From Kenilworth Road to Boldmere St.Michaels – the life of a National League club on the up.
Played 2; Won 1, Drew 1, Lost 0; For 7, Against 6, GD +1; Points 4 Position: 16th
Luton Town 6-2 Solihull Moors
In short: FA Cup hopes destroyed despite early Osborne double
Starting XI: Lewis; Murombedzi, Fagbola, Daly, Gough, Franklin (Morris); Jones (Knights), Byrne, Osborne; Sterling-James (White), Asante
Goalscorers: Osborne (Franklin), Osborne (Asante)
Debutants: Charlie Morris
Solihull Moors 4-2 Boldmere St.Michaels
In short: Harry White scores a hat-trick as 9th tier Boldmere put to the wayside
Starting XI: Lewis; Obeng, Fagbola, Koue Niate, Gough; Morris, Nortey, Byrne (Shade), Morris (Martin); Murombedzi (Willock); White
Goalscorers: White (Murombedzi), White (Gough), White (Murombedzi), Dielna
Debutants: Marshall Willock, Romario Martin, Tyrese Shade, Nortei Nortey
Solihull Moors 1-2 Matlock Town
In short: Rodgers sent off on debut as Moors exit the FA Trophy
Starting XI: Lewis; Obeng (Jones), Nortey, Daly, Gough (White), Franklin; Osborne, Byrne; Murombedzi; Rodgers, Asante
Goalscorers: White (Jones)
Debutants: Luke Rodgers
Dagenham and Redbridge 4-4 Solihull Moors
In short: Moors let three goal lead slip vs promotion chasing Daggers
Starting XI: Lewis; Nortey, Kettle, Daly, Franklin; Murombedzi, Maye, Byrne, Carline; Sterling-James (Jones); White (Asante)
Goalscorers: White (Franklin), Sterling-James (Franklin), Byrne, Sterling-James (White)
Debutants: Joel Kettle, Simeon Maye
Solihull Moors 3-2 Chester
Starting XI: Lewis; Fagbola, Daly, Kettle, Franklin; Murombedzi (Flanagan), Nortey, Byrne, Carline; Sterling-James; White (Asante)
In short: Boxing Day delight as Moors’ hoodoo against full-time clubs comes to a halt against ten man Chester
Goalscorers: Sterling-James, White (Byrne), Sterling-James (Byrne)
Debutants: Calum Flanagan
12 – Akwasi Asante
9 – Harry White
7 – Omari Sterling-James
6 – Andy Brown
4 – Jamey Osborne
2 – Ryan Beswick, Jack Byrne
1 – Liam Daly, Joel Dielna, Jordan Fagbola, Shepherd Murombedzi
4 – Connor Franklin,
3 – Jack Byrne, Darryl Knights, Shepherd Murombedzi, Omari Sterling-James
2 – Akwasi Asante, Ryan Beswick, Liam Daly, Jordan Gough, Jamey Osborne
1 – Andy Brown, Joel Dielna, Eddie Jones, Harry White
Liam McDonald’s opening weeks as Solihull Moors manager had been so fast and furious that Vin Diesel would have been proud.
He walked into a club embarking on a run of seven games in three weeks that started at home and finished at Kenilworth Road with trips to Barrow and Torquay United in between. The run so far had seen three defeats, a draw and a victory in the league along with the Yeovil Town penalty shoot-out win.
So to the FA Cup second round fixture versus Luton Town, a famous old club with previous in the FA Cup including a run to the fifth round while a National League club a couple of years before.
The first half suggested the Hatters were about to receive a taste of their own medicine. Buoyed on by 635 travelling supporters, Solihull Moors took a 2-0 lead, Jamey Osborne scoring both. The first saw him awkwardly get the ball from out of his feet before digging a beautifully curling effort into the top corner that looped over Christian Walton. The second had him turning and blasting the ball into the bottom corner.
Half-time: Luton Town 0-2 Solihull Moors. Marvellous.
Six minutes into the second half Luton got one back through Danny Hylton. Johnny Mullins equalised on 54 minutes. Stephen O’Donnell had the hosts in the lead on 59 minutes before a getting one more in between a Jack Marriott double.
Full-time: Luton Town 6-2 Solihull Moors. Fun while it lasted.
From the dizzy heights of the FA Cup to a local duel against Midland League Premier Division club Boldmere St.Michaels, in the relegation zone at the time of the fixture.
A much changed starting XI saw Charlie Morris start while Marshall Willock, Romario Martin and Tyrese Shade all got game time from the bench. The game was most notable for Harry White’s hat-trick which appeared to breathe confidence into the former Barnsley striker – he would go from this game to becoming a key figure in the Moors starting XI.
He didn’t start straight away. Akwasi Asante, amongst others, were restored to the starting XI for the FA Trophy fixture against seventh tier Matlock Town who had knocked out Spennymoor Town, Grantham Town and FC Halifax Town on their way to the first round proper. This was a huge game for The Gladiators, evidently the same didn’t apply to the Moors.
On a freezing cold Saturday afternoon, the Moors failed to give the home crowd a reason to have left their homes. Luke Rodgers made his Solihull Moors debut in this one and made a real impression – he was sent off for a quite ridiculous challenge on the right hand side. Matlock Town fans were quick to protest against the idea of Luke Rodgers still being allowed to play football following an incident that we were told caused a ’20 minute delay’ in the game.
As if the red card wasn’t bad enough, Matlock were leading 2-0 and looking very self-assured on our playing surface. Harry White at least restored some pride, making the most of a defensive mix-up to fire home left-footed.
Preparing for the pre-Christmas trip to promotion chasing Dagenham and Redbridge, McDonald was finally given the luxury of spending a week coaching his players. Whatever he did restored the hunger in his players for what would prove one hell of a game.
After Harry White gave the Moors the lead after three minutes in Greater London, the travelling contingent witnessed a goal that technically was the best Solihull Moors have scored all season.
Sterling-James received possession on the edge of the box, took a touch out of his feet as he swivelled to face up to goal. A couple of mini steps taken to set himself, he proceeded strike across the ball which swerved away from Elliot Justham into the top corner – he never stood a chance.
On 25 minutes it was 3-0, George Carline’s fantastic work down the left channel not going to waste, White’s effort saved but Jack Byrne on hand to prod home. Simeon Maye and Joel Kettle were making their debuts in this one and must have thought this league was a piece of cake.
The comeback started before half-time, a well worked free-kick falling for Scott Doe before teenager Tyrique Hyde opened his account with a precise strike.
Sterling-James appeared to kill off the game four minutes into the second half, White showing strength to hold off his man and the awareness to spot the pacey wide man sprinting through the centre of the pitch. The Dagenham defenders gave up the chase knowing what was coming next, Sterling-James taking on the keeper without even touching the ball before slotting into an empty net.
And that was that until the 83rd minute, Ollie Hawkins making it four goals in two games against the Moors before Corey Whiteley nearly broke the net from 10 yards with a half volley.
Two matches vs Dagenham and Redbridge, 6 goals scored, 9 conceded and incredibly just one point.
The years football finished on Boxing Day with Chester being welcomed to the Automated Technology Group Stadium, our first home league match for over a month.
Jon McCarthy’s team were flying, 7th in the league having gone nine games without tasting defeat, a run that included a draw away at Tranmere Rovers and victory over fellow play-off chasers Aldershot Town. This fixture would spark a downturn in form that would see the Cheshire finish 19th.
Evidently desperate to get their noses in front and make their presence known, Alabi elbowed Connor Franklin early on only to receive a yellow card for a hit that would rule Connor Franklin for a couple of months before Johnny Hunt received a straight red for a naughty challenge on Shepherd Murombedzi.
They still took the lead, Elliott Durrell picking up on a loose ball, nutmegging Nortey and firing into the bottom corner. Nervous as we were, Sterling-James’ was in confident mood and his sensational free-kick gave us the boost we needed.
Harry White put the hosts into the lead, George Carline’s cross bouncing off the chest of Jack Byrne into the path of the Moors number 19 who was never going to waste the chance to volley home from close range. Sterling-James then made it consecutive doubles, rounding the keeper before slotting home.
Kane Richards came off the bench to score but it mattered little in the finish. The Moors had finished its greatest year by getting the better of a professional club in a National League fixture.
It really couldn’t get better than this.