SOLIHULL Moors kept their promotion hopes alive thanks to a narrow 2-1 victory away at AFC Fylde in the Vanarama National North, reports John Clothier.
It was another long journey for Moors as they travelled towards Blackpool and they were greeted by torrential rain although the pitch was playable.
Fylde sat second in the league at the start of proceedings and were sitting three points ahead of Moors but having played one game more than their visitors.
The visitors made an impressive start and for the opening 20 minutes they failed to allow the Coasters to get into the game.
The first real chance came on five minutes when Connor Franklin’s free kick was flicked on by Liam Daly to Stefan Moore who brought out a good reaction save from the home goalkeeper.
Moore was then again denied as Hinchliffe saved a low shot with his legs and Andy Brown fired a volley narrowly over the upright.
It was a question of when the breakthrough would come and it duly arrived on 14 minutes when Moore was fouled inside the area and the Moors Marksman cooly slotted home the resultant spot kick.
Fylde’s first meaningful attack came on 21 minutes when Charles’ long range effort hit the post but Rowe’s follow up saw the ball straight into the arms of Ben Siegrist.
Rowe was booked for obstruction as Siegrist attempted to launch the ball up field but was then to play an influential part in a goal mouth scramble that resulted in Charles having an easy last touch as the Coasters equalised to make it 1-1 at half-time.
Heavy downpours resulted in a completely different set of tactics for the remainder of the match as it became impossible to pass the ball along the ground and even standing up would prove difficult in the slippery conditions.
Moors made the better start when Darryl Knights restored the lead in the 50th minute.
Hinchliffe was first to a free kick into the box but having gathered the ball he was sliding at speed towards the advertisement hoardings as he parted company with the ball before it crossed the line for a corner, Knights was surprised to find it at his feet and he coolly guided it into the open goal.
Michael Nottingham’s back pass stopped in a puddle as Siegrist and Whittle both went for the stationary ball and collided awkwardly. The away fans held their breath but eventually Siegrist was back on his feet, seemingly no worse from the crunch.
Fylde were battling back and were awarded a penalty on 68 minutes when Lloyd was brought down as he came in from the left but Rowe thumped the spot kick straight at the grateful Siegrist who kicked the ball away to safety.
Moors pushed for a third with both Brown and Jack Byrne coming close only to be prevented by Hinchliffe, while at the other end Charles saw his long range effort well drift wide and a last ditch corner was well saved by Siegrist.
The win pushes Moors up to third place ahead of a busy festive schedule which begins with a home clash against Nuneaton this Saturday before Moors travel to Alfreton on December 28 before travelling to Nuneaton on January 2.