FOOTBALL: A DELIGHTED Liam McDonald saw his Solihull Moors side move ten points away from the National League relegation thanks to a convincing 4-1 victory on the road at North Ferriby United.
Simeon Maye opened the scoring for the visitors on Saturday and despite Robbie Tinker pulled North Ferriby United level at half-time, second half goals from Omari Sterling-James, George Carline and Nortei Nortey wrapped up a second biggest league win of the season for Moors.
It was a comprehensive win for Moors who now have 48 points with nine games left and manager McDonald was delighted with his team’s performance.
He said: “The first half was even and we had to defend against the wind. It was necessary to get the ball into Ferriby’s final third as quickly as possible.
“But we dominated possession and set pieces in the second half and it was a joy to watch. The win has moved us away from the bottom group and that is important.”
There was a welcome return to the Moors starting line-up for Connor Franklin following a lengthy three month spell on the sideline through injury, while Andy Brown returned to the bench, while Ashley Sammons wore the captain’s armband in place of Liam Daly.
With Moors defending against the strong wind, the first half was an uneventful affair until just before the half time whistle.
Joel Kettle had the first opening on 20 minutes as he headed over Sammon’s corner and almost immediately Dapo Afolayan put Shep Murombedzi through but the shot was just wide.
Nathan Baxter made a good save from a Ferriby corner whilst Gray was just wide for the home team from a free kick.
With five minutes remaining before the interval Moors broke the deadlock. Omar Sterling-James broke down the right before unleashing a fierce shot which keeper Watson managed to push onto the post but the alert Simeon Maye was on hand prod home.
The lead however did not last long, with the hosts pulling level on 43 minutes when the visiting defence failed to clear from a corner and Tinkler slammed the ball home from close range.
Right from the restart Moors looked rejuvenated and dominated play from start to finish. Afolayan pulled an early shot wide whilst Watson saved at point blank range from Kristian Green.
On 63 minutes Sterling James broke through the back four and stroked a delightful second Moors goal beyond Watson.
With Nortei Nortey on for Maye, Solihull maintained the pressure and were rewarded 14 minutes from time when George Carline met Sammons exquisite free kick and in a repeat of his goal the previous week, buried the header beyond Watson.
Baxter made the save of the day from ten yards but Moors still had plenty of fuel in the tank as they scored again in the fourth minute of added time.
Ferriby failed to clear Charles-Cook’s cross from the byline which fell to Nortey and his low drive gave the keeper no chance as the ex Chelsea man scored his first goal for Solihull.
Moors regroup quickly now for Tuesday’s visit to second-placed Forest Green Rovers. It will be a test for McDonald’s young squad but one they will relish.
Team: Baxter, Murombedzi (Charles-Cook 84), Kettle, Flanagan, Franklin, Green, Sammons (c), Maye (Nortey 68), Carline, Afolayan, Sterling James (Udoh 80).
Subs not used – Lewis, Brown
PHOTOS PROVIDED BY STEVE FEENEY