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Solihull Moors 0 Harrogate Town 1: Harro-ing afternoon as Moors' poor run goes on

Solihull Moors lost out 1-0 to Harrogate Town.

Owen Story on the ball
Owen Story on the ball

Harrogate had not enjoyed the best of seasons thus far, and hadn’t beaten Moors away in seven seasons but – just when Solihull needed to cement their play off position – all that was about to change!

Darryl Knights was first to go close but Peter Crook between the sticks made a comfortable save, the first of many.

Tony Breeden was similarly involved early on, snatching a corner from Fallowfield after a free kick to the visitors was deflected. Omar Bogle was dispossessed in the penalty area as he tried to get the ball on to his right foot and, when Taundry crossed dangerously into the box on the quarter hour mark, there was nobody there to claim it.

Town’s back four was proving hard to break but what was equally worrying was the speed with which wingers Emmett and Fallowfield were breaking down both flanks.

Reece Fleet executed a perfectly-timed tackle to avoid a one-on-one on 25 minutes whilst at the other end Beswick’s curling free kick eluded Moors attack.

With ten minutes of the half remaining, Darren Byfield found Knights inside the 18 yard area but his second attempt on goal lacked pace.

The nearest either team came to scoring fell to Bogle but his bending 25-yard left footer was saved by Crook at full stretch.

Referee Bramall indicated two minutes of added time before the interval and Thewlis launched a stinging drive from 20 yards – Breeden did well to get down to parry it but Gascoigne was already on his way into the box and gratefully smashed the ball home to send Gate in one goal to the good.

Marcus Bignot made a double substitution at half-time replacing Taundry and Byfield with Owen Story and Stefan Moore but Moors were fortunate that Town’s goal just after the restart was clearly offside. Nevertheless, when Gascoigne crossed to unmarked Clayton just yards off the goal line, Solihull breathed a sigh of relief when he shot weakly at Breeden from point blank range.

Moors at last found their feet but could rarely test Crook and when they did he was equal to anything fired in his direction. Gough’s cross was inches high for the incoming Beswick.

Another defence-splitting cross from Beswick found no Solihull men in the area, whilst on the hour mark Bogle’s effort cleared the crossbar.

The big striker was also thwarted on 65 minutes as he tried to turn in the six yard box. Club Captain Rob Elvins replaced Knights with 15 minutes to go as Daly assumed lead of the attack.

Harrogate were unable to stop long balls finding Daly’s head but Moors could not capitalise of the knock ons from the giant defender.

Then on 78 minutes, Beswick curled in an exquisite corner which Bogle blasted goal wards only for another super save from Crook who parried the shot as far as Moore but was able to get to his feet to deflect what looked like a certain equaliser from the recent signing.

It was Crook again denying Story and then pushing Beswick’s looping free kick away to safety. Daly headed just wide as the final whistle beckoned but Solihull could not break back.

Solihull are away next Saturday at Leamington and, with the scheduled home game against North Ferriby postponed due to the Yorkshire side’s FA Trophy run, it is likely that Moors’ next five games will be away (Leamington, Hyde, Barrow, Gainsborough and Worcester). They desperately need to maximise points if they are to maintain their promotion push.

MOORS: Breeden, Nottingham, Gough, Fleet, Daly, Taundry (Story), Byfield (Moore) English, Bogle, Beswick, Knights (Elvins). Subs not used: Acton, Denny.

 

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