FC Stratford 1 Moors Academy 3
By Luke Turner
Ronald Crane reports on another win...
FC Stratford set themselves up for this game to take a point from their visitors, and they very nearly did just that. Moors Academy came into the game with seven straight wins under their belt, scoring thirty two gaols in the process.
The first half began with the Moors in possession and camped in home territory. Yet they were not really firing on all cylinders. For their part, the home side were defending extremely well and managed to frustrate the Moors as far as goals were concerned.
Moors were well in control, but it was more like a training game with them passing the ball around neatly, but with no goals.
Mikkel Hirst sent over a good cross, only for it to be headed wide. Nathan Binner tried his luck from distance, but was wide.
Coming up to the thirty minute point, The Moors were awarded a free kick some thirty yards out. Donaldson between the home posts, punched the ball clear, there was another goal-bound effort from Barkers without power, before Jordan Clarke shot wide.
Stratford did manage a rare attack which McNally broke up. From a Moors corner, Gill’s kick was headed clear. FC Stratford won a corner that was cleared to Clarke who made his way into Stratford’s area.
Cox produced a great tackle to deny the Moorsman deep in his own area. Arman Khooshkoo, who was having a quiet game picked up the ball outside the Stratford Area, and with a great solo effort, made progress into the area to open the scoring.
FC Stratford were more determined in the Second Half and caused Moors some discomfort. The home side had renewed purpose and energy. Moors managed to keep the home side out, but could not increase their lead. On sixty one minutes, disaster for the Moors. A mix-up in the Moors area allowed Harry Martin to score at the far post. Truth to tell, it had been coming, and the Moors did have warning that the home side were likely to score. The question now was, “How would the Moors react to the goal?”
We did not have long to wait. Clarke latched on to a cross from the right, but his effort was saved. Moors won two quick corners, but could convert neither. The chances continued to come for the Moors, and they continued to go just the same. A combination of very good home defending and a lack of clinical finishing kept the scores level.
With twenty minutes to go, Manager Sam Manoochehri made decisive substitutions.
He brought on Mahmood and Keziah Martin. Jordan Clarke and Arman Khooshkoo, the departing players had both worked hard, but without that final finish, apart from Arman’s goal that is. Michee Mbuti arrived shortly after. The new players injected some fresh heart into the Moors, but they continued to fail with that final crucial ball in the box.
However, the substitutions were to alter the game. With four minutes left of normal time, and the Moors pressing hard, the ball was sent into the area from the left for Keziah Martin to tap home. FC Stratford tried all they knew to grab that equalizer as the clock continued to tick away. The Moors did their best to see out time and the corner flag became a well visited friend.
In the third minute of added time Keziah Martin scored his second and Moors third.
There is no doubt that the three new-comers to the field of play more than played their part in this victory. Rubyn Gill had been magnificent all game. His contribution was crucial to the victory. This was a hard won triumph against a determined foe. But win they did, and it is now eight straight wins for the Moors. Twenty four points from a possible twenty four. It takes the Moors up to third in the Table.
Moors: Maxwell: McNally (Mbuti); Hirst; Jones; Thomas; Kendrick; Gill; Barkers; Khooshkoo (Mahmood); Binner; Clarke (Keziah Martin [86 & 93]) Subs not used: Owen Bennett & Martin Skudder.
Moors next match: Saturday 9th March 2019 MAFC v Barnt Green Spartak at the Trevor Brown Memorial Ground, Church Road, Boldmere, B72 5RY: KO 3pm. Adults £4 including Match Day Programme: Under 16s £1.