After the warmth of last Saturday’s weather and the disappointing defeat at Shenley Lane, Moors Academy FC, secured six points from Town in MFL Division Three this season. Not only was the outcome different, but the weather was decidedly cool and windy with some heavy rain thrown in.
Town made a number of changes that, they hoped, would secure points towards their promotion push. With Reiss McNally poorly, and Jack Forrest dropped to the bench, the Moors brought in Ben Nitiri and Nathan Hansard, with Tyrese Shade returning from his debut in the Solihull Moors first team and Montal Okoto starting as a substitute.. Both sides were confident of victory.
As it turned out, the game was very different from that on Saturday when Town all but swamped the Moors in the first twenty minutes. Here, it was the Moors who set the pace and the tempo from the start. Yet Town managed an early shot on target which Ben Nitiri did well to turn for a Corner. Town did their best to force the Moors back, but the young Moors were having none of it. They took the game to their visitors.
Mullally received a pass from Willock. The forward turned and shot, but the ball was off target. Shade and Hirst on the left were causing Town monumental problems. With Parsons joining in the attacks and Bennett holding fast in mid-field, things looked good for the Moors.
I lost count of the number of good crosses that rained into the Town Area from the Moors left. Hirst and Shade were causing havoc, yet that final ball was wanting. Somehow, Town managed to keep the score sheet clean until half time. Approaching thirty minutes Tyrese Shade’s shot on the turn deserved a goal, but Hayes between the Town posts sent it for a corner.
Northfield did manage the occasional foray into Moors territory, but their aim was lacking, and Messers Willock, Hansard, Hirst and Captain Taylor were resolute. With the Moors enjoying the major share of the game, Town were content to knock the ball anywhere out of the danger area.
Coming up to half time, Shade produced a great cross. Was it hand ball, was there a foul? Whatever, Moors felt they deserved a penalty. Referee Gudger thought otherwise.
At the break, the scores were still level and nil all. The Moors were well on top, but then they had been on Saturday and still managed to lose the game. Would this one be different?
Mullally headed wide shortly after the re-start. Shade continued to proved cross after cross, yet none of them were turned into a goal. Willock headed over at a corner. This was probably Town’s best spell as they tried to match the home side. Having brought on
Jones, they were rewarded when he looped the ball into the net. It was far more than the visitors deserved, but they were in front.
After a few minutes panic, the Moors settled down, realising that the opponents were now running on empty. They had brought on Parker to shore things up, but the Moors were still going at the same pace and Town were finding it difficult. Yet still that goal would not come.
With five minutes of ordinary time left, Man of the Match Tyrese Shade took matters into his own hand – or feet. He took a Moors free kick from distance and rather to the left of goal, it was cleared and he put the follow-up away with aplomb. There cheers could be heard in Redditch!
Still this young Moors side were not finished. Mullally tried from distance, forcing Hayes to push the ball on to the post and away for yet another Moors corner. With fifteen minutes left, Sam Manoochehri had brought on Montal Okoro, and his sheer presence had changed the game. One could see the visiting defenders wilt. With two minutes to go, Montal and Town’s central defender were in the six yard box, the ball came in from the Moors right and with Montal stationary, the hapless Murphy bundled the ball unto his own net. Off-Side or Gail was the question. Referee Gudger consulted his assistant, and together they decided it was a goal. The cheers could now be hear in Alcester and beyond.
Just a couple of minutes later the final whistle went and it was all over. Victory for a spirited, skilled, determined, Moors side. If the score-line flattered the visitors, who cares? It is a victory, and the Moors have taken all six league points at stake between these two sides. Everyone associated with Moors Academy FC can be rightly proud.
H.T 0-0 Ft 2-1 Att: 53
Moors: Nitiri; Hansard; Hirst; Willock; Taylor ©; Bennett; Parsons; Andrews (Okoro); Mullally; Coyle; Shade. Subs not used: Clarke; Medford; Forrest.