City v Solihull

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Monday 28th August 2000: Meadow Park

  CITY vs. Solihull Borough  

Dr Martens League Western Division


City's Team

City boss Tommy Callinan made a decisive change with Alistair Hines handed his debut and Gannas dropped from the goalkeeper's spot. Moore reclaimed his centre back role and Bayliss got a first start up front, but other changes were enforced by injury. Tucks moved to right back with Steve Jenkins coming in to midfield, and Cairns got a go at the troublesome left back position.

After a confident start City fell behind in the 23rd minute when both Moore and Hunt missed a corner and allowed a far post header to come back across goal. With City at sixes and sevens neither Thorne or Hines were able to prevent the loose ball being smashed in by Gary Knight at the near post.

City were however by far the more attacking side and looked far less fragile than in their previous home match against Gresley. City forced a series of corners which ended with a near miss from a Richard Moore header.  Cairns also smashed a good chance against the post after Rawlins and Bayliss linked well before feeding him in down the left. 

City looked like they had spurned too many opportunities when Chenoweth began sending corners straight into the first defender, and then Rawlins allowed an unchallenged header to loop criminally over the bar.  However City did eventually pull the goal back after Rawlins had been tripped in a central position 20 yards out. Bayliss stepped up to drill the ball into the net low through a crowd of players.

After half-time City continued to pile serious pressure on to the Solihull goal, and saw an equaliser disallowed when Borough's goalkeeper and defender collided into each other at a corner. City scored, but the goal was chalked off as the ref had already blown for the clash of heads.

Cox came off the bench and immediately his pace caused Solihull problems. After several panicky trips on the young winger, a long ball from Baylo saw him race clear. It seemed a poor first touch had taken Cox too wide, but a quick chip saw the ball float over the stranded keeper into the net. Even after the goal City were the side looking more likely to add to the score, with Cox still causing problems.

It seemed City had done enough for the vital three points against one of the pre-season promotion favourites, but City's defence remained less than sure beyond the hard working shield of Thorne and Chennas. In the last minutes Dicks was penalised by yet another poor decision from the ref, who was seemingly intent on punishing any physical contact. From the free kick City showed themselves to still be troubled by the high ball and Boro bundled in a last minute equaliser, again from a far post header, this time by sub Gary Russell.

City will have to work harder on their defence in order to kill off games and avoid leaving players and fans alike stunned by last minute lapses. Hines was much more confident under crosses than Gannas, but even so City lack a commanding presence at the back and it showed. The left back position still raises questions, while Cairns was willing Solihull's attacks all came on that flank. On the bright side Jenks showed he can play in midfield, and last season's goalscoring problem looks to be a thing of the past.

Hines D2-2
Jenkins Half-time
Dicks 1-1
Hunt Att.
Moore 385
Thorne (c)  City Scorers
Tucker Bayliss(43)
Cox (75) 
Chenoweth Bookings
Rawlins none
Bayliss Position
Cairns 10th

Cox (for Jenkins, 63)  DWDD
Abbott  Report
Steadman (for Rawlins, 78) T.Towel

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