Date: 11th July 2017 at 10:46pm
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Solihull Moors made it two wins in two days after seeing off Highgate United in the pouring rain.

This was a game that took many back to Sunday League football with the game being played on a pitch just outside of the ground itself. There was just one bench available for supporters or the option of sitting in the bar near the entrance while the linesman was having to run along the toes of supporters on the side of a pitch so narrow it could well have been used for a 9-a-side fixture.

There were seven changes to the starting XI that played Barwell with Nathan Vaughan, Kristian Green, Jack Edwards and trialist Jordan Liburd remaining while William Mellors-Blair and Tristian Dunkley were given the opportunity to impress from the start. Shomari Barnwell and Kalern Thomas started for the first time while youngster Callum Coyle and Josh Endall were given an opportunity to stake a claim for the upcoming campaign.

Against the odds it was the hosts who dominated early proceedings, playing a no-nonsense style from defence and causing plenty of problems in attack where quick feet and quick thinking were causing Moors defenders into difficult situations, Nathan Vaughan twice called into action.

It was the visitors who took the lead, Callum Coyle’s free-kick finding captain George Carline who was surprisingly left free in the area to head home into the bottom corner. It lasted barely a minute, Highgate responding straight from the kick-off with a low cross turned home.

After a first-half struggle, McDonald made four half-time changes with Simeon Maye, Joel Kettle, Marshall Willock and Tyrese Shade entering the fray. It would be the second half that would again prove the difference.

Moors re-took the lead in somewhat fortunate circumstances, Tristian Dunkley getting the lucky bounce when he charged down a clearance and somehow managing to poke home with the centre-half trying to rip the shirt from his back.

Shade made a strong impact against Barwell and would do the same again here, turning to find himself with more space than a man stood in the grand canyon. He turned, drove forward a few yards then struck low into the bottom corner. A bit too easy.

Highgate restored a one-goal deficit when Willock’s slide tackle was matched by his own-team mate, Vaughan beaten by a composed finish. However Shade wasn’t done and he made it three goals in two substitute appearances, twisting and turning before lashing home from outside of the area.

A 30 yard free-kick was impressively spanked off the bar by the enormous Highgate number 6 before Maye raced through only to see his effort saved while one-on-one. Koby Arthur almost killed the game off but his cheeky dink hit the outside of the post.

Two days, two games and two victories. The summer workout is working a charm so far.

Starting XI: Vaughan; Thomas, K.Green (Trialist), Liburd (T) (Willock), Endall (Kettle); Carline (Trialist), Edwards (Maye); Mellors-Blair (T) (Arthur (T)), Coyle (Shade), Dunkley (T) (Afolayan); Barnwell (Hylton (T))


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