TIM Flowers hailed the professionalism of his Solihull Moors side as they rose to third in the National League table after goals from Liam Daly and Darren Carter secured a crucial 2-1 win at Gateshead on Tuesday.
Moors had numerous chances to score before half-time, either side of Daly’s 22nd-minute header, with Carter doubling the lead just after the break, but a Scott Boden penalty minutes later set up a closer contest than had looked likely.
Flowers acknowledged the importance of such a victory away from home.
“It was a tough evening, but I thought we were very effective. I thought we created a shed-load of chances and didn’t take them due to some very good goalkeeping from Aynsley Pears in goal for them who had an outstanding night,” said the Solihull boss.
“We could’ve been out of sight by half-time. We then get a super goal – a great strike from Darren (Carter) to go two up.
“You think that there’s a bit of breathing space and then they get a penalty straight away. You never know then.”
A chance inside the first minute that was crafted by Jamey Osborne’s cross saw Danny Wright’s header somehow kept out from close-range by goalkeeper Pears, while Moors’ next chance through Jermaine Hylton went just past the post.
But, with Daly lurking at the back post to meet Carter’s looping corner into his vicinity, he was never going to pass up such an opportunity, flicking his header home for his first goal since December 2017.
A Kyle Storer volley cracked the post as Solihull looked to add to their lead, which would eventually be provided when Carter rifled into the top-corner after meeting Nathan Blissett’s knockdown.
Daly was adjudged to have handled in the area to give Gateshead an immediate opportunity to respond, which they did through Boden’s well-taken penalty.
New signing Luke Maxwell – who this week joined permanently from Birmingham City following his loan spell with Moors – entered the fray in the final 15 minutes to help guide Solihull through the closing stages and see out the win.
Flowers was left under no illusion as to what his side have to do to going forward to maintain their superb league position.
“We’ve got to keep working, keep our heads down and take every game as they come.
“We’re a far better team than we were last year. We’ve got better players and we’re an all-round better football club.”
Solihull – three points behind leaders Leyton Orient – now move on to the second round of the FA Trophy on Saturday (3pm) against Halifax Town at The Shay, where they will be hoping to progress further than they did last season – going out at the same stage to Spennymoor Town.