Date: 10th December 2017 at 10:07pm
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Ross Hannah`s goal condemned ten-man Solihull Moors to defeat at the Swansong Chester Stadium.

A tense affair was settled with 13 minutes left to play when Chester top goalscorer Ross Hannah headed home with The Moors` chances of getting back into the game hindered by Darren Carter`s late red card for a second booking.

Mark Yates was afforded the opportunity to select the same starting XI, something of a rarity this campaign. The only change to the squad came on the substitutes bench where Jamie Reckord replaced veteran Sean St.Ledger.

There was needle before the game with Chester supporters still reeling about the decision for Solihull Moors to call off the opening game of the season due to safety measures. That we were not deducted points was a particularly sore point amongst those on social media.

The game, played almost a month later, was won by The Moors to add insult to injury and we could have opened the scoring here after just four minutes, Osborne picking up a loose ball but firing wide.

This was a game of few chances, Andy Halls two headers from Lucas Dawson corners about as close as the hosts got in the first half. For The Moors, Hylton`s loose pass and Oladapo Afolayan`s blocked effort the best we would muster. Not a game for the neutrals.

Yates was happy with the first half display, however, the general disappointment being that we could not capitalise on some good play. Some would call it the story of our season and others the reason we are bottom of the league table.

The second half was not much better. Daniel Udoh and James Akintunde linked up to find Tom Shaw on the edge of the area but the substitute`s effort was blocked. That was the only chance until the 77th minute.

That was when Lucas Dawson`s produced another corner that would cause Solihull Moors problems. Ryan Astles won the initial header and Ross Hannah was left free at the far post to nod home from a couple of yards out.

In a bid to salvage something from the game, Jamie Reckord was given his debut along with George Carline but it was Jamey Osborne who had the next opportunity, his deflected effort almost sneaking through to Jermaine Hylton only for Sam Hornby to smother the ball first.

Our best chance appeared to go when Darren Carter was sent off for a second bookable offence. It`s fair to say both sets of supporters did not see eye to eye on that decision. Osborne had one final effort in added time but again couldn`t find the target.

The victory was reward for the Chester fans who came out to help remove snow from the pitch before kick-off, their efforts ensuring the game went ahead at all. It will be scant consolation for the travelling fans whose side now sit eight points adrift from safety.

Yates was relatively happy with the display come the final whistle acknowledging that such tight games are often decided by one side switching off at a key moment. As has been the case too often this season, it was his new club that did so.

Yet after five games his priorities have been made clear. This is a Solihull Moors team working harder and looking more organised, epitomised by the fact we have conceded just four goals in his five games in charge – a stark contract to the average of 2 per game before he joined.

Add a few goals to the mix and we can give ourselves a real chance of proving the bookies wrong.

Starting XI: O’Leary; Atkinson, Daly, Kelleher, Bowen (Reckord); Osborne, P.Green (Carline), Carter; Afolayan (Asante), Thomas, Hylton. Unused: K.Green, Murombedzi

 

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