BOSTON UNITED 1 SOLIHULL MOORS 4: Pilgrims tormented once again

Jason Alexander.
Jason Alexander.

Yet again, Solihull Moors returned to the Jakemans Stadium to torment Boston United.

The Moors - the last team to beat the Pilgrims at home in the league, back in October of last year - did exactly that once more this evening.

Darryl Knights’ brace and late efforts from Jack Byrne and Akwasi Asante cancelled out Dayle Southwell’s penalty, meaning that Solihull have now won three and drawn two of the past six meetings in Lincolnshire.

And no matter how sharp, slick and direct the away side looked, they were given a big helping hand by the hosts, who were guilty of sloppiness in defence and poor finishing.

And were it not for debutant keeper Jason Alexander, the margin of defeat could have been a lot greater.

With Henrich Ravas on duty with the Slovakian under 19s squad, 18-year-old Alexander was handed his debut between the sticks.

Aziz Deen-Conteh also made his first appearance after arriving on a month’s loan from Port Vale.

The 22-year-old left back, a former England under 19s representative, was brought in as cover following Zak Mills’ hamstring injury.

Moors may have lost Omar Bogle - last season’s Vanarama North leading scorer - to Grimsby Town in the summer, but they didn’t appear to be lacking in firepower as they kicked off the season with a 3-0 victory against title favourites AFC Fylde.

And they offered plenty more going forward this evening.

The match began with both sides looking for that early advantage.

For Boston, Jay Rollins guided his effort into the Moors side-netting before Southwell dragged a 20-yarder the wrong side of the post.

In between those two efforts, Solihull’s Stefan Moore latched onto Ryan Beswick’s deep back-post cross, but could only force his volley across the face of Alexander’s goal.

The two debutants were called upon to keep parity when Moors’ counter-attacking began to stretch the Boston back line.

Alexander stood his ground when Moore burts through on goal and attempted to chip him. And when the forward squared the loose ball to Adam Walker, Deen-Conteh god his body in the way.

The away side’s persistence paid off in the 28th minute as Knights put them in front. He had the simple task of guiding Michael Nottingham’s square ball home from close range as Moors cut through the home side’s defence far too easily.

And it could have been more when Andy Brown powered a header towards goal, but the forward met his match as Alexander pushed the effort away from danger.

With half time approaching the hosts attempted to pull level, but Carl Piergianni’s effort from distance flew wide and Southwell couldn’t direct Kyle Dixon’s corner on target.

Knights doubled his team’s advantage with an absolute gift six minutes after the re-start. After collecting Piergianni’s kamizake pass across the back line he had time to control before slotting beyond the helpless Alexander.

United should have reduced the arrears almost instantly, but Mark Jones somehow guided his effort wide after meeting Dixon’s low cross. Moments later Garner’s header met the same fate.

Another fine save from Alexander kept United in the hunt. When Beswick broke through the stopper got his big frame down quickly to palm away the danger.

United substitute Jamie McGhee livened things up as he arrived on the scene, but his strike lacked the fizz to beat Danny Lewis.

With eight minutes left on the clock, Southwell gave the Pilgrims some hope as he smashed home from the penalty spot.

It was Southwell who slipped in Kaine Felix who was clattered to the ground by Theo Streete.

Southwell made no mistake from the spot, netting his second in as many games as he drilled hard down the middle.

But three minutes later Solihull made it 3-1, Jack Byrne awarded too much space in the box, where he calmly got the better of Alexander with a low effort.

The final insult arrived deep into stoppage time as sub Akwasi Asante blasted home the fourth Moors goal.

UNITED: Alexander, Marrs, Deen-Conteh (Deacey 70), Roberts (McGhee 70), Garner, Piergianni, Felix, Dixon, Southwell, Jones, Rollins; Subs (not used): Friend, Johnson, Sheridan.

MOORS: Lewis, Nottingham, Franklin, Daly, Streete, Dean, Moore (Asante 74), Walker (Byrne HT), Brown (Gittings 87), Beswick, Knights; Subs (not used): Cowan, Armson.

Att: 1,140 (22).

Ref: Josh Smith.