SOLIHULL Moors boss Marcus Bignot has challenged his side to bounce back after they suffered only their second defeat in the Vanarama National League North this season at home to promotion rivals North Ferriby United.
A 3-1 home defeat at the Automated Technology Group Stadium on Saturday has cranked up the pressure at the top of the table with Moors now holding a slender one point lead over the Villagers, although Moors do have a game in hand.
Bignot’s side have previously ended the second part of the season in disappointing fashion but he revealed this time around the squad are determined to put that right and maintain their push for promotion.
He told the club’s official website: “We pride ourselves on our defending but on Saturday it was just one of those days.
“It was a blip and uncharacteristic of us. We never saw that coming but for us it is all about how we respond.
“I hate losing football matches but the players have just reminded me in the dressing room that we are still top of the league.
“I have a good group and I know they will bounce back. That’s only our second loss of the season but I know we’ll get back to the good old days.
“We’re doing a lot of things right so we’re not going to get too carried away with one defeat.”
After an early pitch inspection, Saturday’s match was given the green light and Bignot opted to keep the same side that had beaten Brackley last Tuesday.
The hosts made a confident start but found themselves 1-0 down after a defensive mix up allowed Denton to beat Ben Siegrist with a cool finish from ten yards out.
Moors quickly responded with Darryl Knights putting Michael Nottingham away down the right but nobody could get a touch to his precision cross.
On 14 minutes the unmarked Denton headed goalwards but his effort was cleared short of the goal line, however Moors were again undone two minutes later.
Skipper Theo Streete conceded a free kick near the corner and Siegrist’s punch out travelled only as far as Emerton who slotted the ball through to Denton and he made space before drilling home his second.
The signs remained positive for Moors who tried to fight back with Knights lobbing over the bar and on 25 minutes he shot wide from 25 yards out.
The breakthrough for Moors came with ten minutes of the half remaining. Stefan Moore broke down the left flank and cuts inside before dummying everyone by passing to Knights who despatched the ball into the far corner of the net.
Soon after Steven Leslie’s cross into the box eluded everyone and Asante’s cross from a powerful run was inches away from Moore as Solihull ended the half on a high note.
With no changes at half time Moors looked for an early goal as play resumed but soon found themselves in more trouble when Bateson beat Siegrist with a neat finish from the tightest of angles.
Nottingham’s shot following a good run down the right flank was easily dealt with by Nicklin while Asante’s low drive was just wide as Moors looked for a way back into the match.
Knights had two efforts on goal before Moore’s delightful flick to Asante on the hour mark was eventually cleared from danger.
Andy Brown then replaced Liam Daly as manager Bignot pulled out all the stops however it was the visitors who looked the more likely to score with Bateseon shooting wide from 30 yards out, while Beswick’s free kick was well saved by Nicklin.