Solihull Moors 3 Barrow AFC 4
Vanarama Conference North
IF A week is a long time in politics, then a year in football can be an eternity!
This time last year unbeaten Solihull Moors were challenging for the top spot whilst Barrow – just relegated from the Conference Premier – were languishing near the bottom with just four points.
However, at the end of Saturday’s seven-goal thriller, it was Barrow who head the league whilst Moors have four points and are in the bottom three.
Yet again it could have been so different had it not been for more sloppy goals given away.
Since last season Barrow have had a massive cash injection and it showed in a team hellbent on moving forward with fast breaks down both wings. That said the first real chance fell to Moors when in the second minute Junior English hit the outside of the upright, but they had Tony Breeden to thank as he denied Reid after six minutes as the Bluebirds gathered momentum.
The first goal came on 14 minutes when Pilkington crossed to Walker but the header hit the post, only to go in off a deflection from the Moors keeper.
A resilient Solihull side quickly took the game to the visitors with Omar Bogle shooting over from the restart and they levelled on 20 minutes when a defence-splitting cross from Jordan Gough was met by Owen Story on the far side of the goal. Almost immediately, Story went close again, producing a fine save from McMillan.
The game swung in Solihull’s favour with almost the last kick of the half, just after Breeden had kept his side in the running with two consecutive brave dives at the feet of Walker and Grand.
Darryl Knights found Bogle some 25 yards out and the big striker turned and unleashed a screamer which thundered into the far corner of the net off the post.
Moors had the opportunity to add to their tally on 47 minutes but, with the keeper at his mercy, Knights failed to properly connect.
The lead lasted only four minutes from the restart as Cook was left unattended and an easy header from Ray-Harvey’s cross crept into the net despite Breeden just getting a hand to it.
Things went from bad to worse on 53 minutes when a mix-up between Breeden and Rob Elvins saw the captain head an innocuous high cross from Willis over the keeper’s head as Breeden came off his line for Barrow’s third.
A shell-shocked Solihull still looked capable of rescuing something from the game but lack of finishing in the final third did not help the cause. The Bluebirds made a double substitution on 70 minutes and promptly scored a fourth as Breeden‘s clearance went straight to Ellison who from all of 30 yards riffled the ball into the back of the net.
Moors to their credit never stopped attacking and on 76 minutes Daly headed Beswick’s free kick back across the face of the box to Bogle who made sure from six yards.
With Gough shooting over on 80 minutes, Moors’ misery was compounded one minute from time when Story was carried off after a cynical tackle from behind.
They had yet again done enough to take all three points but mistakes plummeted Solihull to the wrong end of the league table.
On Saturday they travel to Hull for a hard game against title-chasers North Ferriby United.