SOLIHULL manager Tim Flowers labelled Moors’ 5-0 thrashing of Maidstone United as the “perfect way to bounce back” from their FA Trophy exit, as they continued their assault on the National League summit.
Jermaine Hylton netted a first-half hat-trick, whilst Darren Carter’s free-kick and Adi Yussuf’s late strike completed an emphatic victory.
Flowers believed the victory was symptomatic of the performances that have elevated Moors to being title challengers this season.
“I wanted Solihull Moors DNA today – in your face, balls forward, in behind, up to the big men, bringing midfielders and full-backs into play, getting balls into the box, win set-plays and convert them.
“That’s what we’ve been about since I’ve been in this building, and we’ve improved steadily at it – today you could see returns for what the boys do on the training ground.
“Set plays were being converted, people were doing the right things and concentrating on doing their jobs.
“I’ve got to be well pleased with that.”
Moors opened the scoring on ten minutes when George Carline’s long-throw from the left was headed on by Liam Daly, falling to Hylton who switched the ball onto his left foot, and rolled the ball home.
Four minutes later, a free-kick on the edge of the area was all too tempting for Darren Carter to step up and try his luck at goal.
He made the right call, slipping the ball low inside the right-hand post to double the lead.
Twelve minutes later, it was 3-0.
Arriving in similar fashion to the first, Carline’s long-throw was this time headed perfectly into the path of the Hylton by a Maidstone defender, Hylton stabbing the ball home at the far post.
And when Danny Wright was brought down in box when receiving the ball in a shooting position, it allowed Hylton to step up and deftly chip the ball the wrong side of the keeper to seal the match ball.
Hylton almost had a fourth shortly after the break, when a mistake by goalkeeper Dion-Curtis Henry presented an open net from an acute angle, the forward’s subsequent shot cleared away from danger.
The second-half began to liven up again in the final 20 minutes, Osborne firing an effort narrowly wide after drifting into the penalty area, whilst Yussuf was denied by a superb stop.
Yussuf found himself in a promising position, and after dummying his shot twice, he eventually cracked an effort at goal that was headed off the line for a corner.
He would be rewarded for the threat he caused after emerging from the bench, and slotted home from Wright’s centre to finish the scoring.
The Moors manager talked up the importance of maintaining performances after the positive showing in front of the home crowd.
“We’ve got to make sure we replicate that kind of intensity and ferocity from now until the end of the season.
“If we don’t, then we can fall away, if we do – then we’re going to be a threat.
Talking about his hat-trick hero, Flowers praised Hylton’s impact, but also pointed out other performances in his team.
“Jermaine’s a threat, he’s quick and pacy and has lightning feet, he can manipulate the ball in tight areas.
“It’s wonderful for him to get the hat-trick, I’m delighted for him.
“But also I look at the final goal – Danny Wright once again puts a lung-busting run in behind, secures the ball, gets his head up and picks Yussuf out.
“It’s a great finish, but that’s the Danny Wright show for me.
“All in all it was a very good team performance, but it’s still a very long way to go.”
Moors face a crunch battle with Salford City this Saturday (3pm) – who will be a real test to Solihull’s promotion credentials – the two sides drew the home fixture 0-0 in November.