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Thorley strikes for City victory
9:57pm Tuesday 2nd October 2012 in Sport By Steve Carley - Midlands Sports Journalist of the Year 2013, @stevecarleyWN
TOM Thorley fired Worcester City to their first Blue Square Bet North away triumph of the season with victory at Solihull Moors.
The midfielder planted a firm half-volley beyond keeper Jasbir Singh on the stroke of half-time following a pin-point cross from Charlie Reece.
It was one of the few moments of quality in a scrappy encounter at Damson Park, along with a combative display by Reece, but proved enough to stretch City’s unbeaten run to four matches in all competitions.
However, with Saturday’s FA Cup clash at Weston-super-Mare now the focus, City will be concerned about the fitness of Jacob Rowe after the centre-half came off six minutes before the break with a suspected groin strain.
Another worry will be keeper Glyn Thompson, who sat out the match with a thigh injury, although replacement Matt Sargeant was exemplary on his first start of the campaign.
Thorley came close to giving City a second-minute lead but his free-kick, heading for the top corner, was tipped over by Singh.
However, what had been a promising start degenerated into a dismal first half-hour in which neither side looked like scoring.
Frustration was evident, particularly from Worcester, and referee Guy Stretton was the busiest person on the pitch as he showed yellow cards to Glover, starting ahead of Mike Symons, and Ellis Deeney and Solihull’s Omar Bogle.
It took until the 30th-minute for Solihull to find their range, with Ryan Beswick grazing the post with an effort from just outside the box.
But Worcester, despite losing Rowe to injury, gradually began to find their feet and were much the better side in the latter stages of the first-half.
Glover played a neat one-two with Reece, who along with Matt Breeze had been preferred to Greg Mills and Matt Birley respectively, before having a shot blocked by the feet of Singh.
Reece was again involved when the visitors deservedly took the lead, the former Bristol Rovers player whipping over a right-wing cross to the far post which Thorley drilled home for his fourth goal of the season.
Junior English and Jermaine Clarke had chances at the start of the second period for Solihull but it was Worcester who posed more of a threat.
Their passing was more generally intricate and purposeful, even if the end product rarely materialised despite the introduction of Symons and Mills.
Bogle glanced a header wide of the post for the hosts but Carl Heeley’s team were comfortable at the back and never looked like conceding a late goal as they did against Harrogate last weekend.
City: Sargeant 8, Weir 7, Deeney 7, Thorley 8, Whitehead 8, Rowe 8 (Ayres 39, 7), Reece 8*, Elvins 7, Taylor 7 (Mills 71), Glover 7 (Symons 62), Breeze 7. Subs not used: Edwards, Birley.