Solihull Moors 0 FC Halifax Town 0
By john clothier
Stalemate at the ATG Stadium... reports John Clothier
Moors were at full strength apart from the injured Alex Gudger as they took on mid table FC Halifax Town at the Automated Technology Group Stadium last night. After 96 minutes and despite Moors dominating much of the game they failed to find that elusive goal and had to settle for just the one point.
Solihull were immediately pounding the Halifax goal with a Jamey Osborne cross in the first minute to Adi Yussuf cleared but straight back to the midfielder who then put Danny Wright through only for keeper Sam Johnson to make the first of many fine saves.
The Shayman’s first attack on 9 minutes saw Southwell volley a hard-low cross but it was wide – nevertheless a warning that the Halifax striker was yet again enjoying playing against Moors!
Moors continued to pressure the visitors 18-yard box but when they were awarded an indirect free kick some 10 yards out, Darren Carter’s curling effort towards the far post was brilliantly pushed away by Johnson. Again, the Halifax shot stopper was well placed as Osborne’s 30-yard free kick was collected by Harry Flowers but the shot was well saved. Yussuf headed for goal from Jamie Reckord’s pin point cross but Johnson was equal to it.
Halifax were, however, getting their game together and starting to hit Solihull on the break but two successive corners were both headed over the bar. Ryan Boots’ early reaction as he raced out of his area cleared another attack. Southwell found space to split the Solihull defence with a cross from the right but there was nobody there to capitalise.
Moors pressure did, however, bring about a penalty on the half hour mark when Jermaine Hylton was hacked to the ground from behind by Shayman skipper Brown - Wright stepped up to blast the ball way over the cross bar. The Moors midfielder needed the physio before he could continue and would be substituted later as a result of that tackle
On 34 minutes Reckord found Hylton in the box – it was a great header towards the near post but yet again Johnson scrambled it away with a superb one-handed diving save despite protestations from the Solihull players that the ball had actually crossed the line. Yussuf was brought down in the penalty area but referee Smith signalled no foul.
It was everything but the kitchen sink as Moors pounded the visitors; Osborne’s 20 yarder was over, Reckord was causing all manner of problems down the left flank but his cross to Wright was headed onto the goal netting. Hylton put Yussuf away as half time beckoned but Johnson was waiting and finally before the half time whistle, Wright flicked the ball to Darren Carter but Johnson thwarted his long range effort at the second attempt
Last action of the half went to the Shaymen as Matty Kosylo got on the end of a free kick, pulled the ball back to Edwards, but the shot was cleared
Goal less at half time was very disappointing but perhaps ominous
Halifax looked more settled as play resumed but Moors were still on the front foot. Hylton picked up a loose ball on 55 minutes but his cross eluded the attack whilst two Osborne free kicks failed to cause any problems.
Just passed the hour mark an Osborne corner was nodded down by Flowers but Hylton shot over the bar. Again, Osborne got the attack going but his ball to Carter resulted in a cross with nobody available to convert. Hylton limped off on 69 minutes to be replaced by Matty Stenson and another substitution quickly followed at Kwame Thomas replaced Wright.
Osborne played a delightful chip to Reckord but again the final shot went over. Stenson too cleared the cross bar. At the other end the dangerous Southwell elicited a quite brilliant low save from Ryan Boot.
It was now end to end play as both teams looked for the elusive goal. Stenson was finding space on the flanks and his curler with 5 minutes left on the clock just needed a toe poke but Yussuf, at full stretch, cleared the bar.
Three additional minutes failed to change the game which ended 0 - 0 with a point for both teams.
A philosophical Tim Flowers summed it up:
“To watch football of that calibre must be a real bonus for the Solihull Moors supporters."
I could not be any happier with the way they played.
In football you never disrespect a point, ever!”
All the front runners’ in the league won last night apart from Leyton Orient who drew with Eastleigh. Moors drop to sixth in the table just three points behind leaders Salford
On Saturday they host 11th placed Boreham Wood at the ATG Stadium kick off 3.00 pm
Man of the Match Tyrone Williams
Boot, Williams, Reckord, Storer © (Maxwell), Daly, Osborne, Carter, Yussuf, Hylton (Stenson), Flowers, Wright (Thomas). Subs Not Used - Carline, O’Keeffe
Report from John Clothier Photos Courtesy of Tom King