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27th Mar 17
Castle Vale Town 1 Academy Moors 4
Moors Too Strong For Vale

Having defeated Town 8-1 a fortnight ago, Moors Academy obviously fancied their chances at the impressive Vale Stadium. Accordingly, Manager Sam Manoochehri made many changes with Jerome Clarke, Nathan Hansard and Ashanti Pryce all starting, together with a number of positional changes.

With so many alterations to the Moors settled team, their usual cohesion was missing. However, they were still far too good for a spirited Vale side, who were determined not to be on the end of another thumping. That they kept the scoring down to four, is to their credit.

The game began with three goals in seven minutes. Ashanti opened his Moors account with a goal inside the second minute when he scored after a header by Hirst. Ashanti  directed the ball goal-wards. A minuet later Hirst himself scored, beating Howard from ten yards.

Just as the visiting crowd sat back to enjoy another goal-fest, Vale won a Corner from which Hudin stabbed the ball home amidst a whole host of players from both sides. Lucky, or well judged? This depends on your point of view. What is certain is that things calmed down after this explosive start. There were to be no more goals before half-time. The Moors were well on top however, enjoying as much as 80% of the play. Yet somehow, they were unable to make this dominance pay.

Moors Academy did have chances. Captain Taylor shot over from eighteen yards before beautiful football took Moors from their own Area, to that of their opponents, only for Mullally’s shot to be well saved by Ben Howard between Vale’s posts. He was to save his side on a number of occasions before the final whistle. This earned himself the Man of the Match award.

With the clock showing thirty minutes, Pryce had a golden opportunity to increase Moors’ lead. He was one on one with Howard, but the Vale ‘Keeper saved. Although it was a good save, he should never had been given the chance.

There were other points in the game when Moors played some wonderful football that took them from Area to Area, unfortunately they were few and far between. A solo effort by Mullally took him into the Vale Area as be beat four, or was it five, men? His shot was blocked.

Referee Samantha Tomson blew her whistle for half-time. It was a reminder that she was present, as the Officials had had precious little to do.

Both teams made a change for the re-start. Vale replaced Wright at full back with Timar; while Moors withdrew Medford in favour of Siatous. His speed caused a deal of trouble on their left for the Vale defence, yet the final ball vailed more often than not.

Despite this, the momentum of the game dropped dramatically. Sensing this, Moors brought on Okoro with half an hour to go. His presence up front produced two more goals, both scored by himself. Even so, it took ten minutes for Okoro’s presence to produced fruit. Jerome Clarke passed to Owen Siatous who passed on to Okoro. He made no mistake to score the third goal. Then, with two minutes of ordinary time left, Ryan Andrews assisted for the fourth goal.

As the game drew to a close, there was a nasty over-reaction by Vale, to a McNally tackle. Referee Tomson dealt with the incident extremely well. The incident occurred on the half way line, yet ‘Keeper Howard felt the need to race fifty yards to become involved. Referee Tomson calmed everyone down, spoke with those involved and their Captains; and – to her credit – kept the cards in her pocket.

Truth to tell this was not a vintage performance by the young Moors. They were well below their normal level of play. Even so, they were far too good for a Vale side who were outplayed, out thought, and out skilled. Vale, to their credit, kept going and continued to try and get forward.

At the end, it was a regulation win for the Moors. With the three sides above them in the MFL Division Three Table all winning, Moors remain in fourth place, five points adrift of Northfield Town in third.

Moors Academy: Nitiri; Clarke; Parsons; Willock; McNally; Taylor ©; Medford (Siatous); Hansard; Pryce (2 mins) (Okoro (72 & 88 mins)); Mullally (Andrews); Hirst (3 mins). Subs not used: Shade & Bennett.

Referee: Samantha Tomson

Report from Ronald Crane

 

 

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