FOOTBALL: SOLIHULL Moors are just one point short of safety after Mark Yates’ men defeated playoff candidates Dagenham and Redbridge 3-1 away from home on Saturday.
Moors’ remarkable turnaround continued a brace for debutant Adi Yussuf and a second half strike from substitute Oladapo Afolayan secured the borough men another crucial three points.
Mark Yates’ men are now on 30 points from 31 games while 20th placed Barrow, who have two games in hand, are on a point ahead. Meanwhile Leyton Orient occupy 19th spot on 32 points.
Saturday’s win stretched Moors’ unbeaten run to five games, and the perfect start was made when Adi Yussuf netted twice in the opening 12 minutes.
He first moved into the penalty area on 11 minutes to drill an unstoppable effort into the bottom corner before the lead was doubled just a minute later when Yussef met Kristian Green’s cross to make it 2-0.
Moors could’ve made it 3-0 when Jamey Osborne forced Mark Cousins into a low save before Jermaine Hylton saw his effort comfortably dealt with.
Darren Carter’s delivery into the box met an unmarked Liam Daly at the back post, but the centre skewed his header wide.
The hosts pulled a goal back through Okenabirhie with 40 minutes on the clock. The winger spun on the edge of the area before striking an unstoppable effort that flashed past O’Leary and into the back of the net.
Bondz N’Gala was then denied by the post before half time following a corner as Moors held onto what was now a precious one-goal lead.
A half-time re-group was what Moors needed as they soon discovered their form once more.
Yussuf, Hylton and Jamie Reckord all linked up well down the left side before the latter put a cross in across the face of goal which Kwame Thomas couldn’t connect with.
Dagenham found chances few and far between despite being on the hunt for an equaliser.
An inspired substitution from Mark Yates then saw Moors regain their two-goal advantage as Afolayan scored from close range following good build up play by Hylton.
It could’ve been four just moments later.
A free kick was delivered onto the head of Thomas who rattled the bar and Hylton failed to divert the rebound home as he hit wide.
O’Leary was barely tested in the Solihull goal as he watched Corey Whitely curl a free kick just high and wide of bar and post with just a few minutes remaining.
Cousins was forced into one last save in extra time when Afolayan’s long range strike was palmed away.
The full-time whistle then blew as Moors claimed their second win on the bounce and their fourth in five games.
Solihull Moors: O’Leary, K Green, Daly, Kelleher, Reckord, Carter ©, Storer, Osborne (P Green 90), Thomas, Yussuf (Afolayan 69), Hylton (Edwards 82).
Attendance: 2,217 (39 away).