SOLIHULL Moors remain three points clear at the top of the Vanarama National League North after being held to a 1-1 draw away at Bradford Park Avenue on Saturday, reports John Clothier.
Bright sunshine met the two sides and although Yorkshire had had rain for hours before hand the pitch looked in wonderful condition.
Bradford have not made the best start this season and languish third from bottom in the league but you would not have known that as they took the game to their visitors.
With only five minutes gone Schofield played in Chilaka from the right who turned and in the blink of an eye had guided the ball passed Danny Lewis into the right-hand corner of the net.
Solihull came back at their hosts straightaway and on ten minutes it looked as though Stefan Moore was through for a one-on-one with Keeper Stewart only to be brought down by Priestley who was a late replacement for the injured Lewis.
Referee Mulraine immediately drew the red card but if Moors thought their troubles were over they were in for a big surprise.
Avenue manager Martin Drury brought on Burgin to replace Schofield and bolster his defence and for the remainder of the half it was Bradford who had the best run of the play whilst Moors struggled to intimidate the hosts packed defence.
Moors’ best chances came from the numerous long throws from Connor Franklin but shots on goal were few and far between. Solihull were restricted to seeing Andy Brown head over after good work from Knights and Moore and Gaz Dean heading wide from a corner.
Marcus Bignot brought on Jack Byrne just after the half hour mark to change things around and a Ryan Beswick cross on 34 minutes eluded both Moore and Brown on either post, whilst Lewis was forced into a fine low save from King.
Knights shot was deflected into Stewarts arms by substitute Burgin as we entered into a minute’s added time.
With Aswaki Asante and Jimmy Armson on from the restart Moors started to dominate. Moore had another one-on-one with Stewart but although the keeper dived the wrong way he stuck out an arm to deny the Solihull striker.
On 57 minutes Daly’s header from a Franklin throw was nodded over by Asante but by now Moors were fighting much harder for every loose ball and were winning most of the confrontations.
Armson shot wide from 25 yards before Knights’ 15-yard shot looked destined for the back of the net before being saved by the keeper’s legs and Nottingham saw his effort through a melee of legs cleared off the line with 15 minutes to go.
Liam Daly was despatched up front to add fire power and provide a big target and it was his one two with Jack Byrne that brought the equaliser on 83 minutes as Byrne slotted the ball into the left hand corner.
This saw Avenue finally break out of their half as they looked for all three points but they were lucky when Daly was clearly pushed in the back by Burgin some six yards from the goal line only for the referee inexplicably to give Bradford a goal kick instead of Moors, the penalty.
Lessons will have been learnt from their escape at the Horsfall Stadium ahead of this weekend’s home clash against newly promoted Curzon Ashton at the Automated Technology Group Stadium.