'We Haven't Lost Here In Two Months!'
Automated Technology Group Stadium
20.01.2018 // 15:00
Solihull Moors' fine league form continued with a 3-0 victory over Woking.
Kwame Thomas scored first during a frantic opening 10 minutes before a second-half Jermaine Hylton brace secured the three points.
The game almost never went ahead, a pitch inspection required due to a night of pouring rain before midday snowfall covered the lines on the pitch. Thankfully, the pitch was cleared, the snow stopped and the teams could get the game going.
Despite the 2-0 FA Trophy defeat to Spennymoor Town, Mark Yates kept faith with the same starting XI meaning a first league start for Kyle Storer. Recent loan addition Opanin Edwards took his place on the bench.
Just two minutes had been played when the first chance arrived, Kane Ferdinand's looping header hitting the foot of the post.
Solihull Moors' first big chance ended up hitting the back of the net. Darren Carter's corner was drilled to the edge of the box where Liam Daly couldn't quite connect with a scissor kick. His effort instead fell to Kwame Thomas who cheekily back-heeled the ball into the bottom corner.
The next three minutes saw real end-to-end action. Reece Grego-Cox's shot was denied by Daly, Oladapo Afolayan and Jermaine Hylton couldn't sufficiently test Nathan Baxter while Max O'Leary was forced into two fine saves, denying Charlie Carter and Anthony Cook.
The game eventually calmed down as the pitch became more conducive to playing football. Chez Isaac's left-foot strike was deflected wide before Anthony Cook lashed over the bar. At the other end, Thomas and Daly failed to find the target from successive corners before the former played in Hylton who struck wide.
Moors only just went in 1-0 up at the break, a goalmouth scramble resulting in a headed clearance off the line, two blocked effort and general pandemonium as players tried to hack the ball clear.
There were three big chances before Moors finally got their second of the game. Carter could have doubled the lead within seconds of the restart but dragged his effort wide and did similar when presented with an indirect free-kick inside the area. In-between those strikes, Kane Ferdinand fired over ten yards from goal.
The second came on 58 minutes when Daly's header and Hylton's quick thinking turned defence into attack. Baxter tried to close the angle but could only watch as the striker dinked the ball over him and into the net.
Hylton made it three 15 minutes later. Liam Daly reached a clearance on the left-hand side and the quality of cross would have made David Beckham proud. He whipped in a ball that curled over the head of a Woking defender to Hylton who guided the ball into the top corner of the net.
Hylton nearly landed himself in trouble after an innocuous incident with Anthony Cook before Ben Frempah came on for his Solihull Moors debut, replacing the injured Jamie Reckord.
Woking continued to battle and were only denied a consolation thanks to Max O'Leary's one-handed wonder save. After Opanin Edwards couldn't turn home Hylton's low cross, O'Leary was then forced into action by substitute Paul Green but was again equal to the miscue.
Baxter made a smart stop to deny Hylton a hat-trick in injury time and kept the score respectable when palming away Carter's effort at the full-time whistle.
Curiously, as the final whistle beckoned, home fans started chanting 'how sh*t must you be, we're winning at home' much to the bemusement of assisant manager Tim Flowers. After repeating the chant he blurted out 'we haven't lost here for two months'. A quote that says it all.
The gap to safety has now been cut from 12 points to 4 and the feel-good factor created under Mark Yates shows no signs of stopping.
The great escape really is on.
Starting XI: O'Leary; K.Green, Daly, Kelleher, Reckord (Frempah); Osborne, Storer (P.Green), Carter; Thomas, Hylton, Afolayan (Edwards)