Date: 25th October 2017 at 11:22am
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Solihull Moors’ winless was ended thanks to a 2-1 victory away at Eastleigh.

It was the first victory recorded under Richard Money’s stewardship, achieved thanks to goals from Jermaine Hylton and Oladapo Afolayan.

The feel-good factor on the night began almost at the point the starting XI was announced with both goalscorers brought back into the starting XI in a more attacking 4-3-3 formation. Nick Townsend made his first start after joining on loan from Championship club Barnsley while Paul Green made a first start since the 2-1 defeat away at Woking over a month ago.

Joel Kettle dropped to the bench while Nathan Vaughan, Jordan Liburd and Fiacre Kelleher were left out of the squad. Kristian Green moved into the centre of defence with Shepherd Murombedzi and James Bowen acting as more orthodox full-backs. Paul Green joined Darren Carter and Courtney Richards in midfield with Hylton and Afolayan flanking Akwasi Asante.

The 61 travelling away supporters may have feared the worst early on when Danny Hollands’ curling left-foot strike landed inches above the crossbar before Ben Williamson was played in only to fire wide.

Any doubts were flushed away on four minutes. Nick Townsend’s long kick was flicked on by Michael Green under pressure from Afolayan. Hylton was sharp and made a move in behind the Eastleigh defence to latch onto the through ball and chip Flitney.

From thereon it was a positive display, particularly in the first half as we set the tempo. Akwasi Asante cut the ball back for Carter who fired over before Murombedzi and Paul Green linked up to find Afolayan, the youngster turning sharply but dragging his effort just wide.

There was a scare on 18 minutes via an Eastleigh corner. Paul McCallum’s header was cleared off the line by Murombedzi before James Constable’s effort was deflected wide. Constable later snatched at an effort that didn’t trouble Townsend.

Moors regained control with Afolayan and Hylton causing big problems for Eastleigh’s powerful defence. After being fouled for a Carter free-kick, Afolayan then attracted bodies for a physical duel allowing Hylton to sneak in behind, rounding Flitney but unable to beat Obileye.

Carter broke through the lines but fired straight at the keeper before another counter-attack ended with Afolayan’s strike being parried inches away from the boot of Hylton. The hosts had the last chance of the half, McSheffrey’s cross falling to Cresswell who flashed the ball wide.

It took 11 second half minutes for Solihull Moors to make it 2-0 and the same pair causing problems. Hylton drove through the centre and found Afolayan in a wide left position. He beat his man but was forced wide before shooting at Flitney who somehow pushed the ball into the back of the net.

The Spitfires responded three minutes later to give themselves a lifeline. A right-wing cross was swung in hopefully and McCallum was calm as Daly missed his header. The knock-down fell for Ben Williamson who was on hand to poke the ball home.

Moors continued to counter efficiently. Hylton was tackled on the halfway line only for his partner to receive possession but Afolayan curled his effort just wide of the post. Chris Camwell and Richard Brodie replaced Asante and Hylton and the former found the latter with a cross only to be denied by good Eastleigh defending.

Eastleigh were in the ascendancy late on as nerves start to jangle amongst the 61 travelling supporters. Obileye’s cross found Williamson but he somehow put a free header wide before Constable’s wicked cross was thankfully left by all.

Camwell fired a shot well wide of the target before a long throw reached substitute Chris Zebrowski. Thankfully Townsend was on hand to deny the striker with a fine save.

Richard Brodie had the chance to wrap things up at the death but got too much connection on his chip after a lovely Paul Green through ball. It mattered little, however, as Solihull Moors held on for victory.

Richard Money was quick to stress after the game that despite the performance of the team, these are still early days and the victory means an awful lot less if we don’t gain a result at the weekend.

Despite picking up three points since defeating Chester 2-0 in early September, Solihull Moors remain bottom of the National League division proving there is still a long way to go. AFC Fylde and Eastleigh are amongst the sides sitting just above the bottom five and victories against both would take us within touching distance of escaping the drop zone.

We have known all along that this will be a scrap, that this will be a fight. Hopefully this victory really is the turning point we have been desperate for.

Townsend; Murombedzi, K.Green, Daly, Bowen; P.Green, Richards (Kettle), Carter; Hylton (Camwell), Asante (Brodie), Afolayan. Unused: Bannister; Sammons.


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