FC Halifax Town v Solihull: Opposition focus

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Solihull Moors look back to their best ahead of their visit to FC Halifax Town in the FA Trophy, according to Ben Tyler, who covers the club for the Solihull Observer.

Solihull have won 19, drawn eight and lost seven in all competitions this season, and sit third in the National League, only three points off top spot.

They have already shown some cup pedigree this season too, taking Football League side Blackpool to a replay in the FA Cup.

“The Moors have played to a consistently high standard all season, especially at home, and to have passed the 50 point mark at this stage of the season is uncharted territory for the club,” says Tyler.

“The easy thing to do would be to take the foot off the gas, but as of yet the momentum that Solihull have had right from the start of the campaign continues to build - it’s clear to everyone involved with the club that the players and staff are really fighting towards achieving something spectacular come May.

“Moors have had a blip recently when comparing it to their form throughout 2018/19, but since the aftermath of their FA Cup replay with Blackpool, Moors look back to their best.”

Tyler believes midfielder Jamey Osborne is a key figure for Solihull.

“Solihull contain quality throughout the defensive ranks through to their forward line, but one player who is integral to the side is Jamey Osborne.

“His ability to dictate play and create something out of nothing is his biggest strength, and when he is on form and in the mood to wreak havoc against the opposition, it’s very difficult to prevent him from doing so.

“If you somehow manage to stop Osborne, you stand somewhat of a chance.”

Tyler says Solihull like to play good football on the floor, and have players throughout the team adept at contributing further up or down the pitch when the chance arises.

“Take for example the full-backs Tyrone Williams and Jamie Reckord, who are more than comfortable when getting forward to contribute to the attack.

“The midfield trio of Darren Carter, Kyle Storer and Jamey Osborne is incredibly well balanced in fulfilling offensive and defensive duties; whilst in forward Danny Wright, you have an absolute workhorse up front, who epitomizes the fighting spirit of this Solihull side.”

Tyler says Solihull are performing better than expected this season, especially given the manner of their survival in the National League last term, when they won five, drew three and lost one of their final eight matches.

“It’s a strange one but looking back at the first few games of the season, you could almost sense something was building at the club; almost a continuation of the incredible form Moors showed at the end of last season.

“So in many ways it is no surprise to see the club doing well looking at the spirit and the excellent standard of football played, but in many ways it’s still a pleasant surprise to see them propped so high up the league table.

“I think it’s much down to what manager Tim Flowers has helped instill into this team, having been assistant manager in “the great escape” last season.

“Taking the manager’s hot seat for himself, you get a real sense when talking to him what every game means to him, he puts everything into what he does and has a genuine desire to better himself and his players.

“The drive that he had in his playing days has transferred perfectly into management, and I think he knows that this team is more than capable of going up this season - it’s just a matter of keeping them grounded and retaining focus for every single match.”

Solihull are thought to be at full-strength for the trip to Halifax, and are likely to keep faith with their usual 4-3-3 line-up.

Tyler added: “It will most likely be Ryan Boot in goal; a back four of Tyrone Williams, Liam Daly, Alex Gudger, Jamie Reckord; a midfield three of Jamey Osborne, Darren Carter and Kyle Storer; and a forward line of Nathan Blissett, Danny Wright and Jermaine Hylton - although could potentially give Adi Yussuf a start for either wide forward depending on the aftermath of the Gateshead game.”