Boldmere 0 Moors Academy 2
Shuja Mahmood at the double - by Ronald Crane
On a heavy pitch, and on a cold November afternoon, both sides exchanged attacks early on. Falcons won an early corner that was fired over the bar, before Jerome Clarke produced a good centre that was sent for a corner. The same player made a wonderful tackle deep in his own area to prevent a chance to the home side.
With 18 minutes on the clock, Ethan Sephton took the ball from his own area to that of the opposition. His cross was tapped home by Mahmood.
With an hour of the match to go the whole tenor of the game was altered. Moors debutant goalkeeper Suleiman Susson rushed out of his area to close down an attacker. Although the referee was on the halfway line, he awarded Falcons a free kick, and after consulting his assistant sent the ‘keeper off. In the confusion that followed Cain Thomas was also sent off, presumably for something he said.
The visiting bench and players were visibly upset by what they perceived as an injustice.
Moors would have to play for over an hour with nine men. Martin was sacrificed for Harvey Meacham who came on in goal. With four at the back, two in midfield and two more screening the home defence, the Moors were obviously going to attempt to ride out the game.
In added time prior to half time, we witnessed another strange incident. Jordan Clarke was put through, he was in the “D” with defender O’Conner in attendance.
Clarke was clearly fouled, but although he stumbled, he carried on into the area where he met the advancing ‘keeper. He put the ball to one side of the ‘keeper, and as he ran round the goalie was brought down near the penalty spot. Then the whistle went. Result? Free Kick in the “D”, O’Conner sent off and keeper Wilson booked. For the second half it would be nine men against ten. Yet still the advantage was clearly with the home side although they were one goal down.
Working very hard, the Moors strangely perhaps controlled the second half. Conceding possession to Falcons in their own half, Clarke and Mahmood screened any forward ball, with the midfield and defence standing firm and resolute. Falcons did not really try to run the Moors ragged. This, coupled with Moors sense of injustice, resulted in a magnificent performance from the nine men, and Anaebonam, and Ikwa when they arrived.
Falcons did have chances to score, but Meacham pulled off a number of magnificent saves. One hapless Falcon trod on the ball when presented with a good chance, and another headed wide from one yard.
Quite where the Moors energy came from only they will know, but they kept going right to the end. Indeed a Bennett long ball from the back fell to Anaebonam who controlled it, and passed inside to Gill. He drew the defender and passed out left to Mahmood, who made no mistake from sixteen yards.
The nine men had withstood eleven and then defeated ten. Make no mistake this was a really good result for the Young Moors against a Falcons side who up to Saturday, were undefeated at home this season.
Moors: Susso; Jerome Clarke; Jones (Ikwa); Bennett; Kendrick; Thomas; Gill; Martin (Meacham); Mahmood [18 & 78]; Jordan Clarke (Anaebonam); Sephton. Subs not used Arman Koshkoo & Mbuti.
Next Match: Saturday 1st December 2018. MAFC v AFC Church KO 3pm at The Trevor Brown Memorial Ground (Saturday Vase) This is the Penalty Shoot out that was aborted after floodlight failure the other week.