Moors draw comfort in Cup from Daly heroics
Witton Albion 0 Solihull Moors 2
DEFENDER Liam Daly confirmed Solihull Moors’ place in the FA Cup first- round draw with a brilliant late strike to wrap up victory at Witton Albion.
Adi Yussuf had given the visitors a slender one- goal advantage at the break but it was the towering centrehalf who finally ended the hopes of the Evo- Stik Northern Premier League side with his strike eight minutes from time.
And Moors boss Tim Flowers was full of praise for the Solihull stalwart.
“It’s a wonderful strike,” he admitted. “He’ll be talking about it, for sure, I don’t think he could quite believe it himself.
“People see the big, strong, powerful centre- half who can come and head and dominate but, I tell you what, he’s a good footballer.
“It took the pressure off us a little bit, just getting that extra goal, and then we looked like we might get one or two more.”
Witton had a handful of early chances but could not find a way past Ryan Boot, who kept out a Rob Hopley effort before denying Will Jones after he had pounced on a weak back- pass.
Moors settled into their stride, though, and after Yussuf had put one effort over the target, he found his range to break the deadlock on 39 minutes, heading a Tyrone Williams cross past Greg Hall from 12 yards.
It was after the break the visitors began to take control and would have had the tie wrapped up a little sooner had it not been for the Witton keeper. Hall did well to keep out a Kyle Storer volley, recovered well to save Luke Maxwell’s follow- up and, soon after, denied Daly when he clawed away a close- range header.
But there was no stopping Daly’s thumping drive from the edge of the area eight minutes from time.
“All in all, the bottom line was to get in the hat and make sure we were not a National League scalp,” Flowers added.
“There were some half- scrambles and blocks but we got our noses in front, which was great.
“Second half, I thought we were a little bit more comfortable. We played a little bit more on the front foot, created one or two chances and their goalkeeper made some good saves. For the most part we stuck to what we’re good at.” On Alex Gudger’s injury, ahead of Saturday’s trip to Maidstone United, Flowers added: “I think Gudge will be alright. He felt a tightening in his groin, so I’m hoping he’ll be alright with a bit of rest and treatment early in the week.”
WITTON ALBION: Hall, Gardner, Devine, Wardle, Humphreys, Lingouba, McKenna, Brewster, Foley, Hopley, Jones. Subs: Booth, Wilson, Yates, Williams, Moore.
SOLIHULL MOORS: Boot, Gudger, Daly, Williams, Reckord, Storer, Hylton, Thomas, Maxwell, Murphy, Yussuf. Subs: Osborne, Carter, Carline, Flowers, Wright, O’Keeffe
Moors Academy youngster Mikkel Hirst has received a call- up to St Kitts and Nevis Under- 20s, ahead of the Concacaf Under- 20s Championships in Bradenton, Florida, next month.
The Sugar Boyz have been placed in Group D and will face off against Martinique, Dominica, Guadeloupe, Canada and Panama.
Hirst has been plying his trade out on loan with Midland Football League Premier side Romulus, getting some match minutes as he continues his development.
On his international call- up, the fullback said: “It’s really good to be called up.
“I’m really excited about going to Miami to play in this tournament.
“There will be a lot of decent teams to play against and I’m just looking forward to showing my stuff.
“I’m looking to play my best football as I’ve been told to do from a young age. I want to impress the coaches and other players around me.”
Hirst will link up with former Moors Academy youngsters Tyrese Shade and Romario Martin who are also named in the squad heading out to Florida, to once again highlight the ever- growing success of Moors’ Academy.
Adi Yussuf, left, celebrates with Jordan Murphy after scoring for Moors and, right, Murphy in an aerial duel with a Witton Albion defender.