Date: 19th February 2018 at 11:14pm
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Solihull Moors came from behind twice to earn victory over play-off chasing Dover Athletic.

Ryan Bird put the visitors ahead from the penalty spot but Kyle Storer’s first goal for the club restored parity before half-time. Dover regained the lead through Mitchell Pinnock but a Kwame Thomas penalty and Alex Reid’s late winner earned a huge three points for Mark Yates’ side.

Yates made only one change to the side that lost to Ebbsfleet United last Saturday with Tyrone Williams making his full debut at right-back, Kristian Green dropping to the bench. The rest of the squad remained the same.

The Moors started the better, Kwame Thomas forcing a stop from Mitch Walker after good work from Kyle Storer. Storer received the ball from Jamey Osborne a few minutes later but his shot was deflected over the bar.

Storer was involved in his own box halfway through the first half, conceding a penalty for a foul on Anthony Jeffrey as the winger strode into the area. Ryan Bird stepped up and just about smashed the ball through the legs of Max O’Leary.

The Moors number 8 was involved in every key incident in the opening half hour and made amends for his earlier error with the equaliser. Tyrone Williams’ long throw found Jermaine Hylton via the head of Thomas but the striker’s shot was blocked. The ball rebounded kindly into the path of Storer who was on the move and drove the ball home from 10 yards.

Williams’ throws were causing problems and Adi Yussuf almost made it two goals in two minutes only for his effort to be deflected wide. Yussuf forced Walker back into action on 36 minutes, latching onto Daly’s knockdown from an Osborne free-kick before the keeper was forced to deny Osborne’s long-range strike.

The second period started the same as the first with Moors in the ascendancy. This included a run of set-pieces that saw an Osborne effort deflected wide, a corner somehow cleared over the bar from the goal line and Storer’s cross hit the top of the crossbar. Then came the sucker-punch.

Right on the hour mark, Tyrone Williams lost his bearings running back towards goal and headed into the path of Mitchell Pinnock who controlled the ball on his chest and slotted past O’Leary from close range.

Osborne almost responded in style but missed the target from 25 yards before Walker was equal to Mitch Walker’s 20 yard strike. A bit of luck or a bit of quality was required and both came with 15 minutes left to play.

A second penalty of the game was given when Jamey Osborne proved too quick for a Dover defender. Kwame Thomas, donning Oladapo Afolayan’s old number 17 jersey, stepped up to fire home from the spot, albeit only just squeezing the ball beyond the outstretched hand of Walker.

Continuing to dominate, Darren Carter turned smartly on the edge of the area before forcing Walker into a fine finger-tip save and the Dover keeper denied him once more with a sliced left-foot strike from the left-hand side of the box.

With six minutes left to play, Thomas yet again leaped highest and played in captain Carter who clearly didn’t fancy a third duel against Walker. He instead played the ball across the box for Alex Reid who took a couple of touches before firing into the roof of the net to mark his home debut with a goal.

Unfortunately, Barrow and Hartlepool United both won meaning the gap remains at two points but several other clubs have been dragged into the dogfight as a result of our fine form. Halifax Town now sit in 20th while Maidstone United sit just four points above the drop zone.

Performances and results like this ensure others must be weary of a Moors side in fine form and prepared to fight for its league status.

Starting XI: O’Leary; Williams, Daly, Kelleher, Reckord; Osborne, Storer, Carter; Yussuf (Edwards), Hylton (Reid), Thomas. Unused: K.Green, P.Green, Carline.


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