Solihull Moors FC - Liam McDonald reacts to Chester victory
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Liam McDonald reacts to Chester victory
*'I'm lost for words with how well we played' - by Luke Turner*
PUBLISHED: 6th Sep 17

Solihull Moors manager Liam McDonald hailed his side's performance which saw them win their first home game of the season against Chester.

Oladapo Afolayan’s two goals secured the victory and McDonald was quick to praise his players.

He said: “I thought we were brilliant from start to finish. We defended really well, we had quality for the goal and going down to 10 men, it was always going to be a test of character - they've been outstanding.

“The last month with everything that's been going on, I've normally been lost for words about a few performances and goals we've conceded. But today, I'm lost for words with how well we played.

“It was always going to be a tough game. They're under pressure, we’re under pressure. We dominated Chester, they weren't great but we made them not look great.

“I felt that we were in control out of possession and for such a young group of players, we were excellent.”

Afolayan took his goal tally to four goals in eight games following his brace as he repaid the faith the manager showed by selecting him.

“Dapo’s turned up tonight. He hasn't been great this season, he's had a summer of rehab from his metatarsal injury and it was touch and go whether he started tonight,” McDonald continued.

“I've got faith in him but at 19 years of age, he's an exceptional talent and I just had a feeling tonight that he was going to be the Dapo of last season. He terrorised them from start to finish and took his goals well.”

Despite a number of impressive performances, McDonald highlighted the display of Joel Kettle in central defence, as he reacted in the best possible way to being dropped last Saturday at Aldershot.

He said: “I thought Joel Kettle put in the best performance from a centre half that I've seen for a long time - he was outstanding.

“He was disappointed to be left out on Saturday and he's come back in tonight and made sure that he plays again this Saturday.

“Dales (Liam Daly) is a massive asset to have back, he's put in some good headers towards the end of the game and we’re delighted.”

The only disappointment of the night came via Zain Westbrooke’s sending off. The on-loan Brentford youngster was dismissed after a studs-up tackle on Wade Joyce, but McDonald doesn't want to take away the gloss from what was a terrific performance by the 20-year-old on his first start for the club.

“I thought Zain was possibly the difference. He's got great movement but he's now going to be a massive miss for us.

“Was it a red card? I think it was. I don't think it was a malicious tackle but if you show your studs, it's a red card.

“The disappointing thing for me was that we were taking him off, I could see he was tiring. But he's played a massive role in us getting three points so I won't be harsh on him, it's his first start in non-league football.

“The supporters have been fantastic today and I know we haven't had a great season so far. There's no excuses with the injuries, we haven't played well and that's all of us, we’re in it together.

“We now look forward to Saturday.”

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