MANAGER Tim Flowers declared his Solihull Moors side as a major threat to the other teams in the division after a 2-2 draw with Chesterfield at the Automated Technology Group Stadium on New Year’s Day.
The visitors twice drew level to deny Moors six points out of six against the Derbyshire side – who succumbed to a 4-0 thrashing a week ago at the Proact Stadium.
It was Chesterfield who went closest in the opening exchanges through one-time West Bromwich Albion striker Marc-Antoine Fortune, but his effort straight at Ryan Boot was no trouble for the Moors keeper.
Jermaine Hylton looked a live-wire for Solihull, his low cross into the centre just evaded Adi Yussuf, before Jamey Osborne jinked past two defenders and delivered a ball for Liam Daly, who connected and saw his effort cleared off the line by Hadyn Hollis.
And when Osborne himself lined up an effort from the half-way line that dipped just over the bar, it was evident a goal wasn’t too far away in the offing.
Osborne again at the centre of it, his incisive through ball after beating a couple of defenders teed Jermaine Hylton up to blast into the right-corner past Callum Burton for the breakthrough.
Despite holding the lead at the break, the half-time Moors team talk was undone just three minutes after the restart.
Fortune proved more clinical than he had been in the opening half when receiving a square pass from substitute Alex Kiwomya after Boot’s clearance had rebounded off the Chesterfield forward.
The resolve from Solihull remained strong and they soon entered back into the lead through Alex Gudger’s thumping header from a Darren Carter corner, a goal which should have given Moors the impetus to kill off the game and seal the three points in style.
But Chesterfield responded well and were clearly not going down without a fight, Kiwomya this time laying off for Jonathan Smith to go within inches of the left-hand corner.
Jerome-Binnom Williams’ shot was kept out by Boot but privy to starting a penalty area scramble which Solihull managed to survive, but there was no stopping Lee Shaw’s rebound goal after Kiwomya’s shot had fell into his path via striking the post.
In the dying moments Solihull perhaps will look back on a point as worthwhile when Smith’s header had to be cleared to safety off the line with intervention from both Gudger and Boot, as the referee’s whistle culminated affairs.
Moors boss Flowers remained upbeat on the performance despite not seeing out either lead that his side held in the game.
“We got our noses in front and then I thought the introduction of Kiwomya made a difference to them on the left-hand side.
“They equalised and it is what it is – it was a mistake. Things happen and Boot’s been wonderful for us this season and you are going to make a mistake.
“We went there on Boxing Day and won. We went to Wrexham, played very well and were unfortunate not to get something. Today I thought it was probably a fair draw” he admitted.
Assessing his side’s storming start to the season, Flowers also sent out a message to the rest of the league.
“We’re not a surprise anymore. People know and people are setting their stall out.
“Gone are the days where little old Solihull could get bullied off the pitch by big strong lads. We’ve got lads who can stand up for themselves and can cause other teams major threat.
“We’re doing something right, but we want to keep improving. I’m not here to stand still because we’ve had a good 2018 – let’s have a good 2019 as well.
“Let’s get north of 50 points, get safe and then we can reassess” said Flowers.
Solihull look to return to winning ways when they host Eastleigh on Saturday (3pm), who they defeated 2-1 on the first game of the season with a late comeback victory.