Dogged Lions dig out deserved victory - The Solihull Observer

Dogged Lions dig out deserved victory

Solihull Editorial 21st Sep, 2020   0

Alcester Town 0 Solihull United 1

Midland League Division Two

WITH the weather more akin to the height of summer than the start of autumn, the Young Lions travelled to the picturesque Warwickshire setting that is the home of Alcester Town looking to put the disappointment of last Saturday’s two points dropped behind them Рand they did exactly that.

Solihull started brightly and with just three minutes gone Miracle Okafor dragged his shot just wide of the far post.

This seemed to wake up the home side and they started to push forward in numbers, creating a decent opportunity of their own on six minutes which flew past Tom Parsons’ far post.,

The pitch was incredibly bobbly and so dry that dust clouds were stirred as the players ran so a neat passing game would prove difficult.

However, one such move almost resulted in the opening goal on 21 minutes as great work from Dylan Barkers in midfield saw him split the home defence with a peach of a pass to Okafor who was through with just the keeper but, as the keeper raced out, Okafor chose to shoot rather than round the keeper and he saved with his feet.

Unfortunately the hardworking Gerrard Sam had to be replaced on 30 minutes due to a nasty-looking knee injury, with Cameron Ebbutt taking his place, and within four minutes the latter was instrumental in the move that led to the only goal of the match.

Eventually, Josh Parsons turned his marker inside out wide on the right before cutting inside and curling an exquisite left-footed shot into the top corner of the net.

Okafor could have extended the lead on the stroke of half-time but he was cynically upended some 25 yards from goal.

Josh Parsons curled the resultant free kick into the box where the unmarked Okafor headed the ball wide from just six yards out when it looked easier to score.

A rallying half-time talk from Manager Sam Manoochehri and his staff meant the Young Lions started the second half under no illusions of how precious, yet slender, their narrow lead was and how they needed to remain focused.

This they did to a man with the back line of Efe Unearhemane, Ollie Hough and skipper Sam Delaney winning every battle, with the latter leading by example and driving his troops forward.

Solihull were pushing forward with more and more frequency now as the home side looked to be tiring in the heat and on 58 minutes great wing play from Harry Eden down the left saw him cross a superb ball into the box that was headed clear by the home defence.

Another great chance went begging on 64 minutes as the inspirational Josh Parsons again worked his magic down the left wing before, as for his goal, he cut inside to the edge of the box before shooting on goal.

The keeper could only parry and Ebbutt followed up with a smart effort but yet again somehow the home defence cleared.

On 78 minutes the game should have been over as the home keeper gifted the ball to John Baker some 20 yards out. He took a touch forward before delivering an excellent cross into the six-yard box where Okafor somehow mistimed his header into the ground rather than on goal and the keeper recovered to catch the ball as it bounced just a couple of yards from the empty net.

A nervy final minute saw the Young Lions put themselves under unnecessary pressure as they gave away a cheap free kick just 25 yards out but Tom Parsons was untroubled as the ball flew well over his crossbar.

United – with ten points from four games – host Bolehall Swifts at the Trevor Brown Memorial Ground (Church Road, Boldmere, Sutton Coldfield) on Saturday (3pm).

Report supplied by Tim Delaney.

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