Last Saturday was Solihull Moors’ standout performance of the season.
Yes, we beat Chester comfortably but Chester were hopeless. Dagenham turned up with a will to win. A side full of power that tried to turn us towards our own goal at every possible opportunity. They wanted to win that game.
I couldn’t praise the players enough from afar and I’m sure McDonald felt similar. After the first goal we stood up to the task and defended brilliantly, headed and kicking everything that came near our box.
I’m conscious that a lot of the talk has been about the defence but going forward we looked composed and exploited Dagenham brilliantly. Brodie attracted men allowing Afolayan, Murombedzi and McDonald to break forward and hurt The Daggers. We were intelligent and the added National League experience has helped us.
In recent weeks McDonald has been utilising the loan market to real effect. Joe Payne is the left-footed left-back we have been crying out for, Courtney Richards’ energy in midfield has been key while Wes McDonald’s raw pace and trickery has been a breath of fresh air. Richard Brodie’s permanent signing was also a key feature of last week’s display, giving Afolayan the freedom to what he does best – be a nuisance.
The gaffer will hope for a similar performance as we travel down to Dover Athletic. Like Dagenham, The Whites are best when playing direct and make themselves difficult to beat. Our defence will have to stand strong again while going forward, playing against a back three will offer new problems.
The returns of George Carline and Simeon Maye will help increase the aerial prowess of the side which could help with defending set-pieces. Avoid conceding silly goals like we did on Saturday and we can come away with victory.
Liam McDonald talks up Chris Kinnear’s Dover and earning three points:
Last season we picked up a valuable point at Dover at a time when they were strong challengers for the play offs (missing out by one place) and Ricky Miller was causing problems up front in every game. He was receiving all the plaudits for the clubs` performances but I said at the time that it was the entire Dover team that was the reason for their success and now without their inspirational ex striker they are showing again what a strong outfit Chris Kinnear has assembled.
We did a video analysis on the opposition last night and we go there full of confidence looking to bring home all three points. Both Bromley and Boreham Wood have won at the Crabble this season and I am looking for a strong performance from us tomorrow.
Dover Athletic Team News:
No team news has been released but judging on the consistency of Dover’s team selection this season, it’s hard to imagine Chris Kinnear having many selection problems.
Player to watch: Nortei Nortey
Nortei Nortey was hardly poor for Solihull Moors last season but he never really looked like becoming a regular fixture in the starting XI towards the end of the season. He’s flying for Dover, starting every game and his goal last weekend was nothing short of sensational.
Solihull Moors Team News:
Liam McDonald has confirmed that George Carline is available again after an injury picked up vs Bromley while Simeon Maye returned to the bench last weekend. Charlie Bannister will travel with the squad having joined from Kidderminster Harriers.
Player to watch: Joe Payne
Joe Payne stepped in last Saturday for his first ever league start and was super. Defensively he was diligent and with respect to those that have played left-back, it was refreshing seeing a confident left-footed player at left-back.
Match Facts & Stats
Dover Athletic – 3rd
Overall record: Played 12; Won 6, Drawn 3, Lost 3; For 15, Against 8, GD +7; Points 21
Last six at home: Played 6; Won 2, Drawn 2, Lost 2; For 8, Against 5, GD +3; Points 8
Most starts: Bird, Brundle, Essam, Gallifuoco, Ilesanmi, Nortey, Parry and Walker – 12
Most goals: Ryan Bird
Worst discipline: Mitch Brundle – 3 yellow cards
SOLIHULL MOORS – 23rd
Overall record: Played 12; Won 2, Drawn 2, Lost 8; For 12, Against 21, GD -9; Points 8
Last six away: Played 6; Won 1, Drawn 0, Lost 5; For 5, Against 12, GD -7; Points 3
Most starts: Darren Carter and Shepherd Murombedzi – 12
Most goals: Oladapo Afolayan – 5
Worst discipline: Zain Westbrooke – 1 red card
Referee: Gary Parsons
National League matches officiated 17/18: 7
Yellow cards produced: 25
Red cards produced: 1
Penalties awarded: 4
Last time in charge of Solihull Moors: N/A
Assistant referees: Darin Geary and Alexander Guy
Fourth official: Jamaal Horne
Dover Athletic 1-1 Solihull Moors
Solihull Moors’ next six fixtures:
03/10/2017 – Ebbsfleet United (H) – 19:45 – NL
07/10/2017 – Hartlepool United (H) – 15:00 – NL
10/10/2017 – Stratford Town (A) – 7:45 – BSC
21/10/2017 – Guiseley (A) – 15:00 – NL
24/10/2017 – Eastleigh (A) – 19:45 – NL
28/10/2017 – AFC Fylde (H) – 15:00 – NL