Often Partisan

Solihull Moors v Birmingham City Reserves Friendly Match Report

Here are my reflections on the Solihull Moors vs Birmingham City XI friendly.

1) An enjoyable game

This was the fourth pre-season friendly I’ve managed to get to (two first team and two reserve) and it was probably only rivalled by Saturday’s game against Everton for being enjoyable. Whilst Blues lined up with just one forward (former Chelsea academy player Bobby Devyne), like the Everton game they pressed forwards whenever they got the ball, looking to get in behind the Solihull Moors’ defence.

2) Alpa Ozturk and Luke Hubbins

In quite a strange tactical move from Blues, right winger Luke Hubbins slotted into the full back role like he did when I saw him against Worcester City, and right back Alpa Ozturk played the right midfield role. It actually paid dividends quickly, as Hubbins burst forwards from the right back slot to force a corner, from which Alpa scored with a good header. The two interchanged well and caused no end of problems to the Solihull Moors left back Andre Francis – a player who I’ve seen before and is certainly no mug. Both players have pro contracts and I can see Alpa maybe making the step up to first team if he keeps progressing at the rate he has been over the last twelve months.

3) Eddy Gnahore and Brice Ntambwe

I’ve often been complimentary of Ntambwe and Gnahore; both of whom are tall, hulking midfield players who take no prisoners on the pitch. Gnahore again was in top form; very combative in the middle and making the most of a poor error from the Solihull Moors defence to score what turned out to be the winner. Ntambwe looked useful again; like Gnahore he was snapping away at the Moors midfield and showed some nice touches and a good range of passing.

4) Sam Beasant

I sincerely hope Blues offer the trialist keeper Beasant some sort of contract; his shot stopping tonight was just immense, saving two certain goals with excellent blocks in one on one situations. His kicking is pretty good; barring one incident he controlled his area well and seems fairly confident coming for crosses. I think he could push for the third keeper slot against Jack Butland quite comfortably.

5) Mitch Hancox

Mitch had a quiet game by his normally high standards, although he showed once again he’s not afraid to mix it, going in with some really meaty challenges and not bottling it when a Solihull Moors player pretty much rugby tackled him to the floor. Like Hubbins on the right, Mitch tried to get forwards although I don’t think he linked up as well with former Baggie trainee Akil Grier.

Final Score Solihull Moors 1 (Adkins) v Birmingham City XI 2 (Ozturk, Gnahore)

Birmingham City XI (4-5-1)
Beasant; Hubbins (Gascoigne), Kerr, Hutchinson, Hancox; Ozturk, Ntambwe, Packwood, Gnahore, Grier (Hales); Devyne (Newell)

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10 Responses to “Solihull Moors v Birmingham City Reserves Friendly Match Report”

  • glyn rees says:

    Thanks Alamjir, good piece as usual, but you said nothing about the Chelski trailist Bobby Devyne. I assume he was carp.

  • Nick V says:

    Was a good game, The players you have pointed out were definatly the stand out players. I thought Hutchinson at the back didnt have the best of games whilst Akil Grier and Bobby Devyne didnt do much to impress. I was really impressed with Alpa Ozturk but thought when he went right back we didnt penetrate them as much as when Luke Hubbins was there and Alpa playing Right Mid.
    Will Packwood looks a good player as well just sitting in fornt of the defense controlling the play.

  • guinas says:

    what happened to taylor morgan? He seemed to be doing really well….

  • Sparky says:

    My third pre season game along with Oxford (away) & Everton last week. Follow the reserves regularly when we play our fixtures at St Andrews or Damson Lane.

    Obviously this was always going to be a run out for the kids & I was impressed by some of the performances. Ozturk, Hubbins & Beasant for me were excellent, The future looks bright if we can unearth more gems.

  • Letsby Avenue says:

    Thanks Alamjir :-)

    Just a silly query really.

    Is Sam Beasant any relation to Dave Beasant (Wimbledon & Chelsea & Southampton etc etc )

    Both goalies, seeems a strange coincidence if not.

    Thanks Mr A

  • BCFC1 says:

    Does anybody know where you can see the pics from the game??

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