MOORS proved they have what it takes to compete in the Vanarama National League South after thrashing league rivals Oxford City 4-1 at the Automated Technology Group Stadium on Saturday.
The match was billed as a real test for Moors against a side at the same level as them and who also finishes above Moors in the North Division last season.
It was all Oxford in the opening stages of the match with the visiting goalkeeper not being forced into action within the opening five minutes.
However the Moors back four, martialled by skipper Theo Streete, resolutely refused to buckle and with a quarter of an hour played the hosts were starting to look dangerous with Connor Franklin and Stefan Moore causing problems down the left flank.
On 16 minutes Moore put in a hard pass across the box and Andy Brown hit a sweet low shot into the right hand corner of the net to open the scoring.
Darryl Knights could not get on the end of a knock down from Brown in the six yard area and Brown himself was just short of Moore’s cross with the goal at his mercy as Moors began to take control.
Moors kept up the pressure which was rewarded on 24 minutes when Darryl Knights crossed into the box and Liam Daly rose highest to head in Solihull’s second goal of the afternoon.
However on the half hour mark Oxford’s number nine Bradley Bubb hit a left foot thunderbolt past the stranded Danny Lewis to keep the game alive.
That lasted just five minutes when Michael Nottingham put in a cross from the byline and a grateful Brown slotted home Moors’ third to send the hosts in 3-1 ahead at the break.
It was no surprise that the second half did not really live up to the excitement of the opening segment, although Adam Walker’s bullet in the 49th minute would have been unstoppable had it been a fraction lower.
Again Streete’s powerful header from a corner on 57 minutes cleared the cross bar.
Brown, Moore and Knights all found themselves in the right place but could not convert.
However the match was put to bed on 77 minutes when Moore fed the ball through to Knights who dinked it under the advancing keeper Laurie Walker into the empty net.
That spurred Solihull to seek a fifth and Brown was unlucky to see his header hit the cross bar.
There was still life left in the visitors and with five minutes remaining Stonehouse smashed the ball from 10 yards straight at Danny Lewis who did well to parry it as far as Ex Moors midfielder Reece Fleet who volleyed wide.
It brought to and end what can only be described as a great pre season for Moors where the new team has developed a good spirit and produced some memorable moments on the pitch.
That will be put to the test on Saturday when, AFC Fylde, the bookies favourite for the title, visit for the first league match of the new season.
The following Tuesday Moors make the long trip to Boston United who are again fancied for a play-off place.