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Solihull Moors 3 Chorley 1: Moors recover from early blow to keep play-off pace

The win sees Solihull Moors extend their unbeaten league run to six matches elevating the team to eighth in the table and, with a game in hand over their rivals, the play-off positions beckon.

The Solihull Moors players celebrate Darryl Knights' goal
The Solihull Moors players celebrate Darryl Knights' goal

Having come up from the Northern Premier League as champions, Chorley had made an impressive start in the Conference North and sat second in the league at the start of play. However, in-form Moors were well-prepared for the job in hand.

The match opened at a furious pace and on three minutes a Michael Nottingham cross caught in the wind and deceived visiting keeper Ashton, only to come back off the crossbar to leading scorer Omar Bogle who volleyed over when well-placed.

Two minutes later, the visitors swept forward and Tony Breeden was forced into a fine save to his left to foil Josh Hine. On nine minutes Breeden was again Moors’ saviour to deny the impressive James Dean.

On 13 minutes the visitors took the lead when a wind-assisted pass from Mather was flicked by Dean beyond the on-rushing Breeden into the net.

Moors, despite the setback, continued to play quality football going forward with Darryl Knights, Ryan Beswick and Darren Byfield causing the visitors’ defence endless problems.

On 20 minutes, Moors deservedly equalised when a Jordan Gough free-kick caused indecision in the visitors’ defence and Beswick’s pass gave captain Rob Elvins all the time in the world to stroke the ball into an empty net.

Moors continued to press forward at every opportunity and Beswick, Knights and Daly, with a header from a Beswick corner, all went close.

At the other end Dean headed over when well-placed. In first-half stoppage time, Moors took the lead when Bogle met a Beswick corner from the left powering a header goalwards and a deflection took the ball beyond Ashton into the roof of the net.

The second half saw Moors begin to dominate and only a superb intervention by Smythe denied Bogle from a Knights through ball.

On 65 minutes Moors scored their third as a Byfield cross was dummied by Bogle and only a deliberate handball from Jacobs stopped the ball reaching Knights.

However, Knights was not to be denied as his brilliant free-kick from 20 yards cleared the defensive wall and nestled into the top corner past the motionless Ashton.

A fine save by Breeden from Hine preserved Moors’ lead and on 75 minutes Bogle’s close-range effort was blocked by the visiting keeper at his near post.

On 80 minutes Owen Story replaced Bogle and almost had an immediate impact, as from his cross from the right, Byfield fired just wide.

In the final minutes Knights broke down the left, slipped the ball through the legs of Jacobs but from his cross Byfield was quickly closed down and the opportunity was lost.

The win sees Solihull extend their unbeaten league run to six matches elevating the Moors to eighth in the table and, with a game in hand over their rivals, the play-off positions beckon.

Next Saturday they travel to seventh-placed Boston United, and, before that, on Tuesday Solihull travel to Old Wulfrunians for a Birmingham Senior Cup tie (7.45pm).

Solihull Moors: Breeden, Nottingham, Gough, Denny, Daly, Elvins, Byfield, English, Bogle (Story 80) Beswick, Knights. Subs: Chamberlain, Langdon, Espejo, Rosser.

Chorley: Ashton, Jacobs, Mather, Teague, Smyth, Roscoe, Hine, Whitham, Dean, Dorney, Stephenson. Subs: Winter, Jarvis, Mulholland, Simm, Lynch.


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