Report by Bradley Rice
MOORS Academy scored in crucial moments to put Redditch Borough to the sword in their 3-0 home win on Saturday – their tenth victory in a row.
Solihull’s youngsters once again displayed a growing maturity to manage the game and were well worth the three points.
However, Moors didn’t have it all their own way and were made to work hard for their win as Redditch produced a hearty performance in adverse weather conditions.
In the first fifteen, the visitors restricted Moors to half chances.
They were successful in disrupting the home side’s tempo and didn’t let them settle into any kind of rhythm.
Then, on twenty minutes, Redditch made their first mistake and Moors took full advantage. Midfielder Charlie Jones who had been instrumental in midfield, was again involved.
He attempted a quick one-two with Keziah Martin on the edge of the box, the defender cut it out, but the keeper collected and the referee adjudged it to be a deliberate pass back.
An indirect free kick from six yards out was the punishment. Gill laid it back to Nathan Binner who punctured Redditch’s red armoured wall with a firmly hit strike into the net.
Redditch could have sunk after the set-back but they continued battling away, beginning to press high and causing problems for Moors’ backline.
But, just as they were wrestling the initiative away from the home side, Moors broke quickly and grabbed a vital second.
A quick throw from Martin found Mbuti, who on his second touch, whipped a low cross into the box and Rubyn Gill did the rest.
Moors’ number nine still had a lot to do, but his first touch, swivel and volleyed strike across the despairing dive of the keeper, was sublime.
The timing of the goal was a bitter pill to swallow for the visitors, who went in trailing by two at the break.
If the first half had been a boxing match, then the second was little more than sparring.
As the weather worsened, both teams found it difficult to impose themselves on the game.
Chances were few and far between and it became a scrappy affair. Redditch continued to fight but Moors controlled possession and their lead never looked in any real danger.
On the odd occasion that Redditch did threaten, the centre back pairing of Cain Thomas and Ben Kendrick were imperious, batting away anything that was thrown at them.
Moors themselves, offered little going forward as Redditch stood resolute but they did grab a third late on, rounding off a very professional performance.
All afternoon, the tireless Gill had pulled Redditch’s defence this way and that, and with five minutes left, another incisive run from him led to a free kick on the edge of the area.
Martin whipped a low delivery into the danger area and substitute Dylan Barkers stretched out a leg to divert the ball home to add a gloss to the win.
It may not have been Moors at their free flowing best but yet again they showed they are more than just a one trick pony.
Sam Manoochehri’s side have mastered a winning routine, his young charges are excelling and promotion has gone from being a distinct probability, to becoming a very real possibility.
Next up for his side is a trip to tenth-placed Feckenham in two weeks time, on Saturday April 6.
Bradley Rice can be found writing for his blog – Half-Time Oranges – where he provides original insights into the beautiful game from a number of different angles, all sharing the same trend of focusing on real stories from real people.
He can also be found providing live tweets and content for Solihull Moors Academy side @MoorsAcademy