Chesterfield 0 Solihull Moors 4
Blistering Blissett Helps Himself to a Brace on Debut - writes John Clothier
Boxing Day saw Moors visit the Proact Stadium at Chesterfield for the very first time as they took on the “Spireites” one of the two teams relegated last season from the EFL. The hosts have taken time to settle in the National League but recent results have been encouraging. Moors needed to put behind them the two defeats away at Blackpool and home to Barrow. Tim Flowers was able to name his strongest squad which included newly signed striker, Nathan Blissett, in the starting line-up.
Moors were on the front foot from the kick off with Danny Wright heading over from Darren Carter’s early corner. Then before the home side had time to settle Wright put Nathan Blissett through for almost his first touch in a Moors shirt and he coolly slotted it beyond the out stretched hand of keeper Burton and into the far corner of the net. 0 – 1 with four minutes played.
Jamey Osborne spilt the Spireites defence with a wicked cross but neither of the front runners could make contact. It was some 10 minutes before Chesterfield started to put their game together but when they did so it was fast one touch football and Lee Shaw in particular was causing all manner of problems, especially down the right flank. It was a heart in mouth moment on 14 minutes when he battled his way into the Moors 6-yard box and unleashed a fierce shot but Ryan Boot had positioned himself well to deal with the stinger.
Amantchi was next to try his luck on the end on a decent pass from Beestin but was blocked by Alex Gudger. The Moors central defender was then penalised by Referee Purkiss but Reid’s free kick was cleared for a corner. Shaw was away again on 24 minutes but his dangerous cross was cleared by Liam Daly before the front runners could connect.
Osborne put in a 20 yarder which was deflected for a corner from which on 29 minutes Moors doubled their lead; Daly nodded the ball across the face of the goal and there was Blissett to head beyond Burton. 0 – 2.
Boot made a good save from Beestin as the hosts powered forward but Moors were having their fair share of attack and might have added another following good work from Kyle Storer and Osborne whose pin point cross found Carter in the box but he was bundled off the ball before he could shoot. Luke Maxwell was also causing problems as he powered through the midfield and his cross just before the interval was cleared to Storer on the 18-yard line but the volley went wide.
Moors justified their two-goal advantage at the break but one had the feeling that it was not enough by itself to see Solihull through to all three points at the end of the game.
Moors restarted the match looking for that third goal. Wright, on the end of a flick from Blissett, hit a thunderous shot from an acute angle in the 46th minute but quick reactions from Burton saw the keeper push the ball onto the upright and away to safety. Tyrone Williams put Wright away again moments later but Carter was unable to make contact with the cross.
At the other end Amantchi was just wide from within the box but as Moors attacked through Osborne’s defence splitter, Carter was just wide. Tyrone Williams was clattered as he ran down the right flank but Moors could not capitalise on Carters curling free kick. Wright showed some skill as he collected Boot’s long kick but Blissett was in the way of his goal bound effort which gave Burton an easy take. Blissett turned provider on 66 minutes but Wright was adjudged off side.
Solihull effectively put the game to bed on 70 minutes when Osborne was up ended by Binnom-Williams; Carter put in a curling free kick which was not defended and Alex Gudger rose highest to bullet head home from 5 yards. 0 – 3.
Proceedings were unceremoniously delayed as home supporters staged a pitch invasion resulting in all players leaving the field of play. When play resumed on 79 minutes Moors made their first substitution with Hylton on for Wright.
Boot made a diving save as play resumed but it wasn’t very long before Jama ran at the Spireites defence and his cross from the byline almost sneaked in. He did not have to wait long for another chance and on 83 minutes, again from the left, he cut inside and thumped the ball into the near corner of the net.0 – 4.
Stenson replaced Storer on 84 minutes and almost immediately Adi Yussuf replaced Blissett.
Hylton went wide on 85 minutes and in the third of 10 added minutes caused by the pitch invasion, Gudger hit over the bar from an Osborne corner.
Tim Flowers was delighted with his team’s performance
“As a team we were excellent. We had to bounce back from a defeat where we were below par. Today we were right back on it. I thought we were bright and I couldn’t be any more delighted with them – it’s a massive three points for us."
The win elevates Moors up to fourth in the National league with Salford, Orient and Harrogate all losing whilst Fylde could only manage a draw at the resurgent Barrow. Moors visit Wrexham on Saturday well aware that their second placed opponents will be buoyed by their 5 – 1 hammering of Salford. Kick Off Saturday at The Racecourse Ground is at 3.00 pm
Then on New Years Day, Chesterfield come to the ATG Stadium clearly seeking revenge for the Boxing Day result. Again it kicks off at 3.00 pm
Man of the Match - Nathan Blissett
Attendance 4877 (110)
Boot, Williams, Reckord, Storer© (Stenson), Daly, Gudger, Osborne, Carter, Blissett (Yussuf), Maxwell, Wright (Hylton) Subs not used Carline, Flowers.
Report from John Clothier - Photos Courtesy of Tom King