SOLIHULL Moors extended their unbeaten run in the Conference North to six matches after beating in-form Chorley 3-1 at the Autotech Stadium on Saturday, writes Nike Roberts.
Having last season been promoted from the Northern Premier League as champions, Chorley have made an impressive start in the Conference North and sat second in the table at the start of play having only lost two games so far.
However Moors have reached a rich vein of form in recent weeks and 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 and 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 lofted over the stranded Breeden by Dean into the net. Moors despite the setback continued to play quality football going forward with Knights, Beswick and Byfield causing the visitors defence endless problems.
The equaliser came on 20 minutes 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 – Beswick, Knights and Daly with a header from a Beswick corner, all went close.
At the other end Dean headed over when well placed but in first half stoppage time, Moors took the lead when Bogle met a Ryan Beswick corner from the left powering a header goal-wards and a deflection took the ball beyond Ashton into the roof of the net.
It was the striker’s 11th goal in 12 games putting him two clear at the top of the league’s goal scorers.
The second half saw Moors begin to dominate and only a superb intervention by Smythe denied Bogle from a Knights through ball.
And on 65 minutes Moors scored their third as a Darren Byfield cross was dummied by Bogle and only a deliberate handball from Jacobs stopped the ball reaching Darryl Knights.
However, Knights was not to be denied as his exquisite 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.
With ten minutes remaining Owen Story replaced Bogle and almost had an immediate impact. His cross from the right found Byfield who fired just wide.
Moors move up to eighth in the league and with a game in hand over their rivals the play off positions beckon. This Saturday they travel to seventh placed Boston United, who are just one point ahead .
Darren Byfield tussles for possession. (s) Photo by John Clothier