Solihull Moors 0 Salford City 0
Tough Encounter Sees Spoils Shared - Report from John Clothier
Moors entertained Salford City at the ATG Stadium on Saturday, the first ever meeting between the two sides. Moors started the day in fourth position in the National League two places behind their opponents.
Salford came into the match on a 17-match unbeaten run in the National League but Solihull had tasted defeat only once in their previous 9 league matches, during which they have kept 7 clean sheets.
Moors were without the suspended Jamey Osborne and Corry O’Keeffe but Tyrone Williams and Jermaine Hylton were fully fit again.
Solihull started on the front foot with Luke Maxwell battling his way into the Salford box but his final touch was a step too far for Adi Yussuf. Danny Wright produced a knock down from a free kick but Liam Daly’s shot just cleared the bar. Yussuf was the caught off side as he marauded in the box.
Salford’s captain and centre forward Adam Rooney headed Daniel Whitehead through on 11 minutes but his 20 yarder was just wide. The Ammies then broke swiftly out of defence but a weak cross from the left was an easy take for Ryan Boot. Jamie Reckord put in a well-timed interception to deny Thomas Walker before a dangerous cross from Scott Wiseman saw Alex Gudger diving through the air to head clear.
As the half hour beckoned Salford were enjoying their best spell of the match and Moors had Boot to thank as he foiled Rooney after a cheeky chip from Whitehead. Nathan Pond put Touray away down the left but his long curling cross glanced the cross bar and away to safety.
On 36 minutes Matt Stenson ran through the Ammies mid field but Yussuf hit the final pass slightly wide and over. A Darren Carter free kick five minutes from the interval was easily cleared but when he followed this up with a trade mark in swinging corner it needed all of Keeper Neal’s agility to palm it away at the far post.Two minutes of added time saw Gaffney denied by Boot with a dive to his left.
Goal less at half time was realistic – both teams had battled for midfield supremacy but chances in the final third at both ends were few. Both Keepers had had a relatively quiet opening half.
With just seconds played after the restart Luke Maxwell swung a shot towards goal but again just the wrong side of the upright. Touray found Walker in the box but the shot, deflected by Rooney, brought out a fine diving save from Boot.
On 55 minutes Moors were disappointed to have a goal disallowed; A long Solihull throw caused mayhem in the six yard box, eventually falling for Yussuf to toe poke the ball into net with Neal lying prone some 5 yards out. Referee Hull signalled a goal before a barrage of protest from the Salford players and discussion with the assistant referee saw him overturn the decision and award a free kick to the visitors for a foul on the goal keeper.
Salford came straight back with Boot saving at point blank range with his legs before Daly denied Walker and cleared off the line.
Moors were thwarted by Neal with an hour played as Carter unleashed a goal bound effort, whilst Yussuf had a half hearted penalty shout waived away by the referee.
On 65 minutes Manager Flowers made the first substitution with Hylton on for Stenson and ten minutes later it was Kwamy Thomas replacing Yussuf. Hylton was unlucky when he found space outside the box but his shot hit the upright
Lloyds low bobbling twenty yard shot was safely into the hands of Boot before the Solihull shot stopper produced the save of the day and possibly the season; Gaffney collected the ball in mid field following a defensive mistake and as he pounded forward down the right he squared the ball to the waiting Maynard just some 10 yards out – he hit the ball well on the volley but somehow Boot managed to swivel in mid-air to save with his left hand.
Salford had the best of the closing minutes but neither side could break down the defensive barriers as it ended all square
The result sees Moors drop to fifth place on equal points behind Harrogate Town who beat Braintree. Solihull host the men from North Yorkshire on Tuesday the 4th December in what is essentially a six pointer. Before that they will focus on Friday nights home FA Cup match against EFL Division 1 Blackpool , KO 7.55 pm. This match is being shown live on BBC and for ticket details please refer to website
Stride Industrial Group Man of the Match Award Luke Maxwell
Boot, Williams, Reckord, Storer ©, Daly, Gudger, Carter, Yussuf (Thomas), Maxwell. Wright (Carline), Stenson (Hylton) Subs not Used; Flowers, Murphy
Attendance 2216 (227 Salford)
Report from John Clothier
Photos Courtesy of Tom King