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  • Nicole Cho-Yee

REPORT | Wealdstone 0-1 Solihull Moors

Solihull Moors pulled off a late smash and grab to win 1-0 and deny Wealdstone a crucial point towards survival.

Despite a vastly improved performance from the Stones, a 96th minute winner from captain Jamey Osbourne sealed all three points for playoff hopefuls, the Moors.

After the Stones’ disappointing defeat to relegated Oxford City on Good Friday, David Noble made four changes to the starting line-up, with Mason Barrett, Manny Duku, Nathan Ferguson and Aaron Henry all returning, while Alex Dyer was named skipper.

Wealdstone started the match with intent, threatening the Moors goal within seven minutes of play when Barrett’s flick-on from a corner found Duku at the far post, who was agonisingly denied by the post.

Three minutes later, it was the visitors turn to come close to an early opener as Joe Sbarra found space on the edge of the box and slotted the ball towards the bottom corner, but Marcus Dewhurst reacted with an excellent save.

The Wealdstone shot-stopper was on-hand once again in the 23rd minute to thwart the Moors, producing another solid save, this time from Nana Boateng’s powerful strike.

After a passage of pressure from Solihull, the Stones mounted an attack in the 27th minute; Kallum Cesay chopped his defender and squared the ball to Henry, who unleashed a fierce strike which stung the palms of Nick Hayes. 

As the first half progressed, the Moors began to find more cohesion and nearly took the lead in the 37th minute when James Clarke headed the ball back into the mixer, for Max Taylor to direct goal-bound, but Ferguson was well-positioned to clear off of the line.

Two minutes from the stroke of half-time, Solihull won a free-kick in a dangerous position on the edge of the area, however Dewhurst palmed away Osbourne’s well-struck effort to ensure the match was goalless at the interval.

In the 58th minute, the Stones looked like they had seized the advantage when Cesay found Tarryn Allarakhia in the area and his snap-shot was heading towards the top corner, but Hayes’ reflex save preserved the score-line.

Allarakhia had another bite of the cherry three minutes later when he dribbled into the area and drove an effort on-target; however the Moors produced a vital defensive block.

The Stones’ positive attacking spell continued in the 65th minute as they won a free-kick in a central area; Henry rocketed a strike from 35-yards out which was palmed to safety by Hayes.

Moments later down the opposing end, the visitors could have broken the deadlock as Boateng slid the ball to Sbarra, whose strike looked destined for the back of the net, but Dewhurst reacted with another superb to deny the Moors.

As the contest entered the final ten minutes, the lively Cesay drove into the box and fired towards goal from an acute angle, but his effort was always rising.

End-to-end action ensued as both teams rallied to score a late winner; substitute Emmanuel Adeyemo looked like he had provided that moment of magic, only for his powerful strike to be saved by Hayes.

Former Stone Tahvon Campbell then had the opportunity to be the hero with three minutes remaining, but the striker prodded his effort over the crossbar.

With six additional minutes, the Moors snatched victory at the death as the tireless Osborne found space on the edge of the area to shoot, with his deflected strike beating Dewhurst.

Wealdstone return to action on Saturday 6th April when they travel to local rivals Boreham Wood, in a 3pm kick-off and huge survival clash at the foot of the table.

WEALDSTONE: Dewhurst, Cesay, Barrett, Barker, Mundle-Smith, Dyer (c), Henry (Bowen 89), Ferguson, Kretzschmar (Mason 82), Allarakhia, Duku (Adeyemo 75).

Subs not used: Cook, Obiero.

Attendance: 1,309 (including 58 Solihull supporters)

Report by Nicole Cho-Yee


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