Solihull Moors 5 Maidstone United 0
By Luke Turner
Five star from the Mighty Moors... writes John Clothier
When Moors took to the pitch for a 5.20 kick off , all the results in the National League were in and Wrexham, Salford, Fylde and Leyton Orient had all won.
Moors were almost at full strength with both Danny Wright and Luke Maxwell back from their suspensions. The weather had turned as the day grew longer and there was a strong wind blowing the length of the ATG Group Stadium , the advantage being in Moors favour in the first half.
Moors set off at a blistering pace; Nathan Blissett put Darren Carter through in the 2nd minute but Goalkeeper Curtis Henry saved with his legs and as Wright hit the loose ball goal wards, Wishart cleared the danger off the line. Nathan Blissett was almost through until Wishart’s lunging tackle saved the day.
Within seconds Jamey Osborne put in a long throw and Liam Daly’s knock down found its way back to “Oz” but Henry saved well. Jermaine Hylton was upended as he dribbled for goal but although Daly was there to meet Carter’s curler into the box, Moors could find the final touch. Wright then shot from within the box but cleared the cross bar.
On ten minutes the pressure was rewarded; A long powerful throw from George Carline was flicked on by Daly to Hylton loitering at the far post – he brought the ball down superbly, moved it onto his left foot and slotted it into the corner of the net for 1 – 0.
All this and just 10 minutes on the clock!
Before the “stones” could draw breath, Wright was clattered outside the box by Simon Walton for a free kick; With 3 Moors players in the wall, Carter curled it for the near corner and with Wright moving out of the way just at the right moment, the unfortunate Henry saw little of the ball as it screamed into the back of the net. 2 – 0 after 24 minutes.
Play was stopped for 3 minutes whilst Alex Gudger was treated for a bad nose bleed but Moors were soon again on the war path; Another mighty throw from Carline had the Maidstone defence on the back foot and a glancing header from Will De Havilland was seized on by the charging Hylton who got a high foot to it to steer the ball into the net. 3 – 0 after 27 minutes.
Carter and Lee Vaughan combined well to put Blissett through but Henry produced a fine save. Wright curled another over from 20 yards but when, on 33 minutes, he was flattened in the box by Wishart, Referee Oldham pointed immediately to the spot. Hylton sent Henry the wrong way as he stroked in Moors fourth to complete his first ever hat trick for the club. 4 – 0
Skipper, Kyle Storer’s free kick was again nodded into the danger area by Daly but Blissett was a whisker away. Lee Vaughan ran down the right flank before watching his high cross get caught in the wind and drop dangerously towards the goal line but Henry never took his eye of the ball saving his team from yet another goal.
Five added minutes saw the best of Maidstone so far but Moors were good for the half time lead.
The half time words from John Still had an enormous effect on his players who now had the wind in their favour although swirling rain was about to descend making it difficult for everyone.
Amuluzor tried a speculative effort for the visitors but was over Boot’s cross bar whilst Hylton seized on a poor pass from Walton and although he rounded Henry , the shot lacked enough power to see it home. Carter put over a looping cross, again headed back by Daly but the ensuing shots from both Blissett and Carter were cleared. Osborne glided passed three defenders but the cross was an easy take for the keeper.
Tim Flowers substituted Blissett for Adi Yussuf on 67 minutes and Hylton for Terry Hawkridge, on 72.
Vaughan brought down Blair Turgott 35 yards out and quite within shooting range , given the conditions, but Muldoon’s free kick sailed over the bar. At the other end Yussuf brought out a terrific reaction save from Henry.
Maidstone brought on new signing from Herne Bay, Jake Embery with 18 minutes of normal time remaining and he soon showed how dangerous he can be up front – seizing on a loose ball in the box he rounded Daly before Boot produced the save of the day to protect the clean sheet.
With Luke Maxwell now replacing Kyle Storer, Moors still searched for another goal and Yussuf was unlucky in the 87th minute having beaten two defenders to see his goal bound shot blocked by De Havilland. Maidstone retaliated with a break , Powell threading the ball through to Embery but the acute angle shot was too high (but not by much)
In fact, it took until the 3rd of 5 minutes added time before Moors did see the back of the net once more; Wright latched onto a dangerous ball to the left of the goal before slotting it back to the incoming Yussuf who buried it for Moors fifth. 5 – 0
The win sees Moors retain their second position in the National League just two points behind Wrexham with a game in hand. On Tuesday next week Leyton Orient visit Barrow whilst Salford host Sutton United. Then next Saturday Orient welcome Wrexham and Moors travel to Salford. It cannot get any more exciting!
BT Man of the Match Jermaine Hylton
Jamma also made the Non League Paper Team of the Day and had his picture on the front cover!!
Ryan Boot, Kyle Storer (Luke Maxwell 83), Liam Daly, Alex Gudger, Jamey Osborne, Darren Carter, Jermaine Hylton (Terry Hawkridge 72 ), George Carline, Nathan Blissett (Adi Yussuf 67), Danny Wright, Lee Vaughan. Subs not used: Tyrone Williams, Matty Stenson.
Report from John Clothier Photos Courtesy of Tom King