Moors Victorious As Vaughan Nets Winner
26.08.2017 // 15:00
Attendance: 1862 (80 Moors fans)
'I told the players the supporters over there, you've made their bank holiday weekend. The sun is out, they're in Torquay having a weekend away I would have thought and it's put the icing on the cake.'
Liam McDonald provided the perfect soundbite following his side's first victory of the 2017/18 campaign.
Torquay United brought the worst out of us last season but with neither side having recorded victory so far, this was a great chance to put the record straight and Tahvon Campbell put us on the front foot early in the second half.
That was followed by a sensational Nathan Vaughan goal before Jon-Paul Pittman replied shortly after. It was backs to the wall from then on but our boys held firm until the final whistle.
McDonald made one change to the starting XI with Paul Green returning in place of Tristan Dunkley who was dropped to the bench. Vaughan continued in goal, Kristian Green made his second start of the season while flair would come in the form of Oladapo Afolayan and Campbell.
It was the hosts who had the better of the early exchanges, Jake Gosling and Ruairi Keating unable to get the better of the Moors defence before Pittman failed to beat Vaughan after latching onto a weak Paul Green backpass.
Moors' first chance set the tone, Jordan Liburd's cross almost wrong-footing new Gulls keeper Dan Lavercombe. At the other end, Vaughan was on hand to deny Keating's downward header with his feet.
Jake Gosling fired past the near post before Campbell drove into the area and found Paul Green whose shot was blocked. Goalless at half-time but Moors were beginning to exude confidence in a tight affair.
Two minutes into the second half and the ball was in the net. Afolayan was a surprising contender for set-piece duties but his corner found the head of Darren Carter who flicked the ball onto Campbell to score his first goal for Solihull Moors.
Torquay would begin to ring the changes but not before Jamie Reid's shot was saved by Vaughan at the near post. Campbell almost doubled the lead when found by a cross-field Joel Kettle pass, his curling effort off target. The south coast outfit should have equalised through Yan Klukowski's free header.
Then came the moment of the day, perhaps the season. Nathan Vaughan launched the ball up field hoping to find the pace of Tristan Dunkley in behind the Torquay defence. He inadvertedly ended up celebrating what would be the match-winner as the ball bounced over the top of his opposite number Lavercombe.
A remarkable goal that could have meant little after Pittman turned Kelleher to fire home. With Rory Fallon on the pitch, The Gulls went direct in the latter stages forcing McDonald's men to hold on for victory. But with confidence growing and the boys looking fitter, we secured the three points.
McDonald will acknowledge there is plenty of work to be done over the nine months but victory can help us kick on.
Mind you, it's Tranmere Rovers next.