Harrogate Town 0 Solihull Moors 4
Vanarama Conference North at the CNG Stadium
Report by John Clothier
MOORS have played Harrogate 14 times in the last seven years, winning 7 and drawing four. Both teams have had slow starts to the season but both managed impressive wins last week. So after the long haul up the M1, with serious delays at Wakefield, Solihull arrived late but with everything to play for.
With the hosts playing a 4 2 4 formation, Moors were quickly into their stride as they controlled the midfield with Liam Daly blasting over the bar and Darryl Knights testing keeper Barnes early on. At the other end Margetts tried a 25 yard looping shot and Tony Breeden was forced to punch away under pressure a dangerous cross. The break through came in the 14th minute; Ryan Beswick slotted the ball to Darren Byfield whose shot was cleared off the line by Heath’s diving header-The clearance landed at the feet of Knights who picked his spot from 14 yards with an exquisite side foot into the right hand corner.
Byfield went close when he chipped Barnes but the ball cleared the bar. However he made no mistake on 23 minutes when Beswick again opened up the Harrogate defence and found Byfield who turned the ball into the net from 8 yards. It was his first senior goal for the club. Town’s afternoon went from bad to worse on the half hour mark when ex Leeds United Lenighan clattered Michael Nottingham to the floor for which he was red carded by referee Hudson.
With Knights and Beswick now having more room they were running the mid field as Moors bombarded the hosts with forays down both flanks. Dom Langdon was out run by Barnes in a one on one, Reece Fleet’s bullet from 25 yards produced a great save from the keeper and Nottingham headed over as Solihull went in search of a third before the interval. They were, however caught on the break with five minutes to go with Daly clearing off the like from Kendall and McGurk heading just wide of the upright. Knights was oh so close as got on the end of Beswick’s pass from six yards. Then on 45 minutes Nottingham hit a 25 yard screamer which rebounded off the post straight to the incoming Beswick who rammed the ball into the back of the net to send the visitors 3 -0 up at the break.
With Omar Bogle and Beswick going close both from Knight’s through balls Moors looked totally at ease as the second period gathered momentum and it was not until the 53rd minute that Harrogate managed their first shot on goal from Speight whose volley cleared the bar and then Kendall shot wide. Beswick went close on the hour mark but Barnes produced another fine save to palm away the header. Knights thumped the clearance goal wards but McGurk was on hand to clear off the line.
Moors got their just deserts on 70 minutes when Bogle collected the ball on the 18 yard line and coolly stroked it into the right hand corner for the fourth goal.
Town’s best chance came when Langdon slipped to let in Kerry who seemed to have beaten Breeden but Daly was there to clear off the line. Moors had the chance of a fifth in added time when Bogle and Fleet combined to set up the big striker but he blasted over from 10 yards
It was a day to savour for the Moors travelling Army; an almost record away win, Omar Bogle going top of the Conference North scorers table and captain Rob Elvins celebrating his 50th game for the club. This Saturday they host ex Football League Stockport County when another win could shoot Solihull up the league. Kick Off is at 3pm at the Autotech Stadium.