MANAGER Tim Flowers described the scenes at the end of Solihull’s 1-0 victory away at Ebbsfleet United as “chaotic” after both sides went down to nine men in the weekend’s National League encounter – a victory that sent Moors into second.
Adi Yussuf’s goal was the difference at Kuflink Stadium, in a match that was not short of drama after a hamstring injury to Ryan Boot looked to trouble the Moors keeper throughout, with no substitute goalkeeper on the bench for Moors.
But red cards to Luke Maxwell and Danny Wright marred what was a stunning victory against an Ebbsfleet side that had won their last six league games at home and were unbeaten in seven fixtures on their own territory.
Flowers thought his side edged the game and perhaps could have recorded a larger margin of victory.
“When the chaos descended, and it was chaos, I think we were the better side. We created some guilt-edged chances and, to be fair, Nathan Ashmore kept them in the game,” he said.
“We had plenty of chances to put the game to bed – but didn’t take them. Then you’re open obviously to conceding one yourself.
“We looked fairly comfortable in all fairness. I don’t think I remember Ryan Boot flying around making any saves which was handy because he was struggling with his hamstring.”
He was left unhappy by the scenes towards the end of the game though that leave Moors in a tougher situation ahead of another away trip tomorrow night, this time to Aldershot Town.
“The chaos descended and it became a bit of a bear pit. I couldn’t see what was going on over there. There’s a melee of pretty much 22 men in a ten by ten grid.
“It’ll all get dissected I’m sure. The sad thing for us is that we’ve got a game on Tuesday – two suspensions, Tyrone Williams has got a horrendous cut on the side of his knee.
“It’s really going to stretch what is a small squad.”
Moors were close to an early lead when Jermaine Hylton was denied by Ashmore’s stunning stop, keeping out a follow-up from Alex Gudger.
Jamey Osborne was next to go close, going on a mazy run, but unable to put his shot either side of the chest of the Ebbsfleet keeper – who got down lown.
An otherwise subdue half of football was nearly seen out with a goal from the hosts, but Chris Bush’s header from a corner was directed off target.
Moors emerged in the second-half looking to strike an opener. In similar fashion to the first, Hylton had the first sight of goal for his side, but again Ashmore was equal to it.
Hylton’s deflected effort looped ominously towards the Ebbsfleet net, only for the ball to be clawed off the line by the keeper.
51 minutes in, Moors did get their deserved breakthrough.
It would arrive when Darren Carter’s corner was swung into the path of Yussuf, who was well-placed to thump his header home.
A heart in mouth moment followed down the other end when a penalty box scramble led Boot to save a shot before a block on the line kept Moors’ clean sheet intact, the threat seen out when a follow-up effort was fired over the bar.
Lawrie Wilson’s slip let in Hylton, but it wasn’t to be his day as his effort from the edge of the area travelled high of the mark.
The outstretched hand of Ashmore kept out Wright after a promising run through to goal, before he almost wrapped up affairs from Hylton’s square pass – but his finish was deflected over for a corner.
A brawl emerged after a foul on Solihull left-back Williams, leading Bagsan Graham for the hosts and Moors’ Maxwell to be shown red.
A perceived dive from Dean Rance earned him a second yellow card with the hosts going down to nine, before the visitors followed suit after Wright got involved in affairs off-the-ball and went down the tunnel.
Moors look to build on the win when travelling to Aldershot tomorrow night (7:45pm kick-off) to face the Shots, who currently sit 22nd in the league.
A Danny Wright strike in the 51st minute back in August was enough to earn victory at the ATG Stadium.
Although the striker will be missing for the latest clash, Moors go into the game full of confidence – sitting just one point off table toppers Leyton Orient.