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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

31 January 2023 Venue ARMCO Arena Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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Vanarama National League

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Match Reports

Solihull 1-2 Notts

Rodrigues scores two penalties to win it

31 January 2023

Two penalties from Ruben Rodrigues secured a comeback win to send us back to the top of the National League - extending our unbeaten league run to a record-breaking 20 matches in the process.

Callum Maycock gave the Moors the lead against the run of play but the Portuguese was on hand to find the net from 12 yards either side of half-time to give us a huge victory.

The result meant that we had bettered a 19-game unbeaten run set 93 years ago, ensuring this season's team will go down in history.

Luke Williams made two changes to the side that beat Halifax three days earlier, with Sam Austin making way for Cedwyn Scott and Geraldo Bajrami coming in for Jim O'Brien.

We made a typically dominant start in terms of possession but had to wait until the 18th minute for our first threatening moment, when good work from Aaron Nemane led to Scott squaring for Langstaff who was unable to make contact in the middle.

Five minutes later we were stunned by our hosts who punished Kyle Cameron for a misplaced pass in midfield, breaking away and setting up Maycock to score inside the area despite Cameron’s best efforts to recover.

Our response came from Bajrami four minutes later but his first-time snapshot from the edge of the area was well held.

As half-time neared, however, we were given a fantastic chance to draw ourselves level when Scott was played through on goal and brought down by James Clarke at the crucial moment. The referee saw a yellow card and penalty as sufficient punishment, with Rodrigues finding the net from the spot to rub salt into the wounds.

The sides exchanged chances shortly before the break, Langstaff firing wide on the turn and Andy Dallas sending his shot off target after being played into the area by Moors debutant David Davis.

And that was to be that for first-half action as a cagey opening 45 ended with the scores level.

Dallas fired a warning shot within seconds of the restart, breaking the offside trap and attempting to round Slocombe - only to be forced too wide by the keeper, who watched on as the ball ran out for a goal kick.

Langstaff had a huge chance to put us ahead shortly afterwards, receiving the ball in space inside the area but sending his shot inches wide of the far post.

We had seized control of the play once again and, in our pursuit for the all-important next goal, saw a Cameron shot cleared off the line following a corner.

Williams sent Jodi Jones and John Bostock on for Scott and Bajrami shortly after the hour mark, and had his head in his hands on 71 minutes as he watched Aaron Nemane brilliantly work his way into the area only to lift his cross over everyone in the middle.

Despite our dominance it was beginning to feel like one of those nights until Matt Palmer scampered on to a ball in the area and was brought down, leading to our second penalty of the evening.

It seemed to take an age for the referee to blow his whistle to allow Rodrigues to take the penalty but the Portuguese showed tremendous poise to blast the ball into the roof of the net in front of a packed away end.

That proved to be Rodrigues' final contribution as he made way for Austin shortly afterwards - and the onus was now on Solihull to push for a winner.

But our hosts had struggled to assert themselves on us in the second half and, in the end, we were disappointed not to win by a clearer margin after Langstaff sent a good chance wide before Jones scuffed a shot straight at the keeper in injury time.

STARTING XI: Slocombe; Cameron, Baldwin, Rawlinson; Chicksen, Nemane; Bajrami (Bostock 63'), Palmer, Rodrigues (Austin 81'), Scott (Jones 63'); Langstaff

UNUSED SUBS: O'Brien, Vincent

BOOKINGS: Palmer 58', Cameron 85', Jones 88'

ATTENDANCE: 2,260 (894)

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