Solihull Moors 3 Dorking Wanderers 0
Vanarama National League Premier
August 27th 2022
Dorking were defeated for the second time this season after losing to Solihull Moors at The Armco Arena.
Joe Sbarra's early goal gave the hosts a deserved lead but Wanderers task became even harder shortly after the opener as Isaac Philpot was dismissed for bringing down Andrew Dallas and adjudged to have been the last man. The resulting free kick deflected wide, but the subsequent corner ball was headed home by skipper Callum Howe. Wanderers remained competitive and had a great chance to half the defeceit after Bobby-Joe Taylor was brought down by keeper Louie Moulden in the second half inside the box, Ryan Seager stepped up to take the penalty but had his kick saved by the on- loan Wolves stopper. Sub Josh Kelly added emphasis to the scoreline in stoppage time from a direct free kick.
Marc White made one change to the side which started last Saturday at home to Gateshead; Ryan Seager returned to partner Alfie Rutherford up top as Jack Jebb made way and James McShane dropped back into central midfield. Jimmy Muitt was named in the matchday squad for the first time this season after returning from injury, and new loan signing Dan Quick was also named on the bench.
The hosts started brightly, the movement of a dynamic front four plus influential work from midfielder Callum Maycock caused Wanderers bother in the early going. After a spell of pressure around the box and succession of corners, Moors captain Callum Howe had a header cleared off the goal line through a combination of Huk and a Wanderers outfield body.
The deserved breakthrough came just past the quarter hour mark as Joe Sbarra and Maycock linked to play a neat one-two at the edge of the box, Sbarra moving into space and calmly tucking home the returned pass from several yards out.
Just a few minutes later, Wanderers afternoon suddenly got a lot more difficult as they were reduced to ten men. A through ball from deep released Andrew Dallas straight down the middle of the Wanderers half, Philpot taking the decision to bring down the striker, and despite protest that the ball had already run through to Huk in goal at the time of the challenge, the referee adjudged Philpot to be the last man and produced a red rather than yellow card.
The resulting free kick deflected wide for a corner, which this time skipper Howe managed to head home, looping his header into the top right corner of goal.
Marc White reacted to the setback with a double change on the half-hour, introducing Jimmy Muitt and handing a debut to Dan Quick as James McShane and Alfie Rutherford were withdrawn. The manager later acknowledged the decision to take both attackers off was with Monday's game against Boreham Wood in mind and maximising rest in the circumstances. Niall McManus came into midfield as Muitt went wide right, Dan Quick and Luke Moore would be fluid in covering the right side of the back three and holding midfield positions.
Wanderers had rarely ventured into the Moors defensive third but Muitt was sharp after he came on and instigated a couple of attacks forward. Neal Ardley's side were still carrying a real threat when they got forward though, and should have made it three in the lead up to half-time; Ryan Barnett's pin-point cross found Alex Reid in space several yards out, but the on-loan Stockport County man headed over. Sbarra's fierce strike would be parried away by Huk, only to fall into the path of Dallas who stuck the ball away from close range, but was deemed offside. The Scottish striker would be cautioned for dissent in the aftermath of the decision, as would Josh Taylor up the other end after Wanderers had a strong penalty appeal waved away.
Half-Time: Solihull 2 Dorking 0
Wanderers got on the front-foot after the restart, Muitt continuing to have an impact getting forward, and it was his agile ball carrying through midfield that led to Wanderers gaining an opportunity to get back in the game. Josh Taylor picked up the ball from Muitt and threaded a through ball into the path of Bobby-Joe, who upon knocking the ball round Moulden was brought down by the stopper, penalty awarded. Seager stepped up, but saw his kick saved as Moulden got down well to his right to parry the ball away.
Bobby-Joe and McManus were also increasingly key in getting Wanderers upfield; the duo combined down the left ahead of a cross landing at the back post for Muitt, who couldn't fashion a strong enough contact on his volley. Seager picked up the pieces, but had his strike at goal well closed down.
Neal Ardley made his three substitutions from the hour mark onward and the trio would inject energy back into the home side's performance, regaining control of the game. Striker Josh Kelly and winger Connor Parsons in particular were lively, the duo having shots blocked, before full back James Clarke would see his header come back off the top of bar after meeting a deep cross from the left. The yellow cards racked up for Wanderers in this period as frustration crept in with late challenges.
Seager would be presented with another opportunity to get a goal back late on, receiving a misplaced pass in central midfield and surging forward, but not able to generate enough power with his strike from the edge of the box, comfortably saved by Moulden.
Into four minutes of added on time, Solihull grabbed a third goal to punctuate the score-line. A free kick given away at the edge of the box was punished as Kelly dispatched the ball accurately into the top left corner.
A disappointing day for Wanderers after coming into the game with back to back wins, Solihull by contrast are now unbeaten in their opening five games. Marc White's side will have a quick opportunity to bounce back as Boreham Wood visit Meadowbank in 48 hours time.
Solihull Moors (4-2-3-1): 18 Louie Moulden, 2 James Clarke, 5 Callum Howe (c), 15 Fiacre Kelleher, 3 Ben Coker; 8 Callum Maycock, 10 Jamey Osbourne (27 Connor Parsons 74'); 11 Ryan Barnett, 7 Joe Sbarra (20 Callum Whelan 60'), 9 Andrew Dallas (14 Josh Kelly 65'); 19 Alex Reid
Unused Subs: 12 Reiss McNally, 16 Ethan Vaughan
Goals: Sbarra 16', Howe 22', Kelly 90+'
Yellow Cards: Dallas 41', Clarke 49
Dorking Wanderers (3-5-2): 1 Slav Huk, 2 Isaac Philpot, 20 Dan Gallagher, 14 Jordan Cheadle (23 Jack Jebb 46'); 6 Niall McManus, 18 Luke Moore, 17 Josh Taylor, 11 James McShane (c) (7 Jimmy Muitt 30'), 3 Bobby-Joe Taylor; 9 Ryan Seager, 10 Alfie Rutherford (25 Dan Quick 30')
Unused Subs: 4 Sami El-Abd, 16 Nicky Wheeler
Yellow Cards: J Taylor 43', Moore 50', Gallagher 63', BJ Taylor 68', M. White 71', Muitt 79'
Red Card: Philpot 20'
Referee: Ed Duckworth
Man Of The Match: Callum Howe (Official Home Selection)