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5th Mar 17
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Dover 0 Solihull Moors 0 Attendance1104

 

Considering the amount of rain that had fallen during the week, conditions at “Crabble” were surprisingly firm. Moors, without the suspended Jack Byrne, gave both Ashley Sammons and Oladapo Afolayan their first starts since joining the club. It was an 8.00am departure for the players of whom only Liam Daly, Omari Sterling-James and Shep Murombedzi remained of the team who were beaten 2 – 3 at home by the “Whites” back in November.  At the start of play Dover had the last of the play off positions in the National League

The visitors made the best of the opening forages. Dapo Afolayan looked lively up front and Moors could have taken the lead on five minutes when Sterling James whipped in a corner which just needed a touch.  George Carline was proving a handful for the big Dover back four but his cross to Murombedzi was thwarted by the alert keeper. Afolayan produced a delightful back flick for Kristian Green to cross but again there were no Solihull heads to make it count.

  

Orlu has Dover’s first real threat on 14 minutes but it sailed over the bar and Baxter was ready for Deverdics dangerous free kick from all of 35 yards which he punched away to safety.

At the mid way point in the half Sammons launched a 25 yarder just wide of the upright and again Afolayan opened up the Whites defence as he screwed the ball back across the 18 yard box but nobody had followed up.

National League top scorer Ricky Miller had been well contained by Moors back four and he had to wait until the 34th minute  before he finally created space on the edge of the box but Baxter was equal to the shot pushing it over for a corner. It was the sharp shooter again as the interval beckoned picking up a decent cross from Deverdics but Daly cleared off the line.

 

Goal less at half time was a fair reflection - Moors probably the happier of the two sides.

 

Afolayan was tripped on the edge of the box but Arnold had no trouble with Sammons free kick, whilst at the other end Lafayette pirouetted but fired wide. Miller outrageously appealed for a penalty, not given, and then when he did get through Daly was there to clear the danger.

On 67 minutes Sammon’s free kick from just outside the box was deflected for a corner which was headed wide by George Carline. Regan Charles-Cooke, on for Sterling James, was denied by Arnold with 20 minutes remaining. Miller had a rare pot on 76 minutes but skied the ball.

With 12 minutes left Liam Daly needed the physio – the away supporters held their breath - the big man does not stay down unless there is something seriously wrong. Although he gingerly got to his feet it was clear he could not carry on and Liam McDonald quickly re organised the back four with substitute Nortey swapping with Kristian Green and Calum Flanagan moving into central defence to partner Joel Kettle. Sammons picked up the Captain’s arm band.

 

Miller’s frustrations boiled over and he was booked on 83 minutes whilst Lafayette’s effort was well saved by Baxter in the final minute of normal time. However, Moors almost snatched victory in the last minute of added time when Simeon Maye put Nortey through but his low drive towards the inside of the far post was pushed around for a corner by the diving Arnold.

 

It was the first time this season that Dover have failed to score at home – a testament to the strength and team sprit of the mighty Moors. Liam McDonald could hardly disguise his delight;

“Words cannot describe how proud I am of the players.  It was always going to be tough at high flying Dover, especially when the journey started at 8.00am this morning! We stuck to our game plan and put in an energetic performance which almost saw us take all three points right at the end. This was a tremendous performance from such a young team.

Our small contingent of very vocal supporters again made such a difference."

Moors edge up to 14th place in the National League and face Braintree next Saturday at the Automated Technology Group Stadium KO 3.00 pm

 

Supporters Man of the Match                     Dapo Afolayan

 

Report from John Clothier                  Photos Courtesy of Tom King

 

Baxter, Murombedzi, Daly (Nortey 84mins), Kettle, Flanagan, Sammons, Green, Maye, Afolayan (Udoh 73mins), Sterling (Charles-Cook 62mins), Carline. Subs not used: Lewis, White.

 

 Check out the full match album on Flickr here and don't forget to follow regular match updates via@SolihullMoors on Twitter.

 

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