THERE was no change in fortunes for Solihull Moors on their travels on Tuesday night as a 2-0 defeat at Torquay United extended their dismal winless run to nine games in the National League.
Going up against Gary Johnson’s high-flying Gulls was always going to be a tough task at Plainmoor, especially considering the 2-1 defeat tasted in the reverse fixture last month, with the picture remaining very much the same as Jake Andrews and Adam Randell swept the hosts to victory.
Manager Mark Yates opted for three changes in the trip down to Devon – drafting Justin Donawa, Kyle Hudlin and Joe Sbarra into the starting XI in a forward-thinking approach that had to be credited before kick-off.
The reality of the task at hand immediately became apparent, however, as Torquay threatened from the first whistle and drew a save out of Ryan Boot following Asa Hall’s header goalwards.
Then came the breakthrough goal the visitors would have dreaded, as Andrews’ free kick was tipped on to the post by the Moors custodian, who inadvertently diverted the ball into the net on the rebound.
Trailing after just nine minutes, Moors almost fell further behind as Scott Boden’s delicate chip landed just wide of the mark after Boot did enough to distract the striker.
Jamie Ward was almost the benefactor of a similar opportunity down the other end after being played in by Kyle Storer, but the opposition goalkeeper Lucas Covolan reacted instinctively to head the ball away before the Moors forward could pull the trigger.
The near-opportunity preceded a strong finish to the half by the visitors, with Donawa first denied by the Torquay goalkeeper before Ward thrashed an effort wide moments later.
But again, as has been the story too often for Moors of late, a lack of decisiveness in the attacking ranks proved costly as United doubled their advantage when Randell hammered home at the back post five minutes before the interval.
The introduction of Callum Maycock promised to spark Moors into life – a move which proved the case as further openings for Donawa and substitute Adam Rooney threatened to halve the deficit.
It was the latter who came closest to doing so, striking the post with a header which had Covolan beaten late on.
Dropping a place to 18th, Yates remains without a win after his third outing since making the return to the SportNation.bet Stadium hotseat – something which he will desperately seek to rectify come 3pm on Saturday when 15th-placed Aldershot Town make the visit to the West Midlands.