Having scraped by Ossett Town in the FA Cup, a week of fixtures against Guiseley, Eastleigh and AFC Fylde offered Richard Money a brilliant chance to get Solihull Moors up and running for the season.
At Guiseley we produced a defensive horror show that left us at our lowest ebb since promotion, bottom of the National League and with real pressure on us to earn results.
Then came Tuesday night and as soon as the starting XI was announced, everybody seemed confident. Kristian Green back at centre-half where he excelled at the back end of last season, three in midfield to solidify the side and a trio up front with the kind of intelligent movement and power to cause any opposition problems.
It worked a treat and we earned three points for the first time since the opening week of September, Jermaine Hylton getting his first league goal for the club and Oladapo Afolayan making it 8 goals for the season.
AFC Fylde are welcomed back to the Automated Technology Group Stadium for the first time since we beat them 3-0 back in August 2015 on our way to a title-winning campaign.
The Coasters have endured an indifferent start with four wins, seven draws and five defeats from their opening 16 league matches. Defeats against Maidenhead United and Halifax Town will have been difficult to take but victories away at Hartlepool United and Leyton Orient on top of Tuesday night’s home win against Wrexham will do plenty for morale.
A win would do wonders for both sides with Fylde potentially jumping to 15th and Moors possibly moving to within a point of exiting the drop zone ahead of next week’s big FA Cup tie with Wycombe Wanderers.
Saturday could be an absolute corker of a game.
Richard Money was delighted on Tuesday night:
‘I was delighted with the performance. From 1 – 11 I thought we were very good. We’ve been searching for the right balance between offense and defence and searching for the right formula and gradually we have eased our way to what we started with tonight. I thought we played with a real good shape and good intelligence and the front three are a problem for anyone.’
‘We just felt we needed to find a way to get those three in the team. We tried 3-4-3 and we left ourselves a little bit open and tonight we’ve decided to go 4-3-3 in the hope that it would suit us better. I thought Paul Green coming back into the team was a real plus and him, Courtney (Richards) and Darren (Carter) really gave us some solidity in the middle and enabled the front three to cause them problems all night. I was really pleased with the way that we performed.’
Solihull Moors Team News:
Kieran Higgs could make his Solihull Moors debut after joining on loan from Norwich City. Richard Money will be without Richard Brodie, Wes McDonald, Tahvon Campbell and Daniel Cleary after the quartet departed this week.
Player to watch: Jermaine Hylton
Jermaine Hylton is looking sharper with every game he plays and the pace he showed to break in behind the Eastleigh defence on Tuesday to score was most impressive.
AFC Fylde Team News:
AFC Fylde welcome back Lewis Montrose after his second suspension of the season was completed. It’s unlikely many changes will be made following their impressive victory over Wrexham in midweek.
Player to watch: Danny Rowe
Danny Rowe’s record in the National League North last season was not to be sniffed at. Despite Fylde’s indifferent beginning to the season, the striker has scored 6 including a fine free-kick on Tuesday night.
Match Facts & Stats
SOLIHULL MOORS -24th
Overall record: Played 16; Won 3, Drawn 2, Lost 12; For 18, Against 32, GD -14; Points 11
Last six at home Played 6; Won 1, Drawn 1, Lost 4; For 5, Against 9, GD -4; Points 4
Most starts: Darren Carter – 17
Most goals: Oladapo Afolayan – 8
Worst discipline: Shepherd Murombedzi – 5 yellow cards
AFC Fylde – 18th
Overall record: Played 16; Won 4, Drawn 7, Lost 5; For 24, Against 25, GD -1; Points 19
Last six away Played 6; Won 2, Drawn 1, Lost 3; For 9, Against 9, GD 0; Points 7
Most starts: Jordan Tunnicliffe and Danny Rowe – 16
Most goals: Danny Rowe – 6
Worst discipline: Lewis Montrose – 4 yellow cards and 2 red cards
Referee: Karl Evans
National League matches officiated 17/18: 6
Yellow cards produced: 21
Red cards produced: 0
Penalties awarded: 0
Last time in charge of Solihull Moors: Solihull Moors 2-0 Eastleigh – 22/04/2017
Assistant referees: Hallam Cutmore and Oliver Morris-Sanders
Fourth official: Scott Postin
Solihull Moors 2-1 AFC Fylde
Solihull Moors’ next six fixtures:
05/11/2017 – Wycombe Wanderers (H) – 14:00 – FAC
11/11/2017 – Sutton United (H) – NL
18/11/2017 – Maidstone United (A) – NL
21/11/2017 – Wrexham (A) – NL
25/11/2017 – Gateshead (H) – NL
02/12/2017 – Leyton Orient (H) – NL