Gateshead 1 Solihull Moors 2
By Luke Turner
Crucial three points for Flowers' side...
Solihull Moors moved up to third in the Vanarama National League table following a well-deserved victory away at Gateshead.
Goals either side of the break from Liam Daly and Darren Carter were enough for Tim Flowers’ men, who made it back-to-back victories.
The Moors had a glorious chance to take the lead with just a minute gone. Jamey Osborne played in a peach of a ball with the outside of his boot and there was Danny Wright in acres, but his close-range header was straight at Aynsley Pears who blocked the effort.
At the other end, Jon Mellish played in Steve Rigg who found space out wide, before he fizzed a left-footed strike well wide of Ryan Boot’s goal.
Jermaine Hylton was next to try his luck as an initial set piece stayed in and around the box, before Hylton collected and shot inches wide of the left post.
Some tricky play from the Moors’ number 10 then saw him jink past a Gateshead defender with ease and play it into Nathan Blissett – the striker’s snap-shot didn’t quite have the power required as Pears collected comfortably.
The Moors deservedly took the lead after 22 minutes as Carter’s in-swinging corner was met by Daly who, unmarked at the back post, nodded into the back of the net – the defender’s first league goal since December 2017.
Skipper Kyle Storer was inches away from doubling that lead on the half-hour mark as his volley beat Pears all ends up, but the post was there to save Heed.
Another chance then came and went as Osborne broke forward and played in Wright, who was thwarted by Pears from close range.
The hosts weren’t disheartened and looked to find a way back into the game. Mellish dinked in a ball that found its way to Scott Boden at the back post, but the half-volley was directed straight at Boot.
Hylton then wriggled his way into the Gateshead area, before attempting an effort from a tight angle that Pears did well to tip round the post.
Half-time: Gateshead 0-1 Solihull Moors
Within seven minutes of the restart, that elusive second goal came for Tim Flowers’ men. Jamie Reckord’s cross into the box was nodded down by Blissett and there was Carter, storming onto the second ball, to collect and smash into the top corner.
Heed were given the chance to almost immediately respond as Daly was judged to have handled in the area – Boden confidently sent Boot the wrong way to make it 1-2.
With 20 minutes of the game remaining, Osborne drove into the Gateshead penalty area and went down under a challenge – referee Simon Mather judged that the Moors man had dived and booked him in the process.
After joining the club permanently on Monday afternoon, Luke Maxwell was brought on with 15 minutes to play as Solihull looked to consolidate and protect their one-goal lead.
A mix-up in the home defence could and probably should have sealed the game for Moors as Wright raced through clean on goal. His initial effort was saved well by Pears, before Wright looked to simply head the ball into an empty net – the forward got underneath the ball and Pears collected.
Thankfully it made no difference as the Moors marched on to continue their unbeaten start to 2019 and sensational 2018/19 campaign.
Full-time: Gateshead 1-2 Solihull Moors
Solihull Moors: Boot, Williams, Reckord, Storer ©, Daly, Gudger, Osborne (Maxwell 75), Carter, Hylton, Blissett (Stenson 80), Wright (Yussuf 82).
Subs not used: Carline, Flowers.
Attendance: 519 (28 away)