INTERIM manager Gary Whild says a lack of clinical finishing, and not effort, was Solihull Moors’ downfall in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at home to Maidenhead United.
Second-half goals from James Akintunde and Ody Alfa condemned the Moors to an 11th National League defeat this term, dropping them to ninth place in the table.
Whild, who is in temporary charge alongside first-team coach James Quinn at the SportNation.bet Stadium following last week’s departure of Tim Flowers, felt Solihull’s shortcomings in attack were the biggest fault against the Magpies.
“We conceded a poor goal and then you’re chasing the game,” he said.
“I thought we did better in the second half, we had a few situations. Was that good enough over the 90 minutes to win a game? Probably not.
“It was a National League game where both teams are scrapping and the first goal was going to be important. There was no lack of effort, hard work or desire – sometimes you’ve got to do a bit more.
“The record tells you that we haven’t put the ball in the back of the net. We’ve kept some clean sheets, but you’ve got to put the ball in the back of the net and then the game changes.”
Moors are down on their luck in front of goal at the moment and have now gone six games since last scoring, the last being from Paul McCallum – now on loan at Barnet – in a 3-0 win over Chesterfield on New Year’s Day.
That record did not necessarily look like continuing, considering some of the openings that were created throughout the encounter.
While Ryan Boot had to be alert to keep out Maidenhead’s Danny Whitehall in the early stages, James Ball had an opportunity to test Taye Ashby-Hammond down the other end before dragging wide, while Jason Cowley’s effort narrowly curled wide of the post.
The scoreline remained goalless at the break, though a Moors free-kick ten minutes into the second half threatened to change that when Ball forced the Magpies custodian into a diving save.
Captain Kyle Storer also went close with a first-time volley that had to be well handled by Ashby-Hammond.
After the downturn in fortunes that Moors have had in recent weeks, it should have been no surprise when the opener was provided by an opposition player.
It arrived in the 66th minute of play, when Akintunde touched home a cross to the far post to the delight of the travelling faithful from Berkshire.
While the likes of Jamie Reckord and Storer tried their luck with powerful efforts, an equalising goal proved elusive for the hosts – despite a goalbound effort from substitute Mitch Hancox that crashed against the post and out.
With four minutes remaining, Solihull’s misery was compounded when Alfa made his mark from the bench, slipping the ball through the legs of Boot to wrap up the win for the visitors.
A trip to Bromley, a side who have dropped off in recent weeks but still sit inside the play-offs in seventh, provide tough opposition for Whild and Quinn at Hayes Lane on Saturday (3pm).
Moors will take confidence having already beaten the Ravens this season, winning 2-1 in the home fixture thanks to Gavin Gunning and Danny Wright goals either side of half-time, with Alfie Doughty netting a stoppage-time consolation.
While automatic promotion hopes now appear to be well out of reach for Solihull, a revival of their play-off ambitions could well be underway with three points this weekend.
A home game against Darren Currie’s Barnet, a side sitting in 11th place, then awaits on Tuesday night (7.45pm).