AT the third time of asking the Moors were able to notch a win, which moves them up to ninth in what are the very early stages of the new season in the Conference North Division.
Solihull invariably do well when they visit Stalybridge Celtic, as was the case at the weekend, and by their own standards Moors start to the season has been a little disappointing.
So hopes were high on Saturday that this would be the match to kick start the season, but what nobody has anticipated was the closure of the M6 and a tortuous journey which saw the team arrive just 45 minutes before kick off.
Celtic quickly took the game to their weary travellers as Moors consolidated after their horrendous journey. McKenna, Ennis and Dickinson all tested keeper Tony Breeden early on and it was 15 minutes before Solihull’s first serious foray into the Stalybridge goal area when Owen Story was brought down after a terrific through pass from Jordan Gough.
Reece Fleet’s shot on 20 minutes was blocked before Ennis broke through Moors defence but shot wide. Fleet could have finished better after a defence splitting pass from Darryl Knights but Moors were thwarted on 28 minutes when a Knights corner was met by the head of Liam Daly but the ball struck the bottom of the upright, whilst Junior English was adjudged off side as he steamed in for the rebound.
Celtic held their breath on 33 minutes as a revitalised Omar Bogle drove down the right flank and although there were no Moors players in the box for the cross Regan almost put the ball in his own net as he tried to clear from the six yard line.
The hosts still looked dangerous when Dickinson got on the end of an Ennis pass but Gough cleared off the line, and as the half ebbed away Solihull broke the deadlock; Bogle outpaced Regan before being shirt pulled and from the resulting free kick Daly headed back at the far post for Michael Nottingham to fire home from eighteen yards through a crowded box.
Moors were dominant from the restart with Owen Story causing endless problems. On 62 minutes English took a Knights pass, swivelled and shot, blocked only by a desperate lunge from Bleau.
From the ensuing corner Bogle was on hand to drill home Moors second goal from 12 yards after good work from Daly and Elvins.
Solihull effectively then wrapped up the match on 71 minutes when Story was brought down by Regan in the box and Bogle calmly sent King the wrong way.
He might well have secured a hat trick with 10 minutes remaining when his shot beat King but inched over the cross bar.
Substitute Lomax brought out a great save from Breeden as full time approached but Moors saw out their first victory of the season without further pressure.
On Saturday Solihull are at home to Oxford City, kick off 3pm at the Autotech Stadium, and then on Bank Holiday Monday they are away to Hednesford Town again kick off 3pm.
Liam Daly and Liam Dickinson battle it out. Photograph by Mike Smith (www.sixtamesides.co.uk). (s)