Solihull Moors v Boreham Wood
Saturday 18th September 2021, 3.00pm
SportNation.bet Stadium, Vanarama National League
Match Preview written by Aaron Bennis (BWFC Media Assistant)
This Saturday, Wood look to make it seven games unbeaten as they travel to Solihull Moors.
The Moors have enjoyed a comfortable start to the season, losing just once with two wins and two draws and currently sit ninth in the National League table.
Wood were unable to move top of the National League after being held to a second draw in three games by FC Halifax, although they remain unbeaten with four wins from their opening six games.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
An experienced head at the heart of the Moors’ defence, Alex Gudger progressed through the youth ranks at Nuneaton as they won promotion to the Conference prior to a permanent switch to Rugby Town, where he would soon win plaudits. Initially signing as a 19-year old, Gudger went on to play 111 times for the club that began with a Player of the Season worthy debut campaign, before being named club captain ahead of the 2013/14 season. After a year at Worchester City, he moved to Brackley Town and was a member of the squad that came ever so close to winning promotion to the National League in 2017/18. His form for the Saints also saw him help the side to reach Wembley, securing the win in an FA Trophy final against Bromley. His two year spell at St James’ Park soon came to an end as he would move to Solihull Moors, where he has remained since the 2018/19 season. He received plenty of recognition for his performances at the back, collecting a number of awards at the end of his debut season before being named in the 2019/20 National League Team of the Season in his second. He has now made over 100 appearances for the club, with his century being cemented in the last meeting between Solihull Moors and Boreham Wood.
The footballing journey of 22-year old Joe Sbarra began initially at West Bromwich Albion, eventually graduating from the Burton Albion academy in 2017 where he made his senior debut at the age of 18 on the final day of the 2016/17 season. 76 appearances for the Brewers saw him feature in both the Championship and League One, scoring one goal. After failing to retain a place in the starting line-up, Sbarra dropped to the National League in 2018/19, joining the Moors on loan before making the move permanent at the end of the season following his release from the Pirelli Stadium. His six appearances played a small part in their second place finish where they narrowly missed out on promotion to League Two. A versatile midfielder, he has played in a variety of attacking roles throughout his career both centrally and on the wing, and he has seemingly added goals to his game with six in five games from midfield already this season, more than his entire 2020/21 total.
Former Rangers striker Andy Dallas was unveiled as a Solihull Moors player in the summer and has taken to his new team like a duck to water with three goals in five games. Born in Glasgow, he signed his first professional contract with Rangers in 2016 and made his first team debut while on loan at Stenhousemeir, scoring three goals in six appearances before a second loan with Greenock Morton. He came to England in 2019 with a move to Cambridge United but he failed to nail down a regular spot in the first team, playing just 33 times over two years, of which just nine were starts. An initial one-month loan that was extended to the end of the season was agreed with Weymouth in January 2021, and he went on to show red-hot form in the National League with 12 goals. This convinced Neal Ardley to bring the 22-year old to Damson Park, agreeing a two-year deal.
LAST TIME WE MET
Boreham Wood 2-2 Solihull Moors
Saturday 27th February 2021
Meadow Park, Vanarama National League
The points were shared as equalisers from Kabongo Tshimanga and Adam Rooney cancelled out initial strikes from Alex Gudger and Junior Morias.
It was the away side that burst into a rapid start as they opened the scoring after just two minutes through Gudger’s header. Ryan Boot in the Moors’ net had to be alert to keep out a strike from Tyrone Marsh as Wood looked to respond quickly, before doing the same to prevent Tshimanga from levelling the score when he found himself bearing down on goal on the half-hour mark. The 24-year old would soon break the resolute Moors defence though, as with half time approaching Jamal Fyfield went down in the box, giving Tshimanga the opportunity to equalise from the spot. This he did, making no mistake from 12 yards as he slotted past Boot to send the hosts going into the interval level. Solihull were keen to retake the lead and nearly found a way past Nathan Ashmore shortly after the break through James Ball. Their quality on the counter was clear throughout the second half as they continued to look lively, but it was the Wood who stole their way into their first lead of the afternoon. Kieran Murtagh claimed the ball in midfield before slipping in Morias who finished confidently. The visitors weren’t behind for long though, as five minutes later Rooney stepped up to convert a penalty of his own, sending Ashmore the wrong way after Nathan Cameron had been fouled in the box. Ashmore again needed to be on hand to tip an effort from Joe Sbarra round the post at full stretch as the Moors looked to get the three points in the bag. This became a uphill task however when the game reached the latter stages, with Mitch Hancox seeing red after a late challenge on Tshimanga. Boot was then forced into a fine save to deny Fyfield at the death, ensuring the points would be split both ways.
PRE MATCH WORDS
HOW TO WATCH
All spectators are advised to purchase their ticket for tomorrow’s fixture in advance for a discounted price and it will also avoid queuing at the ticket box office. Away supportors are to enter through turnstile 9.
You can keep up with the action via our Twitter and Instagram pages, where there will be regular updates throughout the course of the match.
OUR CLUB. OUR TOWN. OUR COMMUNITY.