Steve Harris – @steveharris84
Match details: Solihull Moors vs Torquay United
Venue: Damson Park
Date: Tuesday 14th September 2021
Solihull Moors fact file:
Year founded: 2007
Nickname: The Moors
Last season’s league finish: 11th National League
National League North:
Solihull: 2 Draw: 1 Torquay: 4
Solihull: Joe Sbarra – 5 Torquay: Armani Little – 3
League Position and Recent Form:
Solihull: 13th – DDLW Torquay: 19th – LDLWL
Manager: Neal Ardley
Neal Ardley spent most of his playing career with the ‘original’ Wimbledon, for whom he made over 300 career appearances in all competitions between 1991 and 2002. He was also capped ten times by England at Under-21 level. Spells with Watford, Cardiff City and Millwall followed his departure from Wimbledon, before he announced his retirement from playing in 2007.
After his retirement from playing, Ardley’s coaching career began when he was appointed as Cardiff City’s academy manager. He would hold this role for five years until he took on his first senior managerial role with AFC Wimbledon, as successor to Terry Brown, in October 2012.
In his first season in charge, Ardley helped to the Dons to avoid relegation from the Football League, with a 2-1 win over Fleetwood Town on the final day of the 2012-13 campaign. Three years later, he guided the Dons to their first ever promotion as a Football League club when they beat Plymouth Argyle 2-0 in the 2016 League Two play-off final.
Ardley then went on to establish the Dons in League One and was the third longest serving manager in the Football League at the time of his departure on November 12, 2018. Eleven days later, he was appointed as Notts County manager, but after failing to prevent the Magpies from being relegated from the Football League for the first time ever. After missing out on an immediate return last season, when they were beaten in the play-off final by Harrogate Town. Ardley was sacked as County manager in March 2021 and took charge of the Moors in June 2021.
Player to watch: Kyle Storer
Date of Birth: 30th April 1987 – 34 years-old
Former Clubs: Leicester, Bedworth, Tamworth, Hinckley, Atherstone, Nuneaton, Kidderminster, Wrexham, Cheltenham
National League Stats 21-22: Played 4, Goals 0, Yellow/Red Cards 2/0
Kyle Storer will be a familiar face to Gary Johnson after being an ever-present in Cheltenham Town’s National League title winning side in the 2015-16 season. Prior to his arrival at Whaddon Road, Storer, a central midfielder by trade, had appeared for several clubs at National League level, including Tamworth, Wrexham and Kidderminster Harriers. He arrived at Damson Park in January 2018 and is currently the Moors’ club captain.
Torquay: Danny Wright
Last meeting: Torquay United 2-0 Solihull Moors – 23rd March 2021
GOALS: TUFC – Andrews (9), Randell (40)
Torquay United: Covolan, Wynter, Lewis, Sherring, Law, Little (Waters), Hall, Andrews, Randell, CLE, Boden (Umerah)
Solihull Moors: Boot, Williams, Cranston, Coxe, Storer (Ball), Ward, McNally, Donawa, Sbarra (Maycock), Hudlin (Rooney), Barnett
Torquay continued their return to form with a second successive home win in the National League as they beat Solihull 2-0.
The Gulls took a ninth-minute lead, Jake Andrews taking the credit though his free-kick appeared to go in off visiting keeper Ryan Boot. Scott Boden was just off target when he chipped Boot in the 26th minute, while Lucas Covolan saved well from Justin Donawa at the other end. It was 2-0 five minutes before the break, when Andrews crossed for Adam Randell to finish.
Donawa was narrowly off target with a volley and then a header in the second half, while Boot escaped a second nightmare moment when his clearance was charged down by Armani Little but bounced wide.
Torquay United (4-4-2):
Ben Wynter – Joe Lewis – Ali Omar – Dan Martin
Connor Lemonheigh-Evans – Tom Lapslie – Asa Hall – Keelan O’Connell
Dan Holman – Danny Wright
Solihull Moors (5-3-2):
Ryan Barnett – Tyrone Williams – Callum Howe – Alex Gudger – Jordan Cranston
Callum Maycock – Kyle Storer – Louis Maynard
Andrew Dallas – Joe Sbarra
TT pre-match talking points…
Can TUFC’s defence stop leaking goals and will Mark Halstead remain in between the sticks?
Will Gary Johnson stick with the Holman/Wright partnership?
Are we going to see any new arrivals this week to bolster the squad?