Solihull Moors 1 Boston United 2: Miller double does it in a tale of two penalties

Ricky Miller.
Ricky Miller.

Ricky Miller once again became Solihull Moors’ tormentor as Boston United picked up a vital three points.

The two Skrill North rivals began the day with play-off hopes, despite both sitting outside of the top five.

But as the final whistle blew, it was United who took a giant leap closer to their dream in what was a game of three penalties.

Spot kicks proved the difference on the day as Boston won two, both of which Miller dispatched.

At the other end, Omar Bogle missed the target from 12 yards.

Dennis Greene opted to stick with the 4-4-2 diamond formation which had brought clean sheets against Gloucester City and Altrincham in the Pilgrims’ past two matches.

But two changes saw Zak Mills and Junior Konadu replace Spencer Weir-Daley and Indy Aujla.

While Konadu - back from his violent head clash with teammate Conor Marshall - swapped places with Aujla in the heart of midfield, Mills made his debut at right back, with Jamie McGhee pushing up to join Ricky Miller up front.

Meanwhile, a recurring knee niggle kept Boston’s 21-goal striker Marc Newsham sidelined.

United thumped the Moors 4-1 back in January, thanks to Miller’s hat-trick and a goal from Scott Garner.

And this match looked like it was going to have a few goals in it as, early on, both teams weren’t afraid to push forward in numbers.

United’s Lewis King was untroubled by long-range efforts from Jordan Gough and Bogle while Moors keeper Jaz Singh did well to push McGhee’s powerful free kick round his post.

Mills then marked his debut with an important block which diverted Omar Bogle’s goalbound strike.

It was that tried and tested method which saw the Pilgrims edge in front in the 37th minute, Miller being fouled in the box before converting the spot kick.

After already tormenting the hosts with his January treble, he bagged his fourth against Moors this campaign with a powerful strike.

But question marks were raised as to why referee Marvyn Amphlett took no action against culprit Alex Dean, who appeared to be the last man.

Solihull had a decent shout for a penalty turned down seconds later as Bogle went down under Carl Piergianni’s challenge.

But Moors were finally granted a spot kick of their own a minute before the interval. It was a soft decision as Taylor dropped to the floor after little, if any, contact with Garner.

But a cynic would suggest justice was served as Bogle hit the outside of the post from 12 yards out.

Solihull refused to give up the ghost and deep into first-half stoppage time Rob Elvins’ header looked destined for the Boston net, until King pulled off a fantastic reaction save.

Bogle made amends as he drew Moors level in the 63rd minute. After Jay Dowie was penalised for handball on the edge of the Boston penalty area, the strike drilled home a low drive which defelected beyond the diving King.

Boston looked to gain the upper hand again as substitute Weir-Daley saw a low strike well held by Singh and Miller volleyed over from 20 yards out.

Dowie was next up to try his luck from 35 yards out, but Singh parried well.

However, Boston took the lead for a second time with 13 minutes remaining as Ricky Miller won and dispatched his second penalty of the day.

This time Singh spilled Weir-Daley’s strike and, as Miller nicked the ball from in front of him, the keeper’s outstretched arm tripped the forward.

Miller’s second penalty was powerfully driven in off the crossbar.

The hosts pushed on in the closing stages, but a hatful of half-chances - interspersed with some desperate but effective defending - could not be forced goalwards.

SOLIHULL: Singh, Dean, Gough, Denny (Birch 58), Elvins, Geohagon, English, Taundry, Bogle, Taylor (Blackwood 82), Knights; Subs (not used): Nottingham, Fleet, Angus.

UNITED: King, Mills, Steer, Dowie, Garner, Piergianni, Milnes, Konadu (Weir-Daley 69), Miller, McGhee (Galinski 75), Agnew (Aujla 82); Subs (not used): Ross, Hewitt.

Ref: Marvyn Amphlett.

Att: 459.