Solihull Moors 1 Maidenhead United 0
By John Clothier
Take Two for Tim’s Troops
Ten man Solihull Moors saw off Berkshire’s Maidenhead United to make it a perfect start to the Vanarama National League campaign with two wins from two games.
Striker Adi Yussuf also made it two goals from two, netting what proved to be the winner in the first half of an attritional contest at the Automated Technology Group Stadium.
In the first home game under the stewardship of new manager Tim Flowers, Moors made two enforced changes from injuries picked up in Saturday’s 2-1 win at Eastleigh, with George Carline coming in for the Alex Gudger in defence and Jermaine Hylton replacing Kwame Thomas up front.
Moors created the first opening of note in the fifth minute when Danny Wright controlled Yussuf’s cross from the left flank and hammered a shot just wide of the left upright.
On 14 minutes, Darren Carter sprayed a pass for Jamie Reckord bursting down the left, and he sent over a deep cross which Hylton nodded goalwards only for visiting keeper Carl Pentney to save the ball low to his left.
Maidenhead’s registered a first effort on target two minutes later through Nana Owusu’s long range free kick which drew a save from Ryan Boot.
As Moors built up a head of steam, Jamey Osborne weaved his way through the visitors defence and slipped a delightful ball through to Wright but his effort was well saved by Pentney as the linesman flagged for offside.
On 27 minutes the deadlock was broken when Reckord’s deep cross was retrieved on the right by Hylton, who left Rene Steer for dead and cut it back neatly for Yussuf to swivel and strike the ball into the bottom corner from inside the area.
A physical midfield battle ensued as first Carter and then Reckord were booked for strong challenges in quick succession.
Moors had the chance to double the lead when once again Osborne played in Wright but he blasted his shot wide of the upright with only the keeper to beat.
Ten minutes before the break, Wright broke free inside the left of the penalty area and when he was felled by Magpies skipper Alan Massey referee James Oldham had hesitation in pointing to the spot. Wright stepped up confidently but smashed his penalty against the left hand post and the ball bounced to safety.
Maidenhead created an opening just before the break when a Owusu’s corner was only half cleared and he put the ball over to the far post to big centre half Ayo Obileye but he couldn’t direct a header on goal while under pressure.
Half time Moors 1 Maidenhead 0
After a scrappy start, Moors had a flurry of chances ten minutes into the second period. Industrious work down the right from Wright won a corner after his cross shot was diverted just past the post.
From the resulting corner, Carter played it short to Reckord and his cross fell nicely for Tyrone Williams but his effort was beaten away by Pentney. Moors recycled the ball to Carter whose clever pass found Wright in the box but his first shot was blocked and he spooned the follow up well over the bar.
Maidenhead enjoyed their best spell of the game on the hour mark with a succession of corners. First Ryan Bird saw a good header tipped wide by Boot, then Harold Odametey’s goalbound shot was cleared off the line by Kyle Storer.
Moors held firm and withstood the physical challenge as both teams pursued a direct approach to goal.
Reckord continued to offer an outlet and his powerful shot from distance on 73 minutes produced a smart save from Pentney onto the post. A minute later Osborne’s free kick found Williams in an advanced position but his header from six yards out missed the target.
With the final ten minutes approaching, Storer’s great ball the far post picked out Hylton unmarked at the far post but somehow he missed with the goal at his mercy.
A nervy finish was set up when Reckord capped an eventful evening with a red card for a second bookable offence after chopping down Adrian Clifton. From the free kick Massey climbed highest but headed just over.
Moors safely negotiated the five minutes of added time to seal three points and send Maidenhead back to the banks of the River Thames still fishing for their first point of the season.
Full time: Solihull Moors 1 Maidenhead United 0
Solihull Moors line up: Boot, Williams, Carline, Reckord, Daly, Storer ©, Carter (Maxwell, 90), Osborne, Yussuf (Willock, 89), Wright, Hylton (Sweeney, 84)
By Chris Cresswell (@CresswellComms) Photos By Tom King