Solihull Moors’ unbeaten run at home stretched to ten after earning a credible point against high-flying Aldershot Town.
Despite an indifferent beginning to the game, The Moors ought to have earned all three points with a brave team selection matched by a strong performance but they were left to rue missed chances come the final whistle.
Yates made three changes from the side the drew 0-0 with Halifax Town the previous Saturday as Jamey Osborne, Kyle Storer and Jermaine Hylton all returned to the starting XI. Captain Darren Carter was the surprise exclusion, Omari Sterling-James keeping his place in the team with George Carline and Paul Green also dropping out.
The visitors had hoped to make the most of an indifferent start from The Moors but both Josh McQuoid and Shamir Fenelon saw their shots deflected wide by the long legs of Fiacre Kelleher.
Moors did improve and had two huge opportunities within a minute of each other. First, Sterling-James’ low cross somehow found its way through a raft of bodies into the path of Kwame Thomas who did excellently to poke the ball towards goal but he found Lewis Ward in the way.
A moment later, Adi Yussuf moved central and played a first-time pass over the top for Jermaine Hylton who took far too long to get his shot away, eventually opting for the chip with Lewis Ward barely half a yard from the ball.
Jamie Reckord tried his luck but failed to strike cleanly after a poor first touch. The left-back, always impressive in possession, then started an attack that ended with Hylton finding Thomas alone on the right. Again, Thomas took too long to get the shot away and Ward could make the easy save.
There was a nervy moment at the start of the second half when Emanuele Oyeleke headed Adam McDonnell’s corner over. It was a rare moment of concern in an otherwise strong half. Sterling-James’ free-kick was narrowly wide of the near post and he struck again a couple of minutes later but saw his strike deflected wide.
The Moors ought to have taken the lead on 55 minutes but Aldershot somehow held firm. Kelleher won the first ball at a set-piece and found Jermaine Hylton who outmanoeuvred his marker but Ward blocked his effort. Yussuf picked up the pieces and having composed himself, selling a defender in the process, he appeared destined to score only to be denied by a last-ditch block.
Matt McClure hit the side-netting at the other end before Jamey Osborne broke through the midfield, finding Kwame Thomas who couldn’t slide his shot underneath Ward.
Darren Carter replaced Sterling-James and almost immediately had the desired impact, his superb control matched by a pass that sent Yussuf down the left. His cross was whipped in and Thomas was just blocked off at the back post when destined to tap the ball into an empty net.
Chances were few and far between as the game came to a close, both sides seemingly happy to take the point. Jamey Osborne ended a lengthy game of head tennis by spanking the ball wide from 30 yards.
Alex Reid, who had replaced Adi Yussuf, thought he might have won the game in injury time but saw his effort blocked. Josh McQuoid thought similar barely a minute later but Max O’Leary was on hand to tip over the shot.
And that was that. It’s easy to see why Aldershot remain one of the most consistent sides in the division given their work ethic and organisation and its yet another clear indication that this Moors side can take on the best on our day.
Speaking of taking on the best – Tranmere Rovers aren’t far off. It promises to be an intriguing Bank Holiday Monday fixture!
Starting XI: O’Leary; Williams, Daly, Kelleher, Reckord; Sterling-James (Carter), Storer, Osborne; Thomas, Hylton (Lait), Yussuf (Reid). Unused: K.Green, Carline.