Solihull Moors 0-1 Forest Green Rovers
Vanarama National League
Match report by Steve Carpenter
A PERFORMANCE full of determination and fight proved in vain for Solihull Moors as they slipped to a third consecutive defeat at the hands of league leaders Forest Green Rovers in what was an entertaining and at times feisty first ever meeting between the two sides.
An own goal from skipper Liam Daly proved to be the difference between the two sides on a bitterly cold Tuesday evening at The Automated Technology Group Stadium on a night where the hosts were also reduced to ten men late on following the sending off of Darryl Knights.
It was the in-form visitors had the first chance on goal when Liam Noble won a free kick down the right and the Forest Green skipper delivered a neat ball to the far post which Charlie Clough headed over when perhaps he should have done better.
Just three minutes later Moors had their first attempt on goal when Asante did well down the left and played the ball to Jack Byrne on the edge of the area but his first-time shot was comfortable for Sam Russell in the Forest Green goal.
The visitors were high in confidence having lost just one league match all season and they enjoyed a decent spell of pressure but could not find a way to break down the spirited hosts.
Noble’s effort from the edge of the box took a lucky deflection wide and Lieffer Moore’s in-swinging shot from just inside the area was well palmed away by Danny Lewis.
Bignot was vocal on the touchline as he roared his troops on through every challenge and the hosts seemed to cope with everything that was thrown at them.
Noble was proving a threat in the midfield and Lewis had to be alert to keep out his curling 25-yard free kick shortly after the half-hour mark before Moors somewhat against the run of play were almost gifted a goal.
Darryl Knights was given a free run on goal thanks to a fortunate ricochet and he looked to slot the ball past Russell but the visiting keeper made a smart stop and the ball came back off the Moors man before dropping narrowly wide of goal.
Noble had been one of the standout players for the visitors in the first half and six minutes after the break he showed his danger from set pieces again with a curling free kick which drifted inches wide.
White almost found himself through on goal but for a last ditch tackle and he saw a deflected shot drop wide, while at the other end Forest Green always looked a threat particularly on the break.
First half substitute Marsh-Brown fired wide from the edge of the area and he came much closer again moments later with a powerful effort before the breakthrough finally came with 59 minutes on the clock.
Dan Wishart’s cross into the box proved difficult to handle and Liam Daly was unlucky to put the ball through his own net.
The Moors response was positive with White setting up Knights who took a touch before volleying powerfully at goal ut he could find no way past Russell.
The action was end-to-end now as Moore was picked out just inside the penalty area by a neat pass and he cut inside his man but Lewis got down well to make the stop and soon after Jones threw his body on the line to make an important block on the edge of the area.
Daly made up for his earlier own goal with a superb interception in front of goal to block off Christian Doidge’s intentions but on 78 minutes Moors’ task was made all the more difficult after Knights was shown a straight red card for a late lunge in the centre of the park.
Marsh-Brown twice came close for the visitors as he first shot wide before seeing his deflected shot superbly saved by Lewis.
Asante almost scored a dramatic late equaliser in injury-time but the hosts could not find a way past a Forest Green side who were able to record an impressive seventh clean sheet.