 – 1.
Williams’ low 25-yard drive was close and debutant O’Keefe was creating problems with Yussuf down the right wing. However, just when it looked more likely that Solihull would be next to score, they were caught on the break and Tommy Wright slid the ball under Boot to restore Sutton’s lead. 1– 2
Moors, to their credit, stared to pressurise the Sutton defence as they sought an equaliser for the second time. With eight minutes of normal time on the clock it duly arrived in a move started by Carter on the left side of the park; as the ball was sprayed out to O’Keeffe, he put a pin point cross into the box which eventually dropped at the feet of Kyle Storer who acrobatically curled his foot round it to find the corner of the net.
Moors were back, 2 – 2.
Five minutes added time saw Boot again keeping his side alive with a great take in a crowded box and it ended with a point for both teams.
The result sees Moors in sixth position on 10 points and Sutton fourth with 11.
Next Saturday Moors travel to unbeaten newly promoted Harrogate Town who are one point below them in the league. It will be the toughest of games.
Supporters Man of the Match - Corey O’Keeffe
Boot, Williams, Reckord, Storer ©, Osborne, Carter, Yussuf (Sweeney), Maxwell (Hylton), Wright, O’Keefe. Subs not Used; Carline. Murphy, Willock
Report from John Clothier Photos Courtesy of Tom King