Solihull Moors received some harsh lessons from Tranmere Rovers last season.
The home fixture, which broke the club’s record attendance for a competitive fixture, saw everybody stop playing when the linesman’s flag went up only for Jake Kirby to run through unchallenged and score. We were then dealt a blow when a blatant handball on the line was not given before being punished late on.
Fixture number two was much simpler. We gave up. We were humiliated. We became one of a select few to be on the receiving end of a 9-0 scoreline.
As we enter round 3 with our far more illustrious opponents, neither side is doing particularly well. McDonald’s boys picked up their first three points of the season away at Torquay United on Saturday thanks to a remarkable Nathan Vaughan goal which gives the group confidence.
However, we still sit three places behind Tranmere Rovers whose one victory and three draws leaves them 19th. What’s more, they have dropped points against Torquay United and Guiseley, two sides expected to finish in the bottom four.
Today will be a battle and one the boys have to be prepared for. If we can stand firm early on, we have every chance of forcing a result from this game.
Nathan Vaughan talks about that goal:
‘Obviously it was lucky, I just saw Tristan Dunkley running, I know he’s got a lot of pace, so I just tried to pick him out but kicked it a bit flat. I saw the goalie coming like, obviously to deal with it ‘cos ‘Trist’ has put him under pressure and it’s just gone over him. It’s unfortunate, obviously I feel for the kid ‘cos it’s not nice – Goalkeeper’s union. It’s horrible but obviously I’m over the moon, it hasn’t really sunk in. We needed the three points, to be fair today and that was the most important thing.’
Solihull Moors Team News:
Liam McDonald could welcome Simeon Maye back into the fold but will be without Jermaine Hylton, Calum Flanagan, Chris Lait, Ashley Sammons and Luke Benbow.
Player to watch: Nathan Vaughan
A fine shot stopper with an enormous mouth, Nathan Vaughan has stepped back into the fold at Solihull Moors like he has never been away. The goal was remarkable but his goalkeeping ability is just as impressive.
Tranmere Rovers Team News:
Micky Mellon is without Ben Tollitt, Jake Kirby and James Wallace but otherwise has a full strength squad. Andy Cook, Andy Mangan and Jay Harris are pushing for starts having help turn Saturday’s 2-0 deficit into a point.
Player to watch: Andy Cook
Andy Cook was Tranmere’s top goalscorer last season yet was the man to lose his place when Cole Stockton returned. He top scores with two currently but has only started 4 of their 6 matches.
Match Facts & Stats
SOLIHULL MOORS – 22nd
Overall record: Played 5; Won 1, Drawn 1, Lost 3; For 7, Against 12, GD -6; Points 4
Most starts: Carline, Carter, Kelleher, Liburd and Murombedzi – 5
Most goals: Oladapo Afolayan – 2
Worst discipline: Tristan Dunkley – 3 yellow cards
Tranmere Rovers – 19th
Overall record: Played 6; Won 1, Drawn 3, Lost 2; For 5, Against 6, GD -1; Points 6
Most starts: Davies, Hughes, Jennings, Norburn and Ridehalgh – 6
Most goals: Andy Cook – 2
Worst discipline: Steve McNulty – 2 yellow cards, 1 red card
Referee: Neil Hair
National League matches officiated 17/18: 5
Yellow cards produced: 8
Red cards produced: 1
Penalties awarded: 2
Last time in charge of Solihull Moors: Dagenham and Redbridge 4-4 Solihull Moors (hopefully a sign!)
Assistant referees: Martyn Holmes and Darin Geary
Fourth official: Wayne Chalmers
Solihull Moors 1-1 Tranmere Rovers
Solihull Moors’ next six fixtures:
02/09/2017 – Aldershot Town (A) – 15:00
05/09/2017 – Chester (H) – 15:00
09/09/2017 – Macclesfield Town (H) – 15:00
12/09/2017 – Woking (A) – 19:45
16/09/2017 – Bromley (A) – 15:00
23/09/2017 – Dagenham and Redbridge (H) – 15:00