SOLIHULL Moors bounced back from last weekend’s hammering at Harrogate by beating Brackley Town 1-0 to move four points clear at the top of the Vanarama National League North, reports John Clothier.
Moors had beaten the Saints at home earlier in January 3-0 but Kevin Wilson had made good use of loan signings and this would not be a repeat of that game.
Moors were without Stefan Moore who was injured at Harrogate and Jimmy Armson started in midfield, while Connor Franklin was back in the side after injury against Grimsby.
Moors signalled their intentions in the opening minutes when Liam Daly got onto a free kick into the Saints box and Andy Brown was inches away.
Then with eight minutes gone Theo Streete split the defence as he put through Brown and as Hornby rushed off his line, he caught the ball square in the face as the Solihull striker lashed the ball goalwards.
With the Brackley keeper dazed on the ground the ball rebounded to Darryl Knights on the 18 yard line but his chip was inches over an empty goal.
With Brackley battling to get out of their half, chances for both teams were few but the impressive Tom Winters managed a 25 yard effort which cleared the bar whilst Ryan Beswick’s powerful drive from 15 yards was tipped over.
Goalless at the interval was a fair reflection – Solihull had had the better of the play but needed to convert their forays inside the opposition’s box into goals.
Danny Lewis was soon into action as play resumed as he dived full length to finger tip a long low drive from Moyo and on the hour mark Armson had just Hornby to beat as he shot from 12 yards under pressure.
Knights put in a good cross from the left flank but with Brown inches in front of it, his header lacked power and landed safely in the keeper’s arms.
Ex Moors and Wrexham midfielder Joe Clarke looked impressive through out the entire game but his goal bound shot on 69 minutes was tipped away for a corner by Lewis.
Armson made way for Akwasi Asante on 72 minutes and almost immediately he was in the thick of the action as he put in a dangerous ball across the goal line which could so easily have resulted in the first goal as Brackley skipper Mills stuck out a foot but the ball went just the wrong side of the near post.
He was not to be denied, however, and when Daly nodded on Knights corner, there was Asante to head home from two yards out.
Adam Walker was the last piece of the jig saw as he replaced Knights with six minutes of normal time left but what an influential substitution that proved to be.
In as many minutes Walker had two close shots on goal and, with Asante, he was instrumental in keeping the ball largely out by the corner post as Solihull helped time ebb away.
Clarke’s free kick in the last minute of normal time flew over the central defence and was close to being headed in as it dropped but Lewis was well placed to save the day.