Moors Academy, had not played a MFL game sine Saturday 14th January! Would they be rusty? Would the lay-off, enforced by bad weather and County call-ups, take its toll?
On a damp, and rather dark February afternoon, we learned that this young Moors side were on fire against Shipston. Right from the first whistle, they were on top. The visitors were reduced to just one shot on target, and two off target.
The Moors set out their stall to play football. Excelsior preferred the long ball and a robust approach to their opposition. Time and again, Shipston fopund it hard to progress through a midfield controlled by Dylon Bennett, Ryan Andrews, Callum Coyle and Josh Parsons.
All The Moors' players produced first class performances. The only surprise was that it took 22 minutes to score. Referee Penney, who by the way, had a very good game in difficult circumstances, awarded Moors a free-kick some 35 yards out. Bennett passed to Tyrese Shade, who sent the ball on to Hirst. The ball was cleared, but it was a lovely move. Three minutes later, another free-kick, perhaps a tad nearer, was taken by captain Liam Taylor. He made no mistake, and opened the scoring.
Seven minutes before the break, Josh Parsons showed the gulf between the sides, when – from eighteen yards – he just rolled the ball home. There was still time for a third before half-time.
Kyle Mullally (pictured) was brought down by Cox, the visiting keeper. Referee Penney decided a yellow card would suffice, and awarded the spot kick. Mullally himself took the penalty and, although Cox managed to get a finger tip to the ball, he could not prevent the ball hitting the net.
A three-goal lead at half-time is always welcome. Yet it took The Moors a few minutes to get going after their cup of tea. Shipston enjoyed their best spell of the game. Matthew Partridge especially was impressive. However, as the clock ticked on, the fitness of the young Moors players began to tell. Shade came into the game and tormented the opposition. It was his pass that produced Mullally’s second goal, before the tricky number seven grabbed a goal himself.
The difference between the sides was reflected in the final score. As far as Shipston were concerned, it was a day to forget.
Shipston remain in fourth place in Midland Football League Division Three with 37 points from 21 games. Moors are in fifth place with 35 points from 16 games.
Next Saturday (25th February), Moors Academy welcome Alcester Town to The Beehive, for a 3pm kick-off.
Moors: Ben Nitiri; Reece MacNally (Nathan Hansard); Mikkel Hirst; Marshall Willock; Liam Taylor (c); Dylon Bennett; Tyrese Shade; Ryan Andrews; Kyle Mullally (Owen Siatous); Callum Coyle (James Medford); Josh Parsons. Subs not used: Montal Okoro & Jack Forrest.