Date: 16th February 2018 at 1:02pm
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Saturday’s defeat at Ebbsfleet United felt like a missed opportunity but it should not deter the current excitement surrounding this Solihull Moors team.

If anything, the defeat on Saturday brought us back down to Earth, a necessary fall back to reality after a month floating on cloud nine. The honeymoon period is over and it’s time for the real hard work to start.

It’s been a wonderful run. Not only have we won football matches but the players have produced excellent, all-round performances. We’ve taken apart Woking, Dagenham and Redbridge and Maidenhead United. We earned a draw at Macclesfield Town with the odds stacked against us. We have proven that we can step toe-to-toe with the best in the division.

That good feeling can’t vanish now. The fans and players alike should retain belief that we can return to winning ways this weekend – particularly with four consecutive home fixtures on the horizon.

Dover Athletic are first up and they represent an interesting challenge. A side based on power, discipline and tenacity, they have lost just two matches away from home all season – both 1-0 defeats. However, 7 of their last 10 away matches have ended in draws and a strong display could see us earn yet another positive result.

Now two points behind Barrow, who visit Maidstone United this weekend, we could find ourselves in 20th position come 5 o’clock on Saturday.

Come on you Moors!

Vital Quotes:

Mark Yates reacting to defeat at Ebbsfleet United:

‘We`ve got to keep believing in what we`re doing.’

“We said when we walked in that there would be ups and downs. Today is one of those times where we`re all feeling down. The lads have been fantastic so far and we`ve still got 14 games to go. Unfortunately, we didn`t get anything out of the game today.”

Solihull Moors Team News:

Mark Yates has a full squad available to him. If changes are made, they are likely to be made in the front three with Alex Reid and Opanin Edwards pushing for first starts.

Player to watch: Kwame Thomas

With Oladapo Afolayan and Jermaine Hylton regular taking the plaudits, it’s fair to say that Kwame Thomas’ performances have gone under the radar. A consistently hard-worker and proving to be one of strongest aerial competitors in the division.

Dover Athletic Team News:

Jamie Allen and Tobi Sho-Silva remain out with long-term injuries. Dover generally stick the same starting XI.

Player to watch: Ryan Bird

The ex-Portsmouth target man and has found his feet at Dover Athletic, an ever-present in the starting XI and with 12 goals to his name.

Match Facts & Stats

Overall record: Played 32; Won 8, Drawn 6, Lost 18; For 32, Against 47, GD -15; Points 30
Last six at home: Played 6; Won 3, Drawn 2, Lost 1; For 8, Against 4, GD +4; Points 11
Most starts: Darren Carter – 32
Most goals: Oladapo Afolayan – 11
Worst discipline: Darren Carter – 5 yellow cards and 1 red card

Dover Athletic – 9th

Overall record: Played 32; Won 13, Drawn 12, Lost 7; For 43, Against 27, GD +16; Points 51
Last six away: Played 6; Won 1, Drawn 4, Lost 1; For 8, Against 8, GD 0; Points 7
Most starts: Mitch Walker, Ian Parry, Connor Essam, Ryan Bird and Mitch Brundle – 32
Most goals: Ryan Bird – 12

Worst discipline: Oluwafemi Ilesanmi – 6 yellow cards

Ref Watch:

Referee: Peter Gibbons

Location: Wirral

National League matches officiated: 17/18: 13

Yellow cards produced: 36

Red cards produced: 0

Penalties awarded: 4

Last time in charge of Solihull Moors: Solihull Moors 1-0 Leyton Orient – 02/12/2017

Assistant referees:Matthew Law and Gareth Hubbard

Fourth official: Martin Beard

Match Prediction:

Solihull Moors 1-1 Dover Athletic

Next Fixtures:

Solihull Moors’ next six fixtures:

20.02.2018 – Wrexham (H) – NAL
03.03.2018 – Maidstone United (H) – NAL
06.03.2018 – Bromley (H) – NAL
10.03.2018 – Sutton United (A) – NAL
13.03.2018 – Gateshead (A) – NAL
17.03.2018 – Torquay United (H) – NAL


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