Heath Hayes 0 Moors Academy 4
By Luke Turner
Moors Prove They Are a Grade Above...
Moors Academy showed, if they are to get promoted this season, they will be a match for anyone next year, after dispatching Heath Hayes 4-0 in a friendly at the weekend.
Sam’s side rode a slight storm in the first half but were well worth the win, in a performance that would have set alarm bells ringing in the division above.
Moors reverted to a 3-5-2 formation for the first half, allowing the wing backs licence to roam on the flanks, a freedom of which Michee Mbuti took full advantage.
The Congolese wasted no time in making an impact, with less than five minutes on the clock, Mbuti’s name was on the scoresheet. Hayes were made to pay for playing a high line.
Ryan Andrews lofted a delicious ball over the defence and Mbuti found himself bearing down on goal. He finished with consummate ease, slipping the ball under the keeper. 1-0.
It was a blistering start for Moors but Hayes were not stunned by the set back. On ten minutes they should have levelled, but their unmarked forward didn’t make a solid contact.
It was a let off for Moors who after the early goal, were finding it difficult to keep hold of the ball. Hayes were not allowing them time to settle and Moors were under the cosh.
On the half hour mark, Hayes had a big chance. The striker was slipped through but Moors keeper Ben Maxwell made himself big, got his angles spot on and saved well.
That miss, spurred Moors to life and they ended the half, how they had started it. Mbuti was again the threat. First he set up Jordon Clarke who curled his shot inches wide.
Then, he stood a cross up to the back post but Arman Khooshkoo was only able to direct his header into the keeper’s arms. Moors were sensing a second.
On the third attempt, it came. It was the move of the match. Neat build up play led to Mbuti collecting the ball on the right.
The flying wing back exchanged passes with Jordon Clarke, before cutting it back for Martin to finish with aplomb, sweeping the ball into the bottom corner. 2-0.
Not for the first time in recent weeks, Moors had dealt a killer blow on the stroke of half-time. The home side looked utterly deflated as they made their way off the pitch.
Coach Sam made full use of his replacements and rung the changes at the break. He gave a few u18s a chance to shine and one, Aon Abass, made an immediate impression.
Three minutes after the restart, his dangerous free-kick was only cleared as far as captain Ben Kendrick. The centre half connected sweetly, expertly volleying it into the net. 3-0.
It was a finish of which any striker would have been proud and all but finished the game as a contest. Hayes were down and out.
Minutes later, and it was Cain Thomas’ turn to release his striker’s instinct. Now in a midfield role, he showed fleet footedness to ghost through Hayes’ back line.
Having rounded the keeper, Thomas looked odds on to score, but a last ditch saving block stole his thunder and the score stayed at three.
Although, number four wasn’t far away. Another of the u18’s gave Sam reason to take note. Nathan Pickering, showed real composure to slide the ball between the keeper’s legs. 4-0.
With thirty minutes left, the game had been put to bed and it became a story of missed chances for the away side.
In truth, had Moors been more clinical, the score could and probably should have been more emphatic. As it were, it stayed the same, Moors unable to add a final flourish.
That was perhaps, the only criticism of what was an extremely professional performance from Sam’s team.
In the end they overcame higher opposition with ease and should they go up, it’s unlikely that any team will be looking forward to facing this Moors side next season.
By Bradley Rice