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Moors Academy 2 Smithswood Firs 2
*Honours even as Ron Crane reports from Tally Ho!*
PUBLISHED: 17th Apr 18

This was the second of five games in eight days for Moors Academy. The first was a thumping 7-1 victory at Northfield, so everyone expected the home side to start as they had left off three days before. Not a bit of it. The young Moors were slow, sluggish, and ponderous at the start of this game. Dangerous when facing a Smithswood Firs going for the title with good players are “street-wise”, canny and know how to manage a game.

The visitors took charge and gave the young Moors the run-around. This was especially so after another disastrous start when a goal was conceded in the third minute! It was as simple as it was effective. A long ball from the back over the top and out to their left. The defender missed it and before you can blink – it is a goal.

Having gone ahead at the home side’s expensive mistake, Firs were determined to hang onto what they had. However, gradually the Moors asserted their authority. So much so that for the last twenty minutes of a pulsating first-half it was all Blue and Yellow. Coming to the half-hour mark, a good move down the visitors right flank resulted in a good Hill save. He sent the ball up field and Parsons trapped the ball, beat his man and sent the ball into the net.

The visitors were now finding the going very tough, and the complaints to referee Osborne were getting louder and more frequent. The visitors goalie, Dowling, had to make a crisp save from man-of-the-match Parsons.

There were a couple of really nasty challenges on Hirst and Parsons, free kicks were awarded, but nothing more.

At the break, it was all square at one a piece.

The second half began as did the first, with Firs well on top. Whatever was said in the home dressing room, the play from the home side was as sluggish as it had been at the start of the game. Three minutes after the re-start, Hill came out of his area to deal with another long ball and appeared to handle. The visitors were convinced he had to go. However, after a consultation between Mr Osborne and his Assistant Mr Crook, it was decided that a yellow card would suffice, there being another defender between the incident and the goal.

The visitors were pressing hard and on fifty five minutes Danny Lupano lost the ball in midfield and Tyron Smith took full advantage to put Firs ahead.

Shortly afterward Fitzgerald escaped what looked to be a second yellow, but Mr Osborne was content with a stern talking too. Nevertheless as the game progressed the home side were finding life hard. Smithswood Firs are a good side, who add physicality to skill and game knowledge. The naivety of the young Moors was – at times – obvious. Yet when they could, they did mount attacks, but they were few and far between. Then Chris Else limped off with a leg injury. There were six minutes of ordinary time left and the visiting players were wilting. At one point there were six of them on their knees with exhaustion. I do not think the Moors Academy players realised that their opponents had just the two subs and they had been used, for they did not make use of their extra man. Yet eventually the penny dropped and they swarmed forward in a last ditch attempt to gain the point their play so richly deserved.

We were well into the second of three added minutes when Josh Parsons let fly from distance, his effort beat the Smithswood defence and goalkeeper all ends up. They heard the cheers at Damson Park.

Yet, amazingly, there was still time for the home side to go in search of the winner. It was not to be. A draw was a fair result from this fascinating football match, a really good advert for Midland League Division Two. The pity was that there were so few people there to witness it.

Next Match: On Tuesday 17th April 2018 Moors Academy welcome Redditch Borough to Tally Ho! For a 7:45pm Kick Off.

In a busy week, on Thursday 19th April Moors travel the short distance to The Glades for a 6:30pm against – yes Smithswood Firs! On Saturday 21st April Earlswood Town welcome The Moors for a 3pm KO.

Moors: Hill (c), Clarke (Barkers), Sephton, Bennett, McNally, Lupano, Parsons [24 & 91], Martin, Pryce (Mahmood), Hamilton (Mardenborough), Hirst. Subs not used, Khooshkoo & Maxwell.

Officials: Robert Osborne, Roy Crook & Adrian Scriven.

Next Match at Tally Ho! Tuesday 17th April v Redditch Borough: KO 7:45pm. Adults £4 including Match Day Programme, Under 16 £1.


 
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