THE HONEYMOON period for Solihull Moors in the National League is very much over after they tasted back-to-back defeats over the bank holiday weekend.
Marcus Bignot had called on his side to rise to the challenge ahead of a busy weekend of action, but Moors lost 2-0 away at Eastleigh and tasted last minute heartbreak on Monday as Ollie Norburn’s injury-time goal consigned them to a narrow 3-2 defeat at home to Macclesfield Town.
Moors’ first ever trip to Eastleigh’s Silverlake Stadium saw a slightly changed side pitched against last season’s play-off contenders with Nathan Vaughan, Bobby Moseley and Jean Yves Koue Niate all starting.
Sterling-James was brought down just outside the box on the quarter-hour mark bur keeper Flitney made a terrific diving save to deny Ryan Beswick and Flitney did well to deny Sterling-James as he cut in from the left before hitting goal wards.
Eastleigh could count themselves fortunate that with two minutes left of the half they were not one goal down as Sterling-James beat two defenders before seeing his 20-yard shot strike the post.
After the break the host looked far more menacing with Howells forcing a wonder save from Vaughan at virtually point blank range and Drury’s effort was finger tipped over the bar.
Having weathered the opening storm Moors created chances themselves with Murombedzi shooting wide and a defence splitting through ball from Jordan Gough was inches away from the forward rushing Knights.
However in the 55th minute Solihull were undone by a set piece as Dawson put a short corner to the near post and Creswell’s back heel crept over the line.
The situation deteriorated further just eight minutes later when a long throw from Green was met by the head of ex-Coventry City defender Reda Johnson who scored a second on his Eastleigh debut.
Connor Franklin and Stefan Moore were introduced as Moors searched for a way back into the match but they could not penetrate the final third.
Daly got on the end of Sterling James corner but was wide of the post while in the final minute of normal time Moore collected from Murombedzi in the six yard area and turned but could not properly connect.
Moors needed to put Saturday’s defeat at Eastleigh behind them but they came up against an in-form Macclesfield side on Monday in what was the first meeting ever between the clubs.
Bignot’s side had an early goal ruled out before on 22 minutes the second of two consecutive corners from Darryl Knights caused Ross to punch out but only as far as Shepherd Murombedzi whose 25-yard shot sailed into the back of the net.
With seven minutes of the first half remaining Osbourne won a free kick which Knights took but his goal-bounded effort was superbly tipped over the bar.
On 41 minutes the visitors pulled level when Rowe was brought down in the Solihull penalty area by Murombedzi and Kinsley James sent Danny Lewis the wrong way.
Moors roared back and in the second minute of added time were also awarded a penalty when Paul Lewis tugged Jordan Fagbola and Akwasi Asante made no mistake to send Moors in front at the break.
The second half could not have started worse for Solihull as they conceded another penalty which was converted by James to make it 2-2.
It seemed like a repeat of the Eastleigh game as the visitors grew into the match and a Rowe cross forced Lewis into a terrific reaction save on the hour mark with Paul Lewis ‘s shot hitting the upright moments later.
Danny Lewis performed two saves in succession from point blank range and the Moors shot-stopper was grateful for the post to deny Danny Cowan from just outside the box.
Sterling James saw his effort deflected over the bar while Asante headed wide from Daly’s cross but deep into added on time it was Macclesfield who stole all three points when a long ball from Rowe to Norburn was skilfully drilled passed Lewis from 25 yards.
This Saturday Moors are in league action again when they travel to York City for the first time in five years.