Date: 12th February 2018 at 9:00pm
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Solihull Moors lost a league fixture for the first time in 2018 after going down 1-0 at Ebbsfleet United.

In a game of few clear-cut chances, the hosts managed to turn the form books on their head thanks to Luke Coulson’s spectacular second-half winner.

Mark Yates decided against making to changes to the team that beat Dagenham and Redbridge so impressively in late January. However, Alex Reid and Tyrone Williams were drafted into the squad for the first time, replacing the departed Oladapo Afolayan and defender Ben Frempah.

The Moors could have taken the lead as early as the first minute when Adi Yussuf took control of a Jamie Reckord throw-in but the new Moors number 9 couldn’t find the target.

Efforts at goal were few and far between early on, both sides trying to get a foothold in proceedings. It took 18 minutes for the next attempt at goal but Danny Kedwell’s mishit from a couple of yards out would have been ruled out for offside even if he had put the ball in the back of the net.

Jamie Reckord saw his left-foot shot easily saved before Kwame Thomas headed his side’s best chance of the game wide, failing to connect cleanly to Darren Carter’s free-kick under pressure from an Ebbsfleet United defender.

The Moors were growing into the game and Carter was involved again, firing over the bar after good work from Kristian Green and Yussuf. Jamey Osborne then found Green out wide and his cross found Fiacre Kelleher who couldn’t trouble the keeper.

It was Ebbsfleet who came closest before the break. Myles Weston twisted and turned on the right before hooking a cross towards the back post. Left-back Jack Connors came storming into the area and though his first shot was blocked by Green, the ball cannoned back to him for a crack on his right. Thankfully, Max O’Leary was alert and down quickly to deny him.

The second half proved just as tight. Jermaine Hylton hoped to win a penalty after going over in the area right before Kedwell saw his effort blocked by Liam Daly. Alex Reid came on for his debut, replacing Adi Yussuf but neither side was creating much. It was a game crying out for a moment of brilliance. Unfortunately for Mark Yates’ side, it was Luke Coulson that produced it.

With 17 minutes left to play, Dean Rance snuck in behind The Moors defence and found the powerful on the left-hand side. He faced up to Green and cut inside towards goal before unleashing a wonderful curling effort that left O’Leary with no chance. A goal worthy of winning a football match.

Carter tried again from distance late on but shanked wide of the target before Coulson almost added a second, his low cross-cum-shot rolling inches past the far post. The Moors tried, Opanin Edwards and George Carline entering the fray but it wasn’t to be.

The defeat was disappointing but perhaps provides a little bit of reality after such a whirlwind start to the calendar year. Incredibly we have not conceded more than one goal in a league game since Mark Yates took charge and with four home games coming up, Yates is unlikely to be panicking any time soon.

We move on to the next one.

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


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