FOOTBALL: A PAIR of second half goals cost Solihull Moors as Liam McDonald’s side finally started their Vanarama National League campaign at Leyton Orient, writes John Clothier.
In front of more than 4,300 home fans, Moors were missing several key players for their season opener as niggling injuries played their part in a spirited but disappointing evening’s work.
Orient were quickly into stride as Moors struggled to control the midfield in the game’s early moments.
Mooney had the first chance of the game but on-loan Moors keeper Connal Trueman was well placed.
A corner on ten minutes for the home side eluded everybody as McAnuff went inches wide while the impressive Mooney hit another strike just wide of the far post.
Moors fans had to wait 18 minutes until their first meaningful attempt as a 25-yard free kick from Luke Benbow hit the wall, before a follow up shot caused Orient keeper Grainger few problems.
Orient’s first goal seemed inevitable but totally unjust when Trueman was clearly pushed as he tried to cut out a corner.
Referee Brook saw nothing untoward, but with the Moors shot stopper floored, Lee had the easiest of tap ins through a melee of legs.
Moors had a penalty call turned down when it appeared Afolayan slipped in the box, but the young Moors striker was then so close as he just missed proper contact with a pin point Darren Carter cross into the box.
Dayton’s header was acrobatically pushed onto the post and away by Trueman on the half hour whilst Bonne failed to make anything of a one-on-one with the Moors keeper.
Skipper Darren Carter picked out Dapo Afolayan on 37 minutes as George Carline failed to get on the end of what would’ve been an open goal tap in.
One goal down at the interval was in the circumstances a fair reflection of play.
However the scoreline changed just two minutes after the re-start as Orient pressed down the right flank.
A low cross wasn’t dealt with which allowed McAnuff to side foot Orient’s second goal home.
Kalern Thomas blasted over on the hour after a good long throw from Jordan Liburd whilst Orient’s Bonne was thwarted first by Thomas and then Trueman as Orient pushed on.
An inspired substitution 15 minutes from time saw Tom Tonks play a one-two with Afolayan who smashed the ball passed Grainger to bring Moors back into the game.
Hopes of a late comeback were quickly dashed though when Orient converted from a corner as Elokobi’s effort was deflected beyond Trueman.
Moors had shots from Edwards and Afolayan go wide of the mark in the closing minutes, but there was no way back for McDonald’s side.
Solihull are next in action this Saturday when they travel to Boreham Wood. Kick-off is at 3pm.