Taking a look at Solihull Moors v County

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25 DAYS THAT COULD MAKE COUNTY'S SEASON

Solihull Moors top and tail a five games in a 25 day period that could well make or break County's season. Saturday's match against the unbeaten side is followed by visits from Chorley (a side County seem to struggle against), Tamworth (one of only two other sides with fewer defeats than the Hatters), the respite (if you can call the longest journey of the season) of a trip to Lowestoft, then a second go at the Moors.

PAST MEETINGS

The record between the two sides is very even. Both teams are unbeaten at home with a 1-0 win and a 2-2 draw. County's first trip to Solihull resulted in a 1-0 defeat courtesy of Omar Bogle's 51st minute goal.

 Last season County made an early visit and consolidated their position just outside the play-off zone with a 2-2 draw. Chris Sharpe put County ahead on 49 minutes only for Darryl Knights to respond almost immediately. Moors then went ahead, through Ryan Beswick but County had a sting in their tail, courtesy of Lee Stevenson's 88th minute equaliser.

You can re-live the action via the links below to the blog's reports on the games.

County score given first, both National League North

CURRENT FORM

The Solihull side certainly look to be mounting the strongest promotion challenge of their nine year history, all those seasons having been played at this level, after Solihull Borough merged with Moor Green. County will be competing against a team whose home League record shows no draws, no defeats and only one goal conceded, albeit from just five games. Three consecutive away draws, have seen them slip off top spot recently. They had no game on Saturday, which their manager Marcus Bignot admits has given them time to get some players fit. Sounds similar to County's break earlier in the month. Oh, and if that home record didn't look bad enough, Moors have scored at least once in every game this season, apart from an FA Cup replay defeat at Worcester City, which followed their only home slip up to date , a 1-1 draw on 10th October.

CONNECTIONS

Aaron Brown
I cannot find any current players or staff at the club's who have worked for the opposition. As for past County men, there appear to have been just two first teamers who joined our next opponent's ranks. Central defender Aaron Brown, who had a 17 game loan spell in our last Football League season, turned out for Moors last season. Whilst winger Simon Travis, a Gary Megson signing from August 1997, spent the 2008-09 season at Damson Park, now called The Automated Technology Group Stadium for sponsorship reasons.

VISITOR'S SQUAD

In their National League North matches five men have started every game in  Beswick, Daly, Dean, Franklin, and Nottingham.

Ryan Beswick
This list perhaps gives clues as to the basis of their success, with four defenders included. Solihull's goals have been spread amongst eight of the squad with Knight and Moore top scoring with six each, although the majority of their goals came in the first month of the season. Keeper Dan Lewis was injured at the start of the month and Solihull brought in 23-year-old Swiss born Villa keeper Benji Siegrist on loan, and he has been working to keep the opposition at bay for the last three games. Over half-a-dozen men in their squad have faced County in a Solihull shirt previously, but they also similar number of players who have figured against the Hatters during their Nuneaton Town days.

NameApp.GlsPosKnown Past Clubs (may not be complete)
Daniel Lewis 12...0 G Kidderminster H, Moor Green, Redditch U, Kidderminster H
Sheridon Martinez 3...0 G Solihull Moors, Coleshill T, Solihull Moors, Bedworth U(L), Hereford U, Tividale, Rushall Oly
Benjamin Siegrist 3...0 G Aston Villa, Burton A(L), Cambridge U(L)
Gavin Cowan 2+1..0 CD Braintree T, Canvey Isl, Shrewsbury T, Grays Ath, Nuneaton Bor, AFC Telford U, Fleetwood T, Gainsborough Tr, Nuneaton T
Liam Daly 13+2..2 CD Birmingham C, Romulus, Evesham U, Redditch U, Solihull Moors, Halesowen T, Leamington, Barwell, Brackley T(L), Leamington
Gareth Dean 15...0 CD Leicester C, Nuneaton Bor, Hinckley U, Alfreton T, Nuneaton T
Theo Streete 14...0 CD Walsall, Derby Co, Doncaster Rov, Rotherham U, Solihull Moors, Alfreton T, Nuneaton T
Joe Ballinger 0...0 D Solihull Moors, Redditch U(L), Stafford R(L), Stafford R, L to Sutton Coldfield T(L)
Connor Franklin 14...0 D Leicester C, Nuneaton Bor, Hinckley U, Alfreton T, Nuneaton T
Nathaniel Kelly 0...0 D Birmingham C, Kidderminster H(L)
Steven Leslie 1...0 FB/M Shrewsbury T, Hereford U(L), Wrexham, AFC Telford U, Worcester C, Rushall Oly
Michael Nottingham 14...1 D Castle Vale, Redditch U, Romulus, Gresley
James Armson 4+8..3 M Coventry C, Nuneaton T
Ryan Beswick 14+1..0 M Milton Keynes D, Leicester C, Redditch U(L), Kettering T, Kings Lynn
Jack Byrne 7+5..3 M  Solihull Bor, Redditch U, Kidderminster H
Junior English 1+2..0 M Moor Green, Walsall, Birmingham C
Callum Gittings 2+8..0 M Wolverhampton W, Alvechurch, Kidderminster H
Lewis Hayden 1...0 M L to Redditch U(L), Sutton Coldfield T(L), Alvechurch(L), Chasetown(L)
Adam Walker 7+6..0 M Coventry C, Nuneaton T(L), Nuneaton T
Akwasi Asante 9+5..4 F Birmingham C, Northampton T(L), Shrewsbury T(L), Kidderminster H
Andy Brown 8+1..3 F Hinckley U, Nuneaton Bor, AFC Telford U, Nuneaton T
Darren Byfield 0...0 F Aston Villa, Preston NE(L), Northampton T(L), Cambridge U(L), Blackpool(L), Walsall, Rotherham U(L), Rotherham U, Sunderland, Gillingham, Millwall, Bristol C, Doncaster Rov, Oldham Ath(L), Oldham Ath, Walsall, Solihull Moors, AFC Telford U, Tamworth
Darryl Knights 12+1..6 F Ipswich T, Yeovil T(L), Yeovil T, Cambridge U(L), Kidderminster H(L), Kidderminster H, Newport Co
Stefan Moore 12+2..6 F Romulus, Aston Villa, Chesterfield(L), Millwall(L), Leicester C(L), Queens Park R, Port Vale(L), Walsall, Kidderminster H, Halesowen T, St Neots T, Brackley T(DR), Leamington

The visitors will be without midfielder Jack Byrne due to an ongoing suspension. The FA website also indicates that County should have Abs Baggie available for selection after his recent suspension. Sean O'Hanlon has now collected five bookings, but he will also be available, as the same site shows his resultant one game suspension is due for the visit of Chorley.
If you are making the journey to the Midlands, don't forget to check out our comprehensive [Solihull Moors Away Ground guide]

NATIONAL LEAGUE NORTH

Last Saturday saw three of the five visiting side hit four goals, most surprisingly of all Curzon Ashton. For a brief time it looked like County would climb a place as Hednesford Town came back from 0-2 down early in the second half of their game with Nuneaton. But the visitors Nuneaton regained their lead, and were the only movers in the top five. As usual, positions around County are included below. The other games down for Saturday (with all the top seven except County at home) are: AFC Fylde v Stalybridge Cel, AFC Telford U v Alfreton T, Boston U v FCUM, Bradford PA v Lowestoft T, Chorley v Brackley T, Curzon Ashton v Gainsborough Tr, Gloucester C v Corby T, Harrogate T v Worcester C, Nuneaton T v North Ferriby U, Tamworth v Hednesford T.


Home Away PT
Pos Pl W D L F A W D L F A GD Pt
1 AFC Fylde 13 4 2 1 14 7 5 0 1 12 6 13 29
2 Solihull Moors 12 5 0 0 10 1 3 4 0 15 8 16 28
3 Nuneaton T 14 3 2 2 9 8 5 1 1 13 6 8 27
4 Harrogate T 13 3 2 1 10 9 5 0 2 10 4 7 26
5 COUNTY 14 3 3 1 7 6 4 2 1 8 5 4 26
6 Tamworth 14 2 4 0 6 4 3 4 1 12 7 7 23
7 Boston U 15 4 1 3 9 12 3 1 3 14 12 -1 23

There are six teams from our league who have made it through to the FA Cup first round proper. AFC Fylde, who face a trip to Millwall; Brackley Town, H v Newport County; FC United of Manchester, H v Chesterfield; Gainsborough Trinity, H v Shrewsbury Town; Worcester City, A v Sheffield United; and Stalybridge Celtic, who beat North Ferriby United 8-7 on penalties last night (with only one kick being missed), to earn a trip to Doncaster Rovers. The FCUM tie could impact on County's fixture list, as a win for the home side would result in the postponement of our first game in December.

RIASA VISIT EP

After a disappointing result last week against Hyde, losing 2-6, County's reserves were back in action last night in a game at EP. Their opponents were the somewhat cumbersomely named Richmond International Academic & Soccer Academy South. The Leeds based organisation has a few teams in the Lancashire League this season, and two in County's South division. The Reserves managed a 3-2 win in a lively encounter. The Hatters got on top early on and had already had a shot cleared off the line, before a clearance from the visiting keeper was intercepted, and Hurst clipped the ball back over him into the net. The lively start continued, with RIASA hitting the post, before County capitalized on a midfield mistake, allowing Walters to score the second. Despite the scoreline, RIASA continued to look dangerous, and hit the post for a second time, but there was no change to the score before half time. The visitors got a quick reward for their positivity, when early in the second half Paul McFarlane responded quickest to a loose ball, after a good save by Havern. After 65 minutes the same player levelled the scores. Despite being second best for much of the half to that point, County came back strongly and within five minutes had restored their lead through top scorer George West. They were then able to up the pressure, restricting RIASA to attacking on the break, and had few moments of concern until the final whistle.

Team: Daniel Havern, Eddie Fulwood, Jordan Fitton, Matthew Todd, Connor Hancock, Nic Giannotta, Jon Hurst, Welsby, Jordache Walters. George West, George Blackwell. Subs Jordan Young, Tomas Giannotta, Will Hartley, Jack Hindle, Jordan Rogers. 
Full time at EP posted on RIASA's twitter page ..
with a good shot of The Danny Bergara Stand
In the Hyde game County's goals were scored by Jack Hindle and Jon Hurst after 30 and 47 minutes respectively. 

As for the County Academy side, next Monday sees a top of the table clash as County are scheduled to travel to second placed Kendal Town for their Lancashire U18 Floodlit League match.

Ian Watts

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