Moors Academy Manager Sam Manoochehri was full of praise for his young charges after this bruising encounter at Enville.
“We have learned how to take care of ourselves,” he said, “These are three well earned, and valuable, points.”
Athletic began in robust mood, and some poor distribution by Ben Nitiri nearly allowed the home side to take an early lead. However, his defence came to his rescue, and not for the first or last time. Mind you Nitiri makes up for this with some stunning short stopping. Yet Enville won a corner on their right and Arnold had a free header that flew well wide.
This provoked the visitors into response, and Hirst produced a great cross from the left. Martin’s snap shot was blocked and his follow up was wide. Callum Coyle went on a number of surges into the home area and was clearly causing the home defence some trouble.
On the quarter hour mark, Athletic were awarded a free kick some thirty yards out which Colwell headed wide. Another free header. Straight after this, Moors put together a wonderful move from deep, it ended with another Martin shot being blocked for a corner that was saved. But, it brought the travelling support to life. Indeed at times it seemed that there were only travelling supporters present.
As the clock ticked towards 30 minutes, Moors forced a number of corners and penned Athletic back in their own territory.
Then, a moment of sheer class. It defined the difference between these two sides. Nitiri sent a long ball to Bennett who passed it on to Andrews, then to Parsons who beat the ‘keeper from 12 yards. It was a real peach of a team effort. From then on there was only one side in the first-half of the game. The Moors were purring. Ten minutes to the break, Moors had a free kick some eighteen yards out and in a central position. Tyrese Shade’s shot was saved, then bundled home by a joyous Reiss McNally to double the lead.
There was still time for a third before half-time. Josh Parsons made progress along the left flank, crossed to Martin who tapped home with ease.
The Moors were well worth their three-goal lead, and Enville trudged to the dressing room for their break. Whatever was said in that room had its effect, for they really set about the Moors after the re-start. The Moors kept to their game plan, and another wonderful move saw Andrews beat four men as he took the ball into the area and passing to Shade whose shot was too high.
A loss of concentration let the troublesome Stearn beat Nitiri from ten yards to bring a goal back for Enville. The Moors continued to employ their neat passing game, and continued to worry the home side. The foul count was mounting, at the end the home side had committed twenty-four fouls, twice as many as The Moors.
With the mist closing in Stearn pounced on a long ball to grab a second goal. There was a nasty incident between him and Nitiri after which the Moors ‘Keeper was shown a yellow card. Many in the crowd thought the scorer deserved one as well, but referee Hopkins – who had good game in rather difficult circumstance – thought otherwise.
The Moors supporters were getting nervous now. Surely their favourites could not throw away a three-goal advantage? As the game moved into its closing stages, Shade, Coyle, Okoro, Martin and Medford began to assert their authority. Enville had little response, and it was no surprise, and well deserved, when Shade received the ball from Jerome Clarke, beat three men and the ‘keeper to make it four for the Moors. They could have had five, because Okoro produced a wonderful cross from the left, only for the impressive Shade to miskick.
At the death, Enville were well beaten and the Moors deservedly take all three points.
On Saturday 14th January 2017, Moors Academy travel to Barton United for a league match (2pm kick-off).
Moors: Nitiri; McNally  (Clarke); Hirst; Willock; Taylor (c); Bennett (Okoro); Shade ; Ryan Andrews; Martin ; Coyle; Parsons  (Medford). Subs not used: Geobey & Siatous