20th Feb, 2020

United need to regain clinical edge - Manoochehri

Editorial Correspondent 7th Feb, 2020 Updated: 7th Feb, 2020

Report by Bradley Rice.


Solihull United boss Sam Manoochehri wants his side to be more clinical ahead of their clash away to fourth placed Feckenham on Saturday.

Leaders Solihull remained top of Midland Football League Division Two after a hard-fought 2-1 home win over Hampton at the weekend.

The manager was delighted by his side’s ability to bounce straight back from a 2-0 defeat to Earlswood Town but was left frustrated by his team’s failure to kill the game off.

“We’ve had a couple of bad results recently,” he said. “I think we’ve lost three of our last five games we have lost and we haven’t been particularly ruthless in front of goal.

“Maybe confidence has dipped a little bit, just to win the game was the key. Our football was good but to grind out a result was massive for us.

“The goal at the end, the winner wasn’t a brilliant goal, but Rivel showed a bit of heart and desire to nip in and score.

“The icing on the cake was missing a little bit. But by hook or by crook we got over the line and so obviously happy to win. We just need to be better in the top third.”

Solihull flew out the traps against Hampton and were ahead inside two minutes. Left-back Harry Eden fed Kobe Chong, whose dinked cross was met by Stanley Annaebonan.

The striker who ran into the box unopposed, headed home from no more than a few yards out to put the league leaders in front.

But Manoochehri’s men were unable to kick on from the early breakthrough and allowed Hampton back into the game.

Aon Abass who had recently been loaned out to Hampton from Solihull, reminded his parent club of his undoubted talent.

After the home side failed to clear their lines and on his weaker left foot struck a peach from outside the area which nestled into the top corner and gave keeper Ben Maxwell no chance.

Solihull were rocked by the equaliser but soon found their rhythm and were unlucky not to regain the lead close to the half-hour mark.

Annaebonan almost grabbed his second, the winger drove at the defence but his drilled shot cannoned off the post and Kobe Chong was unable to convert the follow-up.

The hosts then thought they had scored but Ryan Andrews’ celebrations were cut short as Chong’s corner was adjudged to have floated out of play in the build-up.

Solihull took a while to find their stride after the break, when they did Eden was the main outlet but the forwards were reluctant to gamble on his dangerous deliveries.

Then with just under twenty minutes remaining, relief for the home side. Eden was again the architect.

His curling shot proved too hot to handle for Hampton’s keeper and striker Rivel Mardenborough was alive to prod in the rebound.

Solihull substitute Gerrard Sam did his best to make the final few moments more comfortable viewing but the visiting keeper was not to be beaten.

So a nervy finale ensued but Solihull saw the game out to claim a vital three points that maintains a four-point gap over Knowle in second place.


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