Wrexham 1 Solihull Moors 0
By John Clothier
Moors Exit Dragon's Den Pointless
Moors were at full strength for this battle between second and fourth in the league. Strong winds had abated and a massive crowd of well over 6000 provided the backcloth as Solihull looked for their first win at the Racecourse ground.
With just two minutes on the clock Jamey Osborne was clattered by Summerfield just beyond the 18-yard line -Darren Carter’s free kick went straight into the wall and he fired the rebound over the bar. James Jennings put in a dangerous cross on eleven minutes but Akil Wright headed over when well placed.
Danny Wright, playing against one of his former clubs, tried a low 25 yarder but it lacked power and was an easy take for keeper Lainton. Then on the quarter hour mark he robbed Walker and put Nathan Blissett away but the shot was just wide. Luke Rutherford got behind the Moors defence but Ryan Boot saved with his legs
Osborne was again brought down on the half way line resulting in Carter unleashing a long-range effort that Lainton did well to parry. At the other end Akil Wright blasted over having got on the end of a decent cross from Beavon. Wrexham’s best chance thus far arrived on 26 minutes when Beavon again wreaked havoc on the six-yard line but Grant was denied from point blank range by Tyrone Williams.
Ryan Boot snatched a high ball after The Dragon’s had pounded Moors 18-yard area and as they broke out of defence Danny Wright was brought down within striking range but Carter’s free kick was cleared by Pearson. Wright had another chance seven minutes before the interval but was off target whilst Luke Maxwell’s charge into the box ended with a strong tackle from Mark Carrington. Walker tried a speculative effort from 30 yards but Boot was well placed
Moors best opportunity of the half came in added time when Carter got on the end of Osborne’s long throw but Jennings cleared the ball off the goal line.
Evens at the break was a fair reflection – both teams, albeit with different styles of play, had had their chances but resolute defending at both ends was the order of the opening half.
Play had hardly resumed when Wrexham took the lead on 48 minutes. Grant found Jennings unmarked on the left wing and as he put in a low cross from the by-line, Rutherford was waiting to convert from point blank range. 1 – 0.
It took Solihull a few minutes to regroup – Osborne was robbed on the 18-yard line after gliding passed three defenders. Jamie Reckord was upended near the corner post but Osborne’s corner was deflected for a goal kick by Luke Maxwell. As tempers frayed Grant and Carter were warned by referee Bourne. The free-flowing play in the first half had given way to something far more rugged.
Tim Flowers made his first substitution on 68 minutes when on came Jermaine Hylton for Maxwell and almost immediately Adi Yussuf replaced Wright. Assistant referee Michael D’Aguilar was knocked flying as the battle between Reckord and Grant reached boiling point but was able to carry on. Moors were very much in the ascendancy but getting the ball into the 18-yard box was one thing – getting over the goal line, another!
On 75 minutes Alex Gudger got on the end of a Reckord cross but the header was agonisingly wide. Wrexham retaliated but Summerfield’s effort was also the wrong side of the upright. Boot, the busier of the two keepers at this juncture saved well from Akil Wright’s low drive from a tight angle.
With Matty Stenson replacing Blissett, Solihull threw everything at their hosts. Yussuf turned well in the box but the shot lacked any power. Gudger was wide on the end of an Osborne chip into the area with 5 minutes remaining. Stenson seized on Yussuf’s pass but curled it inches wide. They kept up the pressure right to the end of five added minutes but could not penetrate the dragon’s defence.
Ans so Moors returned home pointless from a game where both teams were evenly matched and a share of the spoils deserved. On New Years day they entertain Chesterfield in the return match for Boxing Day. The Spireites sacked their manager, Martin Allen after our 0 – 4 win and will be out for revenge! Kick Off is at 3.00 pm. Then next Saturday Eastleigh come to Solihull looking to build on a good run recently which has seen them up to 10th in the league, seven points behind Moors
Man of the Match - Alex Gudger
Attendance 6220 (116)
Boot, Williams, Reckord, Storer ©, Daly, Gudger, Osborne, Carter, Blissett (Stenson), Maxwell (Hylton), Wright (Yussuf). Subs not Used; Carline, Flowers
Report from John Clothier – Photos Courtesy of Tom King