A FIRST clean sheet in seven games left manager Tim Flowers a relieved man, after Solihull Moors put an end to their three-game losing streak with Tuesday night’s 0-0 draw with Notts County.
Moors battled their way to a much-needed point at Meadow Lane, but were inches away from taking all three when Jamey Osborne’s free kick struck the woodwork early in the second half – the closest either side came to snatching the winner.
Flowers admits a return of the qualities that have typified his side since the start of last season were present during the stalemate in Nottingham, and has talked up the significance of the result.
“I thought it was a really dogged performance, we flipped the system around to what they know a little bit better,” he said.
“The quality of goals that we’ve conceded in the three games prior to this haven’t been good enough, they’ve been individual errors, there’s been a lack of spark, a lack of what we’re about as a football club.
“I’m delighted with a point and the performance, I thought there was a real togetherness and spirit.
“I said to them in there, this is a really good football club with very good players and at times you have to take a few punches in the face and respond, and I thought we did that tonight.”
Two early set pieces almost brought success for the visitors, with Darren Carter’s direct effort and Callum Howe’s header both threatening to trouble County’s goal.
Enzo Boldewijn was a live wire down the other end for the hosts, forcing Ryan Boot into an outstretched save to ensure parity between the two sides at the break.
Then, within minutes of the restart, Osborne cracked the frame of the Sam Slocombe’s goal from a whipped free kick that was deserving of finding the back of the net – such was the quality of the strike.
Substitute Matt Stenson almost made an immediate impact when meeting Jamie Reckord’s left-wing cross, but the forward was unable to keep his effort on target.
The Magpies had two bites of the cherry to steal the win in the final ten minutes when Boot kept out Kristian Dennis with a trailing leg, whilst Damien McCrory sent a header over the bar from a promising position, but a draw was ultimately the order of the day.
Solihull now face the small prospect of a 668-mile round trip to Kelty Hearts in the Scottish Challenge Cup on Saturday (3pm), a necessity that the Moors manager feels his side could do without.
“It is what it is – do we want to be in the Scottish Challenge Cup? No, because it’s another game and we’ve already got injuries.
“Any team that’s missing McCallum, Wright and Osborne for a couple of games is going to find it difficult.
“Take them out of any already small squad and I’ve got no one left.”
“But that’s football, maybe we’ll pick the phone up in the next couple of days and maybe bring a reinforcement or two in.”