Solihull Moors 0 Barrow AFC 1
By Luke Turner
Rooney's Revenge After the Lord Mayor's Show - writes John Clothier
After the gut-wrenching narrow defeat on Tuesday away at Blackpool in the FA Cup, Moors returned to League action against a Barrow side that has seen results steadily improve over recent weeks. The match marked the 250th appearance for Moors of Liam Daly – what a servant he has been to our Club!
The “Bluebirds” were left with with nothing when Moors visited Holker Street earlier in the Season courtesy of a last gasp missed penalty at the end of added time from John Rooney younger brother of Former England star, Wayne
Moors were at full strength but several of these players had left the pitch at Bloomfield Road exhausted after Moors valiant effort to progress to the third round for the first time ever. Today would be a big ask.
After just 3 minutes Moors had their first chance when Jamey Osborne’s curling free kick was met by Alex Gudger but the shot needed more power as Dixon saved. Barrow looked comfortable with some impressive touch play and Ryan Boot had to be off his line in a hurry on the quarter hour mark with a kick that went straight to his opposite number at the other end of the ground.
With the game ebbing and flowing, but neither keeper particularly busy, Solihull could not capitalise on Jermaine Hylton’s cross into a crowded six-yard box. Moors had another sniff at goal when Darren Carter volleyed first time as Osborne’s long throw was headed out by Dan Jones but Dixon was well placed.
Alex Gudger put Danny Wright away in the box on 42 minutes but the Moors target man drilled the ball over as he turned. Barrow retaliated with the best chance thus far as Norrington- Davies put in a dangerous cross which needed only a header but it eluded the Bluebirds front men.
As the whistle beckoned for half time Wright headed wide from Carter’s corner and in added time Carter shot over after good work from Adi Yussuf.
Goalless at the interval was as good as Moors could have hoped – in truth their visitors had edged play.
Barrow restarted brightly with play maker John Rooney curling an 18 yarder just wide of the post with Boot at full stretch and almost immediately putting a pin point ball across the goal which was just beyond the advancing Jacob Blyth. Moors retaliated with Wright back heeling Tyrone William’s through ball but Hylton’s thunderbolt on a one on one was foiled by the legs of Dixon.
In truth the visitors were controlling the centre of the park and waves of attack were worrying the home side. Tim Flowers decided on the hour that action was needed to bolster the mid field and swapped Carter for Luke Maxwell. Matt Stenson was on for Yussuf shortly afterwards. Maxwell launched a goal bound effort from 30 yards out but it was deflected away to safety.
The deadlock was broken on 72 minutes when substitute, Jack Hindle, with his first touch of the game held up the ball for Rooney who drilled a well taken low ball into the right-hand corner of the net.1 – 0.
George Carline replaced Hylton as Moors went for the equaliser and the three substitutions and fresh legs did make a difference. On 75 minutes Osborne’s corner was met by the head of Danny Wright but it was wide with the goal at his mercy. Jamie Reckord’s cross again was headed goal wards by Stenson but needed more power.
Ryan Boot ‘s poor clearance on 83 minutes went straight to the marauding Hindle but his shot was wide. Taylor hacked Osborne to the ground leading to a “hand bags” situation and Kyle Storer being booked
Moors almost equalised in added time when Boot’s long kick was flicked by Wright to Carline but his inspirational lob landed on the top of the cross bar
And so, it finished with all three points going back to Cumbria on a day when a win would have seen Moors up to fourth in the league. As it was they were leap frogged by AFC Fylde and now sit sixth in the play-off positions
On Boxing day Solihull travel to Chesterfield and next Saturday they are in Wales to face third placed Wrexham. Chesterfield then complete the festive season when they visit Solihull on New Years day. All matches commence at 3.00 pm
Man of the Match - Liam Daly
Boot, Williams, Reckord, Storer ©,Daly, Gudger, Osborne, Carter (Maxwell), Yussuf (Stenson), Hylton (Carline) Wright, Subs not used: Thomas, Flowers.
Report from John Clothier Photos Courtesy of Richard King