Moors Academy were edged out of this season’s Saturday Vase at the Third Round by MLF Division Two outfit, Coton Green. A strangely down-beat Moors side did not really get top grips with the game until the fin al fifteen minutes when they did everything, but score.
Gough and Millan were a constant threat for the home side, and as early as the first minute Moors lost the ball in mid-field for Gough to pounce. As he passed forward there were groans from the home supporters as the off-side flag went up. It was a schoolboy mistake, and not the last of the afternoon.
With Coton Green on the front foot, Moors found it hard to get out of their own half. It was not until the twelfth minute that Shade produced Moors first attempt on goal. He was over from thirty yards.
Coton Green were well on top, but without really threatening the Moors goal. The home side were closing down every Moors player with the ball, there was little or no room in mid-field where Green were flooding the ground.
After a quarter of an hour, Coton won a corner on their right, with the Moors defender out of position Jones hammered the ball home.
Green continued to be on top, but reverted to not threatening the Moors goal. Indeed at the half way point both sides had managed but two shots on target each. The factor that stood out in the whole game some nasty fouls committed by the home side. A number of their players were fortunate not to see yellow, not to say red. Referee Legg had warned two or three of their players, but it was to be the sixtieth minute before Gough’s name was entered in his book. By then Okoro had been booked for not retreating at a Coton Free Kick, and McNally for a foul some twenty years out that could easily have been red.
As the second half progressed, gradually Moors managed to get into the game, without being anywhere near their real selves. Still, Coton were not the force they had been before the break. There was a nasty, and accidental, clash of heads between Willock and Millan with the Moorsman coming off worse. He did resume after treatment, but one did wonder.
There were a number of really good attacks by the Moors, but each time the final ball was wanting. On the hour mark, Tyrese Shade, who had been really quiet, suddenly burst into life. We made progress down Moors right flank, sent over a good cross and Rhys Mason was on hand to slam the ball home. A side issue was that as the move began, Callum Coyle was crudely taken out of the game off the ball. This went unseen by the Officials, for if it had been spied by them, a red card would surely have been the result.
Most spectators were now saying that the Moors would go on to win the game, when they allowed the impressive Gough to score from a cross from Coton’s left. Both home goals were, unchareticistly, the result of mistakes in the young Moors defence.
There were twenty minutes left, and as if at the click of a switch, Moors Academy began to play as we know they can. The home defence was bombarded as they pressed forward in search of the equalizer. It was not to be. Too little, too late, and Moors were edged out of the Saturday Vase by an ordinary Coton Green side who will be giving thanks.
Afterwards, Moors Academy Coach Sam Manoochehri said, “It was disappointing. We were flat and they more game savvy than us.”
On Boxing Day, Moors Academy get back to league action with an Away fixture with high-flying Northfield Town at Shenley Lane, Selly Oak: KO 2pm.
Moors: Nitiri; McNally (Clarke); Hirst; Willock; Taylor (c); Bennett; Shade; Ryan Andrews; Okoro (Coyle); Mullally (Siatous); Mason . Subs not used: Nhundu & Forrest